From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government. In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign. Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues – a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense. It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes.
With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe. Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after. No day was ever the same. Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks. Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis. Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.
From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion.
©2011 Condoleezza Rice (P)2011 Random House Audio
The stories are ones that I did not hear before and some shocked me, like the poison scare. Other stories you get to see from another point of view. While I don't always agree about decisions that were made, this book helps to understand a little of the dynamics of 'how' they were made, especially in times of stress.
The best auto-biographies are also read by the author. You can hear her tone of voice when she recollects these moments and that is an additional insight into her thoughts.
I have been a fan of Dr. Condoleezza Rice for some time and have read the Antonia Felix and Mary Dodson Wade books. No Higher Honor is the story of her work as chief advisor to the President and Secretary of State. The book is filled with tidbits and stories that readers will find entertaining and informative. I read Extraordinary, Ordinary People Rice’s story of her formative years immediately before tackling this volume. This was a good idea because it helped me to better understand how she made decisions in the course of her official duties. Now that said, readers must approach this book as a memoir. As such, this is Dr. Rice’s opportunity to tell her story from her point of view. True evaluation of her work will only come much later after many of the players are dead for that matter. Further, Dr. Rice is an academic with wide government experience and not a literary figure, per se. The prose reads similarly. It is clear, concise, and to the point. It is not great literature and that is not its intent. This volume is long as well and chronologically organized. Therefore, it reads like a day-by-day account of what she faced and how she dealt with the circumstances presented. Nonetheless, there is much here to stimulate the thinking of those in her corner and those who are not sympathetic. Those approaching this books for what it is will be well rewarded for the time spent. The reading of Dr. Rice is a plus!
i really enjoyed her account of the tremendous behind the scenes work that went into the hot cauldron of US foreign policy during the 8yrs of the GWB term. Very insightful, particularly given her even handed and clear retelling of the chain of events that started even before 9/11 and through the isreali/hezbollah conflict and even into the Arab spring. gained a much better understanding of the mindset that lead us into the iraq quagmire. i really learned alot about US foreign policy and enjoyed the human touch that she added to what could have been a dense topic.
George W. Bush, Don Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney have already published very good books about their service in the Bush Administration. Yet this book is in my opinion the best of the group. Why is that? I think there are three reasons. First, Condi???s book focuses almost exclusively on her service during the. Bush 43 Presidency. That allows her to provide more detail than did the others, who include considerable material about their prior government service. Second, Condi is a former college professor in the field of foreign relations and a very good one. She appears to have wanted to include clear teaching points for her readers. In any case, her account provides richer background and context to particular episodes and issues. The book (or excerpts from it) should become an invaluable resource for college and post-graduate courses on international relations and political science. Third, Condi shares more openly her own joys, mistakes, concerns, and fears as she went about her work. This is perhaps because she was newer to high-level government service, making it a fresher experience for her. It may also reflect the fact she is not a professional politician and is perhaps less concerned about image and her popular persona.
There are a number of vignettes in the book that reflect Condi???s unique background as a native of Birmingham, Alabama and the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State. For example, who else would have described to the President the deteriorating scene in Iraq in 2006 as the ???Iraqis having a Bull Connor problem??????i.e., comparing the reports of Iraqi police forces joining with outlaw Shiite militias to the disgraceful record in 1963 of the Birmingham Police Commissioner directing brutal police actions against peaceful demonstrators seeking an end to racial segregation?
All in all, an excellent book that will provide many insights and useful information for anyone interested in the major international and security issues of our day.
I specifically chose this book based upon the fact the author read it.
The insight provided by Secretary Rice about her time in Washington was incredibly informative, however like her experience in the city was very different for each term, the book has 2 very distinct flavors. At times, I felt Ms. Rice was overly eplanatory of details and situations that could have reduced the length. I will definitely read this book again, but I may skip a few parts the 2nd time around.
Simply incredible. What an amazing woman. If you want the real story of the Bush years, THIS is the best source.
I was initially intimidated by the length of this book but once engaged I found it fascinating. Condoleezza knows how to tell a story and provide that human element in the big events that is tough to find in the newspapers
George Bush comes off well in book but not so for Rumsfeld or Cheney
Her version of the events we are all familiar with was very believable and she was willing to admit her mishaps along the way. Her insights into other world leaders and their motivations was very interesting.
An inside glimpse at people who made history
Its having been narrated by Condoleezza herself, with her own 1st hand views! The book could easily be required enjoyable reading for history buffs, especially those with a diplomacy or political science bent. No Higher Honor also goes a long way to dispel perhaps an image she had for a time as the Bush-Cheney mouthpiece. Condoleezza Rice does quite well in her narration (just get used to the way she pronounces "allies") and lets it be well known she had her own voice in all key matters of concern when she was National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State. I particularly enjoyed her candid views of various events and personalities, and the diplomatic processes and how they either facilitated or got in the way of U.S. international relations. I hope we haven't seen the last of Condi on the national stage.
When I first downloaded the book, I thought to myself 28 hrs is really long for a book.
As it turned out Condoleeza had a lot to say (worth listening to) .
I found her point a view invaluable as I dissect the Bush administration from the inside. Her views of Donald Rumsfeld were interesting(his book is next for me) as were they on Colin Powell. I'm a supporter of George Bush and have read his and Cheney's book along with Karl Roves. They made mistakes and to get all sides of the story you must read, No Higher Honor.
You will discover a well rounded sensitive person who loves her family and country.
This is worth the time investment if you like history.
I am not a political junkie or foreign policy buff but I felt involved in every decision, every negotiation, every trade-off the US had to make as it related to foreign relations during the Bush administration. I have a greater appreciation for the role of the Secretary of State!
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