Madam Secretary: A Memoir by Madeleine Albright, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Madam Secretary

Madam Secretary

4.6 13
by Madeleine Albright, William Woodward
     
 

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"It was a quarter to ten. I was sipping coffee, but by then my body was manufacturing its own caffeine. I still couldn't allow myself to believe. Finally, at 9:47, the call came. 'I want you to be my Secretary of State.' These are his first words. I finally believed it."

For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an

Overview

"It was a quarter to ten. I was sipping coffee, but by then my body was manufacturing its own caffeine. I still couldn't allow myself to believe. Finally, at 9:47, the call came. 'I want you to be my Secretary of State.' These are his first words. I finally believed it."

For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an active participant in the most dramatic events of recent times—from the pursuit of peace in the Middle East to NATO's humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. Now, in an outspoken memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence.

The story begins with Albright's childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family first fled Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of eleven, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. She became the first woman to serve as America's secretary of state and one of the most admired individuals of our era.

Refreshingly candid, Madam Secretary brings to life the world leaders Albright dealt with face-to-face in her years of service and the battles she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated arena. There are intriguing portraits of such leading figures as Vaclav Havel, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Slobodan Milosevic, and North Korea's mysterious Kim Jong-Il, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Jesse Helms.

Besides her encounters with the famous and powerful, we get to know Albright the private woman: her life raising three daughters, the painful breakup of her marriage to the scion of one of America's leading newspapers families, and the discovery late in life of her Jewish ancestry and that her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.

Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. It is a tapestry both intimate and panoramic, a rich memoir destined to become a twenty-first century classic.

About the Author:
Madeleine Albright, born in Prague, was confirmed as the sixty-fourth secretary of state in 1997. Her distinguished career in government as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Bill Woodward, a foreign policy specialist, has advised and written for Secretary Albright, Senator John Kerry, Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, and U.S. Representative Gerry Studds. He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife Robin Blackwood and their daughter Mary.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Born in Czechoslavakia between the world wars and a mother of three, Albright was an unlikely candidate to become the first woman to be Secretary of State when she entered government service at age 39. Her memoir is both a look at her remarkable life and an account of the turbulent time between the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks. (LJ 3/15/76)

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Walter Russell Mead
Madeleine Albright, who rose from comparative obscurity as a daughter of Czech Jewish émigrés to become the first female secretary of state and thereby the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government, has given us the memoirist's equivalent of a tease. She lets readers see something of the private and rather endearing woman behind the public façade and discreetly lets slip a few facts about her personal and emotional life, but Madame Secretary is a controlled performance, not a confessional. — The Washington Post
The New York Times
Work harder, be tougher, have fun. That could be Madeleine Albright's mantra in work and in life. Now she has given us her memoir, although it is unlike any other by a secretary of state. She tried on the memoirs of her predecessors for size, and they just didn't fit...It will make a great Mother's Day present.—Elaine Sciolino
The New Yorker
This memoir by America’s first female Secretary of State is a deeply conventional book, full of long accounts of negotiations and reflections on the proper uses of American power. Albright is not out to settle scores (her criticisms of colleagues are mild at worst) and seems, on balance, pleased with the foreign-policy record of the Clinton Administration. This might have made a dull book, were it not for Albright’s appealing character—personally ingenuous but professionally sophisticated, earnest but hard-nosed. Her eye for details—clothing, food, travel conditions—helps bring the diplomat’s world to life, and her portraits of foreign leaders are lively and evocative. The result is a book that creates a sense of policy made by real people, not by world-bestriding titans.
Publishers Weekly
As one might expect from someone with Albright's resume, the former Secretary of State speaks clearly, makes her points succinctly and doesn't stray into speculation, fancy or whimsy. She begins with her childhood in an intellectual Czechoslovakian family and moves fairly quickly through her education, courtship, marriage and motherhood before arriving at what can be considered the guts of the story-her impressive period of service as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and, eventually, as Secretary of State. Her no-nonsense tone is a perfect match for the material, her voice at once serious and warmly maternal. There are a few times when emotion seeps into her voice: when discussing her heated run-ins with Colin Powell or when relating details of the Kenyan embassy bombings and mass graves in Bosnia. An early passage in which she tells of the poor health of her twin babies and how she didn't want to name them until she knew they would survive is particularly moving. Such moments are necessarily rare in a memoir of this nature, but they help paint a well-rounded picture of this remarkable lady. Simultaneous release with the Miramax hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 15). (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Entertainment Weekly
One of the most diverting political bios in recent memory.
USA Today
Madeleine Albright has written a different kind of memoir. . . . It’s Albright unplugged.
The Dallas Morning News
The fascinating story of a remarkable person who has served her country well.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786868438
Publisher:
Miramax Books
Publication date:
09/16/2003
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

Madeleine Albright, born in Prague, was confirmed as the 64th secretary of state in 1997. Her distinguished career in government includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Bill Woodward is a foreign policy specialist who has written for John Kerry and Michael Dukakis. He lives on Capitol Hill.

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