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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington (Anglais) Broché – 4 septembre 2012

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Broché, 4 septembre 2012
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Revue de presse

“In her memoir, NO HIGHER HONOR, Rice looks back, offering unexpected candor about her tenure as national security adviser in Bush’s first term and as secretary of state…the [book’s] moments of self-doubt and regrets are a revelation…Rice offers sharp and penetrating portraits of foreign leaders…Her memoir is a reminder that foreign-policy choices facing the United States are complex and difficult, with no easy solutions…Rice has acquitted herself well in telling her side of the story; now she awaits the judgment of history.”
--The Washington Post

“Rice provides a vivid account of the tumultuous years after Sept. 11, 2001…the latest in a string of memoirs emerging from Bush administration figures trying to define the history of their tenure [this book is] the most expansive record of those eight years by any of the leading participants.”
--The New York Times

“The fascination of Rice’s memoir, and it is fascinating, is less in the broad vision put forth for a more democratic world than in the gritty description of the way decisions were made in the White House and in the State Department as the Bush Administration sought to adapt to a universe radically changed by Al  Qaeda’s attacks on the United States in 2001.  Rice’s account of the immediate aftermath, as seen from inside the halls of the White House, is both vivid and disturbing.”

“Condoleezza Rice has a lot in common with Henry A. Kissinger…Now, like Kissinger, Rice has written a memoir drenched in details of the daily work of diplomacy…hers is a great story.”

“Important…her stories [of the aftermath of 9-11] add texture to the well-known history of those days and weeks, sometimes movingly so.”
--Wall Street Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.
In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President’s foreign policy as Secretary of State.  As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America’s enemies.  Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos.  She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour -- and at a moment’s notice -- she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world.
No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa. 
Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds.  In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft  -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

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Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Very interesting and well written book, which gives many good insights into the policies of G. W. Bush that did not receive much publicity behind the fog of Iraq war. But, as you would expect from this kind of a book, it is overburdened with credits to many people that you wouldn't really care about.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8db57414) étoiles sur 5 234 commentaires
263 internautes sur 283 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8db866d8) étoiles sur 5 A difficult but meaningful book for foreign policy buffs 2 novembre 2011
Par Alan F. Sewell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is one of the most difficult books I've read --- not because of poor writing or lack of clarity, but because foreign policy during President George W. Bush's administration will remain controversial for the rest of our lives. Bush and his people are judged primarily in terms of the overwhelmingly polarizing Iraq War. Either you believe that the war was justified because Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the USA or you believe that "W" was at best a dumb cowboy and at worst a "war criminal" who led us into a gratuitous war.

If you believe the war was justified then everything that Dr. Rice --- who served as Bush's National Security Advisor in his first term and his Secretary of State in the second term --- writes in this book will make perfect sense to you, especially Condi's assessment of the necessity for going to war:

THE PRESENTATION of the case against Saddam had three elements. First, we would review his transgressions against the international community and against his own people. Saddam had signed a ceasefire agreement in 1991 and was systematically violating every aspect of it. Second, we would inform the world of what we knew about his continuing pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, his support for terrorism, and his oppression of his own people. Finally, we would paint a picture of the dangers inherent in failing to address the decade-old threat of Saddam Hussein.

If you've already convinced yourself that Bush was a warmongering cowboy then you won't think much of this book and have no reason to buy it. Because people have already hardened their positions either supporting or opposing the Iraq War, the book isn't likely to be read with an inquisitive spirit of trying to learn anything new.

The second difficulty with the book is that most of us only care about foreign policy to the extent that something going on overseas alarms us. Our collective idea of foreign policy is: "I hope those darn Israelis, Palestinians, Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, Russians, South Americans, Chinese, North Koreans, etc. stay quiet and don't doing anything REALLY stupid like starting a nuclear war." As long as the rest of the world "behaves itself" we don't much care what they do. Thus, reading a book about the intricate day-to-day events of foreign affairs is tedious. It was for me, and I've lived and worked on four continents and read some of the foreign press each week. Having kept current on foreign affairs I learned very little that I did not already know.

The third difficulty is with Dr. Rice herself. I admire her as the personification of excellence. She grew up in modest circumstances in Birmingham, Alabama and went on to master every endeavor she has ever undertaken. Her intellectual and organizational skills must be almost superhuman. She has that outstanding level of courage and confidence that is a prerequisite for success. And yet she is so unpretentious that you feel like you're listening to an "ordinary" person talking. She doesn't have the mystique of a Henry Kissinger or some of our other exotic Secretaries of State. The book is written like that too, in a matter-of-fact style that is informative but not really exciting.

The "human interest" aspect of the book isn't especially intriguing either. Condi has already written about the personal aspects of herself and her family in other books and doesn't duplicate any of it here. There isn't much of a story in writing about others in Bush's administration. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is portrayed as a "friend" who was well-meaning, but lacking in "people skills." There was friction between Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, and Dr. Rice, but they got along well enough to do their jobs of advising the President.

Other than the chapters about Iraq, which I was already in agreement with, the aspect of the book that intrigued me was Dr. Rice's assessment of Russia's Vladimir Putin who is presented as a true friend of the United States, having a genuine sympathy for our cause against Al Qaeda, and doing as much as Russia's interests would allow in trying to rein in Iran's belligerence. I also found the story about Washington under attack on 9/11 to be of interest, but that story has been told elsewhere.

Perhaps the most meaningful aspect of this book has to be inferred from considering it as a whole. Condi and other members of Bush's Administration came to Washington in January 2001 at an optimistic time, expecting to continue the work of improving relations with Russia, eliminating most nuclear weapons, expanding trade with Latin America and Asia, and furthering a world of peace and prosperity. These initiatives were barely underway when the 9/11 attack broke from the blue, thrusting them into the center of the long War on Terror with its difficult military deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and with controversial judicial issues such as detaining terrorists at Gitmo. 9/11 was a tragedy that interrupted their desired agendas as much as it disrupted everyone else's.

I rate this book four stars because it tells Condi Rice's story as National Security Advisor and Secretary of state with clarity. What's missing is the personal touch that tells us who Dr. Rice is as a person. I heard Dr. Rice give exactly that kind of personal story when Sean Hannity asked her on his Fox show if she thought it was likely that Democracy would take root in Libya after Moamar Kaddafi's removal. Dr. Rice answered (paraphrasing): "When I was growing up in the early 1960s my father couldn't register to vote in racially segregated Birmingham, Alabama. I grew up to become the Secretary of State. Democracy takes time, but it is the only road to freedom." The book would have been improved by Dr. Rice including some of these moving insights from her own inspiring life's story. She chose instead to write the book clinically, as a lawyer or professional historian would right it. Nothing at all wrong with that approach, but it is a tedious read.

I think you'll enjoy this book if:

1. You're a foreign policy buff and want to know the day-to-day events of Dr. Rice's work as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.

2. You have a genuine interest in knowing the circumstances of our going to war in Iraq and are willing to approach the subject with an open mind.

This is a meaningful book for foreign policy buffs, but a difficult read for those with a casual interest in foreign policy.
43 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8db86924) étoiles sur 5 TEAMWORK AND TENSION IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION 2001-2008 21 novembre 2011
Par V. L. Wilson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
"The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it." (anon)

I read the entire book, all fifty-eight chapters, within several days - don't expect a quick easy read - this is a detailed and focused foreign policy book by Dr. Condi Rice who educates the reader as she travels thruout the world skillfully engaging world leaders in helping solve serious global problems, most of which seem unsolvable.

How refreshing to read an honest memoir by a young intelligent academic who held her president in high esteem yet refused to be intimidated by him or anyone else for that matter! I suggest you read her first memoir published last year up to the point of accepting the position of National Security Advisor, before you read this one. It will provide a background for this lengthy book describing her White House years with George W. Bush.

This book is a "window" into the White House inner circle. You will learn just what a National Security Advisor actually does. Later, following Colin Powell as Secretary of State, Condi literally takes the reader with her as she travels all over the world for four years with very little time for rest and recreation. As a talented musician she relaxed by playing piano, dining with friends and family, and learning to play a little golf. She explains how her faith sustained her during crisis after crisis, frustrations, and disappointments. She respected other opinions, knew world leaders on a first name basis, and won hearts with her calm demeanor. She gives credit to her deputies and assistants - a nice touch.

As an independent voter, senior citizen, and devoted reader of memoirs, especially presidential politics, I felt this book deserved five stars even though reading it is a roller-coaster ride - I had to read it slowly, using a highlighter and consulting my map. Condi Rice was uniquely qualified for her job as Secretary of State and will likely influence diplomacy and foreign policy for many years. The "sisterhood" of Albright, Rice, and now Hillary Clinton is well-worth following. Problem-solving takes teamwork.
81 internautes sur 89 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8db868e8) étoiles sur 5 Deserves A Look 5 novembre 2011
Par W. Weber - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Even as one who wouldn't think of giving a look at the take on the Bush years from the former President, Vice President or first Secretary Of Defense, my belief was Condoleezza Rice deserved a chance. Her view is somewhat what one would expect but enlightening non the less. She covers in detail the seemingly endless crises during the entire 8 years and does so in an easy, educational manner. The efforts in trying to bring about an agreement for establishment of a Palestinian State were long, trying and unfortunately for all who care, futile. Her efforts seem almost Herculean and enough to cause a physical breakdown in most. I for one am grateful for her efforts and believe we are in a better place because of them in the Middle East and around the globe. I was glued to the book from the beginning and would urge anyone interested in foreign affairs to read it.
109 internautes sur 129 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8db86bdc) étoiles sur 5 Read the book! 2 novembre 2011
Par raven - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Although I have different political views than Condi, I consider her to be of the highest integrity. This extremely powerful book is a must read. To those who leave negative reviews based on person bias, READ THE BOOK before you make assumptions!
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8db8d0fc) étoiles sur 5 Insightful memoir of historic times, done with grace. 19 mars 2012
Par DanStratton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Picking up immediately where Ms. Rice's first book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, left off, No Higher Honor details her tenure as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State during some of the most pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Listening to the audiobook, read by Ms. Rice, I was eager to hear her views on the events of 9/11, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the dealings of US foreign policy during the Bush years.

There are many controversial memoirs covering this historic period of time. While I will get to them in the future, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Rice's rendition. Since first hearing of her, I have always respected and admired her. Her first book left me in awe of her parents. No Higher Honor left me appreciative of her experience, poise and ability to make things happen in the rough world of international politics. The juxtaposition of the two accounts helped me understand better her attitudes and actions, coming so far from the segregated Alabama South to the first female African-American Secretary of State. Now matter the political affiliation, this is an impressive journey.

What I appreciate most from the reading of this book were her explanations behind the events. I found myself marveling several times at the situations I thought I knew and realizing there was so much more at stake I had not heard. In a very approachable and understandable way, she helped me understand the complex and high stakes the world of international diplomacy. Her management style shone through. As a manager, I appreciated the different ways she worked with the different leaders, each with their own style and abilities. I could tell just how much George Bush depended on her and was able to leverage her talents in the best ways possible. She fielded some of the most complex and difficult situations in recent history.

Much has been made in the press of the conflicting relationships and interactions of the Bush cabinet and advisors. Ms. Rice politely goes into her views and interactions with the various players. She refuses to get down in the mud and wrestle, though, a trait I truly appreciate. I remember commenting to a colleague when I heard this book was forthcoming that I hoped she would not use it as a "tell-all, throw people under the bus" forum. She did not disappoint me. Where she disagreed with the strong forces of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and others, she was very cordial, explaining as best she could where she thought they were coming from and why she acted as she did. She remains, in my opinion, one of the classiest acts in Washington.

Another aspect of the book I enjoyed was her letting us peek into her personal life. I was enjoyed the stories of playing with Yo Yo Ma, her continued love of football and juggling the demands of her career with family relationships. How patient they were her constant phone calls and interruptions to holiday festivities and such. The demands of office interfered, but I could tell she worked hard to maintain as much of herself through it all. Eight years is a long time to work at that level of energy and stress. I commend and thank her for her ability to shoulder it all.

Naturally much more politically charged than her previous novel, it is no less enjoyable. Whether or not one agrees with the politics of the Bush presidency, the opportunity to understand more of Condoleezza Rice's influence on historical events is a treat. I thank her for her service in two of the toughest jobs in Washington.
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