No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

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Overview

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....

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No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

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.

Glenn Kessler
…Rice looks back, offering unexpected candor about her tenure as national security adviser in Bush's first term and as secretary of state…In many ways, this is the first serious memoir of the Bush presidency…it is a comprehensive look at the foreign policy strategy carved out by the president and his aides, but without the usual score-setting typical of such tomes. And although Rice defends many key decisions, most especially the choice to invade Iraq, she also acknowledges the mistakes and missteps made along the way…[she] has acquitted herself well in telling her side of the story…
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
“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.”
—Newsweek

“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.”
—Bloomberg.com

“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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307587862
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 243,829
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice was the sixty-sixth U.S. Secretary of State and the first black woman to hold that office.  Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor.  She is a professor at Stanford University, and co-founder of the RiceHadley Group.  Rice is also the author of the New York Times best-selling Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family.
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Table of Contents

 
Prologue
Introduction
1 Before the Crack in Time
2 Honest Broker
3 Policy Begins
4 The Middle East
5 Vladimir Putin
6 “The United States Is Under Attack”
7 War Planning Begins
8 The War on Terror and the Home Front
9 Trouble in Nuclear South Asia
10 The Two-State Solution
11 Thee World’s Most Dangerous Weapons
12 Saddam Again
13 Confronting the International Community with a Choice
14 48 Hours
15 Bush the African
16 New Challenges in Iraq
17 2004
18 “Iraqis Need to Govern Themselves”
19 Another Step Toward a Palestinian State
20 Four More Years
21 Secretary of State
22 Promoting America’s Interests and Values Abroad
23 High Mountains and Dirt
24 The Color Revolutions Multiply
25 Baghdad and Cairo
26 A Heartbreaking Place Called Darfur
27 Katrina
28 Bringing Back the All-Nighter
29 Can Anything Else Go Wrong?
30 Transformational Diplomacy
31 Building a New Relationship with India
32 Democracy in Latin America and Beyond
33 A Change of Leadership in Iraq
34 Shifting Course on Iran
35 The Middle East Plunges into War
36 Revising the Framework for the War on Terror
37 Iraq Spirals Downward
38 An Explosion in Asia and a Challenge for U.S.-China Relations
39 Playing the Last Card
40 A Diplomatic Surge
41 A New Approach to Latin America
42 Improving the Daily Lives of Palestinians
43 Iraq and the Home Front
44 The Road to Annapolis
45 Emergency Rule
46 Final-Status Talks Begin
47 A Final Year 622
48 It Seems Like Yesterday—It Seems Like Forever
49 Whither China?
50 Olmert Makes an Offer
51 Completing the Task of Building a Europe Whole, Free, and at Peace
52 War Breaks Out in Georgia
53 Cementing Key Relationships with Iraq and India
54 He Lives in His Own Head
55 One Last Chance for North Korea
56 The Financial Crisis of 2008
57 Mumbai
58 One Last Chance for a Palestinian State
Epilogue
 
Note on Sources
Acknowledgments
Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 56 )
Rating Distribution

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(29)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    A remarkable book!

    Dr. Rice writes candidly about her tenure with the Bush administration, explaining policy and admitting mistakes. The nicest thing about this book is that she stays away from the score settling with which so many political insider books are filled.

    31 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    A great book to sit close to the fireplace with.

    The author gives a very perceptive, personal insight in her role as a national security advisor and secretary of state. Her 24/7 dedication to the the President and to the nation is really remarkable. We should be grateful to her for doing her share in protecting us in the tumultuous times after 9/11.This book should be a must-read for all of those who are critical of government employees in high positions.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    High Level of Responsibilities

    Condoleeza Rice eloquently tells her side of the story surrounding various policy-making decisions in the book “No Higher Honor”. I am a former active duty navy veteran who plans on rejoining the military via a part-time component between the time period of December 2012-February 2013 (shaped by my intent to permanently live in the D.C. area). This influences me to feel a responsibility of learning what I can about politics the longer I reside here. Reading about some of the difficult decisions she faced going into the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts gave me further insight on what indirectly happens in all of the military branches (in terms of the aftermath regarding the military surges, manpower goals etc.).
    The following are some of the vivid points made in her memoir:
    Pages 1-12: Dr. Rice describes her first meeting with George W.Bush, and shares why she admires Dean Acheson. A heartwarming moment is illuminated during the discussion of encouragement from her father (John Wesley Rice Jr.). With joyful sentiment, she shares how John Wesley Rice Jr. inspired her achievements. Tragically, he passed away during the Christmas Eve of 1999 (before the beginning of her tenure as George W. Bush’s national security advisor).
    Page 61: Condoleeza Rice’s first meeting with Vladimir Putin is mentioned. On page 85 she candidly tells her discovery that Osama Bin Laden had fought for the Soviet Anti-Resistance. Page 116-117 discloses the essential capture of Abu Zubaydah. It is listed that Abu Zubaydah was the mastermind behind the al Qaeda guide on holding the line against interrogation techniques. Page 118 features information on the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mr. Mohammed was said to have bragged about being Daniel Pearl’s executioner. For those who might not have heard of the original story, Condoleeza Rice mentions that Daniel Pearl was a Stanford graduate and journalist who was kidnapped in Pakistan and killed in 2002. Dr. Rice also notes the emotional challenge of being chosen as the one who had to break the news to Mariane Pearl (Daniel Pearl’s widow).
    Page 208 (Ouch!): Vice President Dick Cheney had invited some of his close buddies to a party that commemorated the freedom of Iraq. Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz are a couple of the names that were invited. Apparently, Vice President Dick Cheney excluded both Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice from his list of people to invite for the gathering.
    Many more informative details feature in this book. “No Higher Honor” by Condoleeza Rice is best for the open-minded who want to increase their political understanding on what can drive a high level policymaker.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Interesting Reading

    Dr. Rice has packed a lot into her young life and this memoir reflects that. She does a great job of describing her encounters both as President Bush's National Security Advisor and later, Secretary of State. She has clearly groomed herself for the roles she had. Her dealings with leaders all over the world and the many issues they negotiated over her 8+ years in office are well presented. It is her presentation of current history and may read as a little self-serving in instances. I think this is subjective, however. There is a lot to read. I have read President Bush's, Don Rumsfeld's, and Vice President Cheney's books and they were interesting reads. Condi's book gets into more detail about people, policy, and issues than any of the other three.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2011

    Great Book

    Terrific Read

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    She goes step by step as Security Council and Secretary of State, which President Bush and Vice President Cheney didn't, of how she made her decisions. Really enjoyed it.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Excellent book! Much more than I was expecting.

    Excellent book! Much more than I was expecting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Great book

    I loved this book I found it very interested and informational.I could not put it down.This book is great for people who want to know what goes into the drama of the world.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Great book very smart Lady

    Wish she would ran for President

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    U idiot

    How can u read every book in the world! Anoyomous is annoying u loser this nook thing is 4 lozers

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2012

    I was disappointed with this reading experience.

    As an American and moderate Republican I wanted get a better understanding of the
    decisions made by the Bush 'White House". I was not only disappointed but concerned that Pres. Bush seemed to not be concerned with the factions in his staff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2012

    Condoleeza Rice provides depth and character thru grace that ref

    Condoleeza Rice provides depth and character thru grace that reflects the true American spirit of her contribution to U.S. government and her uplifting personal panoramic life. Many an American will contribute their life to literature though Ms. Rice will forever uphold what is right and spiritual in an ever growing ehthical world she helped build with her country, proudly delineated in her biography.

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Excellent book, Ms. Rice is a very smart lady and an excellent writer. I enjoyed her perspective tremendously.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Inside job.

    Great insight into a very hard job. Rice was a god send in a very tough period in the usa.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Boring

    I expected more. Very boring.

    0 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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