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Publisher's Summary

Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches. With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet-level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.

Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world's best-known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.

Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today's listeners and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians.

Donald Rumsfeld is donating his proceeds from sales of Known and Unknown to military charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.

©2011 Donald Rumsfeld (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What members say

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Wonderful insight inside America

This is a fantastic book for anyone seeking to gain insight on domestic and foreign policy over the past 40 years!

I couldn't put it down. The author has the perfect voice and it was refreshing to hear it once more and as he tells us his story!

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Rummy makes a great narrator

Any additional comments?

I truly loved it. Rummy sets the record straight from his often maligned perspective. I might not agree entirely, but now I certainly see much more clearly into this time and history than before. A better narrator could not be found, he knocked it out of the ballpark.

It's hard to beat learning history from the first person narrative. Well done, Rummy!

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Long but significant

50 chapters is always a little daunting. I couldn't write 50 on a topic. The dichotomy that is the premise is good. We know that something is unknown or probably unknowable when me must take an action. However, waiting for information may be costly or even futile - the better information may never occur. Decisions must be made. In economics it is uncertainty rather than risk.

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Leadership!

Words we use matter..Every once in a while a Great leader is born. To an ordinary American family. And over a lifetime of leadership we're seeing how important this person was to our history! Secretary Rumsfeld is one of the people! This is a living history book!

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A Great Historical Perspective

Mr Rumsfeld is a great deal of insight to a lot of historical events. I found it very inspirational and informative.

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  • Joan
  • St Clair Shores, MI, United States
  • 06-08-15

Great Listen

Loved the book. Rumsfeld has a down home way as he speaks. He is refreshingly frank about mistakes he and others made. He is also just as frank about the successes. This kind of honesty is unusual in a litigation fearful society.

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I was an unthinking Rumsfeld critic.

I know that now. Well written, well performed. I have been stunned to see how this rich and thoughtful account of a life of public service has gone unrecognized. While generally supportive of The commander in Chief during his second tenure as head of the defense department, he does convey that bush let some critical issues go unaddressed.

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Great read

Whether you like Rumfeld or not- there is no question on his leadership abilities and experience. I'm glad he and Dick were at the helm-

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Rumsfeld Tells An Inspiring And Critical Review

I loved that Donald Rumsfeld narrated it. He is the man! I really enjoyed this book. I choose Rumsfeld 2016!

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Well done and enlightening.

A fascinating look at a long and distinguished political and business career. I was impressed to learn so much concerning the background of decisions and major events of the the last few decades. I came away with an increased appreciation for the complexity of decisions after 9-11 and for Mr. Rumsfeld's significant role. I also came away realizing what useless and simplistic sound bites the typical news program provides.
Tip of the hat that Mr. Rumsfeld narrated the entire book himself. I enjoyed the book very much.