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Renowned for her diplomatic reticence, Condoleeza Rice has shared few personal observations about policymaking and personalities during her eight eventful years in the White House of George W. Bush. That almost complete silence ends with this strikingly candid memoir. Rice describes the discretion that her job required even in her early days as National Security Advisor. Not only did she, the first woman to serve in that post, have to deal with critical day-to-day national security matters; she was also obliged to quiet the fractious interdepartmental relations between Donald Rumsfeld's Defense and Colin Powell's State. No Higher Honor offers a vivid account of how the events of September 11th and its aftermath thrust her into urgent new responsibilities, soon including the ramp-ups for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the beginning of his second term, the president appointed her Secretary of State, thus placing her in the direct line of fire of Vice President Cheney, who since leaving office, has roundly criticized her positions on foreign policy issues including North Korea and Iran. Now released from her eight years of executive restraint, Rice writes with unguarded candor about White House decision-making in the Age of Terrorism.