The Secretary: A Journey With Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

( 13 )

Overview

In November 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed to work for her former rival. As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she set out to repair America's image around the world—and her own. For the following four years, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage, and she weaves a fast-paced, gripping account of life on the road with Clinton in The Secretary.

With the perspective of one who is both an insider and an outsider, Ghattas ...

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The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

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Overview

In November 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed to work for her former rival. As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she set out to repair America's image around the world—and her own. For the following four years, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage, and she weaves a fast-paced, gripping account of life on the road with Clinton in The Secretary.

With the perspective of one who is both an insider and an outsider, Ghattas draws on extensive interviews with Clinton, administration officials, and players in Washington as well as overseas, to paint an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most powerful global politicians. Filled with fresh insights, The Secretary provides a captivating analysis of Clinton's brand of diplomacy and the Obama administration's efforts to redefine American power in the twenty-first century.

Populated with a cast of real-life characters, The Secretary tells the story of Clinton's transformation from popular but polarizing politician to America's envoy to the world in compelling detail and with all the tension of high stakes diplomacy. From her evolving relationship with President Obama to the drama of WikiLeaks and the turmoil of the Arab Spring, we see Clinton cheerfully boarding her plane at 3 a.m. after no sleep, reading the riot act to the Chinese, and going through her diplomatic checklist before signing on to war in Libya—all the while trying to restore American leadership in a rapidly changing world.

Viewed through Ghattas's vantage point as a half-Dutch, half-Lebanese citizen who grew up in the crossfire of the Lebanese civil war, The Secretary is also the author's own journey as she seeks to answer the questions that haunted her childhood. How powerful is America really? And, if it is in decline, who or what will replace it and what will it mean for America and the world?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton becomes the face of a superpower in this captivating profile. Ghattas, State Department correspondent for the BBC, jetted around the globe with Clinton as she refereed Israeli-Palestinian quarrels, wrangled with Chinese officialdom, smoothed ruffled diplomatic feathers after Wikileaks publicized catty American cables, and strategized over the Arab Spring upheavals. In Ghattas’s vivid portrait, Clinton emerges as a charismatic, tireless woman, magnetic during her trademark town hall meetings with ordinary citizens (cries of “We love you, Hillary” trail her everywhere), candid and forthright in private conversation, but always agonizing over anodyne public statements that will be obsessively parsed for policy shifts. But as the author floats along in Clinton’s exciting, exhausting bubble of pre-eminence, she also examines America’s ongoing centrality in world affairs: while they resent American power, in every country people she encounters expect the United States to magically settle their crises and conflicts. Attuned to that mindset since her childhood in war-torn Lebanon, Ghattas receives in her travels with Clinton an eye-opening education in the complexity and limitations of U.S. foreign policy making. Her perceptive reportage on Clinton’s personal leadership grounds a shrewd analysis of America’s role as the still-indispensable nation. 8-page b&w photo insert. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, William Morris Endeavor. (Mar. 5)
From the Publisher
"A personal look at the Secretary's diplomacy via a flexible, pragmatic approach rather than ideology." —-Kirkus
Kirkus Reviews
An intimate, admiring look at the four-year global travails of the secretary of state from a member of her traveling press corps. A Beirut-born BBC journalist assigned to the U.S. State Department in 2008, Ghattas has closely observed Clinton in her busy, high-profile position as secretary over the last four years. Here, she records her key role in the reshaping of American foreign policy. Ghattas' work is invaluable in revealing the effort behind the headlines, from Clinton's choice of Japan for her maiden voyage to sparring with the Israelis, Pakistanis and Chinese, plugging holes from WikiLeaks revelations and riding the eruptions of Arab uprisings. Yet here also is a rare glimpse of the woman behind the glamorous name and powerful credentials: Flanked by her devoted young assistants, Clinton often ventured to the back of the plane, sans makeup and wearing her glasses, to share a drink and chat off the record with the cadre of reporters who regularly traveled with her around the world. Unlike her buttoned-up predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, Clinton seemed to relax amid her staggering travels and meetings, usually running late ("on Hillary time") but giving everyone her full attention, speaking to rapt audiences and letting the officers who held her agenda sweat it out. Wielding her "soft agenda" of women's rights, moving to repair much of the damage imposed by the Bush administration, such as the invasion of Iraq, and appeasing foes who gloated on America's "imperial overstretch," Clinton was quietly but firmly reaffirming U.S. leadership. Along the way, Ghattas, as a Lebanese woman who keenly felt the American betrayal of her country during the long civil war of 1975 to 1990, comes to a sense of forgiveness and understanding of American might. A personal look at the Secretary's diplomacy via a flexible, pragmatic approach rather than ideology.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452642185
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/29/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Kim Ghattas was part of an Emmy Award–winning BBC team covering the Lebanon–Israel conflict of 2006. She has been the BBC's State Department radio and TV correspondent since 2008.

Stage actress Kate Reading has been a freelance narrator for over twenty years. She has received multiple Audie Awards and nominations, as well as numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which has named her Narrator of the Year and, for two years running, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Excellent book! Not only do you feel like you are right with an

    Excellent book! Not only do you feel like you are right with an exceptional secretary of state while on the job, you are also getting to know what she is like as a person. Strengthens one's realization of why Hillary Clinton would and should be president in the next election. Highly recommend it!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 24, 2013

    Informative

    The author is a non American writing for the BBC so she has no political leanings. It is very insightful and informative on foreign affairs. The job of secretary of state is hectic and always on the move. Hilary was one of the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Wonderfully written, great insight.

    Wonderfully written, great insight.

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

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Good Read

    I thought this was a very well written, informative journey through the years of Hillary Clinton's Secretary of State tenure. It gave a great piece of history in many of the countries as well as a good picture of what the travels entailed.

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

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Hello

    A very good book.

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

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Absolutely excellent book.  Kim Ghattas makes a very interesting

    Absolutely excellent book. 
    Kim Ghattas makes a very interesting comment on the role of US foreign policy in a world of new rising powers.
    Great for anyone interested in politics. I'm a recent college grad and I read it within a few days! I'm sending it off to my parents
    and I'm sure they'll love it too.

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

    Posted December 9, 2013

    Great read.

    Informative and Historically accurate

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

    Posted April 2, 2013

    Poor job H.

    Poor job H.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 15, 2013

    Ugh

    Double ugh

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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