Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box

( 23 )

Overview

Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H. W. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips." I began urging colleagues and reporters to "Read my pins."

It would never have happened if not for Saddam Hussein. When U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized the dictator, his poet in residence responded by calling her "an unparalleled serpent." Shortly ...

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Read My Pins

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Overview

Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H. W. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips." I began urging colleagues and reporters to "Read my pins."

It would never have happened if not for Saddam Hussein. When U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized the dictator, his poet in residence responded by calling her "an unparalleled serpent." Shortly thereafter, while preparing to meet with Iraqi officials, Albright pondered: What to wear? She decided to make a diplomatic statement by choosing a snake pin. Although her method of communication was new, her message was as old as the American Revolution—Don't Tread on Me.

From that day forward, pins became part of Albright's diplomatic signature. International leaders were pleased to see her with a shimmering sun on her jacket or a cheerful ladybug; less so with a crab or a menacing wasp. Albright used pins to emphasize the importance of a negotiation, signify high hopes, protest the absence of progress, and show pride in representing America, among other purposes.

Part illustrated memoir, part social history, Read My Pins provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Her collection is both international and democratic—dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms. Included are the antique eagle purchased to celebrate Albright's appointment as secretary of state, the zebra pin she wore when meeting Nelson Mandela, and the Valentine's Day heart forged by Albright's five-year-old daughter. Read My Pins features more than 200 photographs, along with compelling and often humorous stories about jewelry, global politics, and the life of one of America's most accomplished and fascinating diplomats.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060899189
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 102,285
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Madeleine Albright served as America's sixty-fourth Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. Her distinguished career also includes positions on Capitol Hill, the National Security Council, and as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    A unique reading experience, interesting stories & great jewelry pics

    Even if you're not a collector of pins or any kind of jewelry, costume or fine, this book is historically and politically interesting and a very good read. It's well written with stories about her family and her early life, as well as her experiences while in office as our Secretary of State. As a collector of brooches myself, I was delighted to find someone else who selects a pin to wear based on what you have planned for the day. Of course, Madame Secretary shares with us her most important events and her choices of jewelry on her most momentous days in office, and the symbolism of the chosen pins is facinating. I wish she had included the brocolli pin story, I'd love to hear her version of it. I purchased one, too, but the book cannot be faulted for this omission! Included are great color photos of her pins with information about the makers and how she obtained each of them, along with photos of her wearing the pin at UN meetings and voting sessions, etc. She also shares information about where she purchased some of her pins, including her favorite place to shop for them. I love the fact that she collects costume jewelry, too, and not only fine jewelry. I am looking forward to seeing the touring exhibit of her collection when it arrives at a museum close to me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

    If you collect or wear pins on clothes, this one is for you.

    Having to dress for business since 1980, pins were one of the ways I could express myself while dressing conservatively. Not only did they compliment what I wore, it expressed something about me or the event I was attending. But then I began collecting them and receiving them as gifts. When Madeline came along, I found a she was doing the same. What fun to see her collection up close.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2009

    Read My Pins is fascinating and fun.

    As a lover of all things jewelry and of current affairs, this book was perfect for me. I enjoyed reading about Madeleine Albright's career. She is a fascinating person.

    The photographs are beautifully done for the pins. It is a great book for collectors too.

    I love this book! I purchased several to give as Christmas gifts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Nice read

    It was a nice book. Anyone who likes to collect things would appreciate her appetite for pins.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    A book for pin/brooch lovers

    Lots of pictures and wonderful stories. I have many pins myself, but don't think I could tell you the story behind the purchase and wearing of each one, some I could and perhaps should!

    I was enthralled and anyone who has a love for a fashionable flair to make a personal statement would be captured by Madeline's recollections.

    I have actually found one of the pins that Madeline has in her collection that I plan to purchase.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    A gift choice

    I gave this as a gift to my sister-in-law who thought she would enjoy it. She said she loved it.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    Really enjoyed and makes a great gift.

    I really enjoyed this book...both the photographs and the text were most interesting. I even bought two additional copies to give as gifts. I think the book would be of special intersest to women who are in management positions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    Pass on the pins

    While this makes a great coffee table book, one in which people will enjoy the pictures it is NOT worth $40.00! It does have some interesting stories about Ms. Albright's experiences as the Secretary of State.

    She designs these pins as a political statement to the leaders with whom she comes in contact. EX:Sadam Hussein, someone in his cabinet referred to her as a snake. When she visited Iraq she was wearing a snake pin, this seemed to be the trend for her.

    We read this book in our reading group, it offered an entertaing discussion but I would not call it stimulating. As previously stated save your money unless you want an ornament for your coffee table.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    Great Gift Book

    Very interesting and well illustrated story about a very interesting person.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    Fascinating

    Beautifully illustrated - photographed collection of Ms. Albright's pins and other jewelry pieces, this book presents a unique way of looking at historical events that she was a part of throughout her life and career. As such it is somewhat autobiographical and gives us a glimpse into her life without being overly sentimental or boastful. I'd definitely recommend it as a gift to another who appreciates treasured jewelry.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book

    "Read My Pins" is an excellent book. It depicts what Madam Secretary Madeleine Albright went through and what she dealt with before and while being the first female Secretary of State. There is beautiful illustrations of the pins she wore. Each pin has a story. This book will make you want to get your pins out and start wearing them!!

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    Posted December 1, 2011

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    Posted August 10, 2010

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    Posted May 18, 2010

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    Posted January 5, 2010

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    Posted October 2, 2011

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    Posted December 28, 2010

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    Posted November 28, 2009

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    Posted April 25, 2011

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    Posted April 26, 2011

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