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A Time to Lead: For Duty, Honor and Country [NOOK Book]


Four-star General Wesley K. Clark became a major figure on the political scene when he was drafted by popular demand to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2003. But this was just one of many exceptional accomplishments of a long and extraordinary career. Here, for the first time, General Clark uses his unique life experience--from his difficult youth in segregated Arkansas where he was raised by his poor, widowed mother; through the horror of Vietnam where he was wounded; the...
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A Time to Lead: For Duty, Honor and Country

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Four-star General Wesley K. Clark became a major figure on the political scene when he was drafted by popular demand to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2003. But this was just one of many exceptional accomplishments of a long and extraordinary career. Here, for the first time, General Clark uses his unique life experience--from his difficult youth in segregated Arkansas where he was raised by his poor, widowed mother; through the horror of Vietnam where he was wounded; the post-war rebuilding of national security  and the struggles surrounding the new world order after the Cold War--as a springboard to reveal his vision for America, at home and in the world. General Clark will address issues such as foreign policy, the economy, the environment, education and health care, family, faith, and the American dream.Rich with breathtaking battle scenes, poignant personal anecdote and eye-opening recommendations on the best way forward, General Clark's new book is a tour de force of gripping storytelling and inspiring vision.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Retired four-star general Wesley K. Clark spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense. His resume is impressive: West Point valedictorian; Oxford Rhodes Scholar; Vietnam War hero; NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe; winner of two Purple Hearts and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Did we forget to mention that he's also a talented writer, as evidenced by his bestseller Winning Modern Wars and this cogent memoir/political commentary? A Time to Lead will be read closely for its sharp critiques of Bush administration foreign policy.
Publishers Weekly

Army generals frequently remain little known outside the military. That was true of four-star general Clark until he decided to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the 2004 presidential race. In a combination memoir, patriotic tract and broadside about contemporary American politics, Clark explains how his dismay with the Bush administration's determination to invade Iraq "without good reason" primed him to seek the presidency. On the campaign trail, Clark suggested that using military force to defeat terrorists would likely prove futile. Instead, he touted the value of negotiation. How a four-star general ended up less hawkish than the civilian in the White House is linked to the events of his life, from growing up in the segregated city of Little Rock, Ark., to becoming NATO's supreme allied commander, Europe. The freshest material covers his command of international peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, as the 1990s civil war in the former Yugoslavia threatened to engulf neighboring countries. Little will be unfamiliar to those who supported Clark's presidential bid, or of interest to those who didn't. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Four-star General Clark (former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO; Waging Modern War), a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, joins with military historian Carhart (Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg-and Why It Failed) to focus his third book on leadership. Recounting his childhood in segregated Little Rock, AR, military service at West Point, 30-plus years in the U.S. Army, and presidential campaign, he lays out his thoughts on the current war in Iraq and other pressing issues. Placed in the context of life events, his thoughts come across as entirely genuine. For instance, he refers to receiving help for a speech defect in public school when explaining his belief in the public education system and supports increased opportunities for single mothers, having been raised by a single mother himself. While not overtly political, this book demonstrates that Clark does not approve of the way today's leaders are handling the Iraq War. Regarding leadership, he states flatly that it's "about performance. That's the bottom line." Clark ends with a call for strong leadership to ensure that America's good name and values thrive in the future. Suitable for all public libraries and undergraduate libraries with large military collections.
—Leigh Mihlrad

Kirkus Reviews
Leadership lessons from a life of war and peace. Clark (Winning Modern Wars, 2003, etc.) has been many things during his adventurous life, including a Rhodes Scholar, a four-star Army general and an ardent presidential candidate. In this spare but engaging autobiography, he recounts his evolution from a struggling Arkansas youth with a speech defect to a military man and respected strategist who led troops at home and abroad. To the book's detriment, much of it is couched as a leadership manual; even the valid lessons smack of management coaching vernacular and are often superfluous to the events at hand. Fortunately, the events themselves make fascinating reading. Clark begins with a terse, visceral account of a bloody ambush in the jungles of Vietnam. The easy choice would be to glorify his military experience, but the book's vivid descriptions of his hazardous duties are understated and candid, whether he's recalling a failed attempt to rescue soldiers from a burning convoy while under fire or limning the treacherous political minefields of Washington. Another tense stretch came during Clark's posting in Kosovo, where he played a life-and-death game of chicken with Yugoslavian president Slobodon Milosevic and raced the Russians to capture Pristina International Airport. Clark's willingness to admit tactical failures is admirable, and his strategic insights are piercing yet clear-cut. "Only soldiers win battles," he writes. "The top leaders can lose by making mistakes, but the winning is done by the troops, by their skill, cunning, discipline, intuition, and motivation." His measured criticisms of America's approach to problems in Africa and the Middle East are equally cogent, deliveredin the careful language of a political platform and drawing strongly upon his personal vision for American intervention and diplomacy in the world's conflict zones: "pushing for the United States to do what was right, not just what was easy."An earnest reflection on war and peace from a commander's unique point of view. First printing of 200,000
From the Publisher
"My friend Wes Clark has written his powerful story of how the promise

of America empowered a young boy, more with patriotism than money, to become a man, a soldier and a hero. Wes offers us hard-won lessons in leadership and the value of discipline and determination. Anyone interested in leadership or improving their own lives should read this book."—President Bill Clinton

"In the dialogue about America's role in the world, Wesley Clark's voice needs to be heard. His military experience and unique leadership qualities form the foundation of his thinking and have earned him a key role in the Democratic Party. In the personal stories found in this beautifully written book, there are valuable lessons that can be applied to today's dilemmas."—Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House

"General Clark adeptly employs his autobiography to convey the meaning and importance of leadership. A Time to Lead teaches essential life-long lessons and principles, and provides keen historical insights into the current state of world affairs. As one of the most successful commanding officers in the U.S. Army, no one is more qualified to teach leadership."—Harry Reid, U.S. Senate Majority Leader

"In a time when U.S. foreign policy must be adroit for our nation to be safe and successful, its no surprise that leading Democrats have been tapping Wes Clark for advice. A winner-without loss of American life-in Kosovo, and a predictor of the mess in Iraq, Clark's story is a timely reminder that the best way to be tough in the 21st century is to be very, very smart."—Bill Maher

"Wesley Clark and I shared similar career experiences: both West Point Graduates, we both found ourselves exposed to high-level military and political responsibilities and found our convictions shaped by the administrations we served. A Time To Lead confirms the rewarding benefits of military service at a time when such service is experiencing considerable strain. It also includes a comprehensive description of America's current national imperatives, which deserve serious consideration."—General Alexander M. Haig, Jr., former Secretary of State

"Wesley Clark is on the path to become a great leader—an FDR or an Eisenhower—and in this book he shows us why: because he understands in depth the crisis America faces, and he remains undaunted. Insightful, passionate, intelligent, and battle-tested, Clark's vision can restore America's leadership in the world."—Eduardo Morgan, former Ambassador to the United States for Panama

"Four-star General Wesley Clark is a true-blue American hero and natural-born military strategist. In his thoughtful new book, A Time to Lead, Clark combines personal anecdote with sharp policy ideas to issue a sensible and uplifting blueprint for our nation's future. A real gem of a book."—Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History, The Baker Institute; Fellow, Rice University and author of The Great Deluge and The Reagan Diaries

"From his modest beginnings in Arkansas to leading NATO forces to their first victory in war, the story of General Wesley Clark's life is truly inspirational. 'A Time to Lead' teaches us through example that true leadership is moral courage: speaking up for what is right and necessary - without regard to personal risk. Its lessons are a powerful resource for military and civilian leaders facing today's imminent challenges"—Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the European Union

"General Clark has produced a clear and compelling description of what we need to do to defeat terrorism, rebuild our economy and restore our global leadership role. In so doing, this war hero, successful diplomat and brilliant Rhodes Scholar demonstrates exactly the kind of skills, experience and leadership we need to show us the way."—Mario Cuomo, former Governor of New York

"Wesley Clark's life epitomizes the American Dream-successfully overcoming life's obstacles through applied dedication, courage and faith-and the All American Hero, whose deep love for our nation and humanity led to great personal sacrifice and an exemplary career of public service. Wesley Clark's practical vision for a peaceful, prosperous America is one that we can and should embrace."—Donna Brazile, author of Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots of American Politics and former campaign manager for Al Gore for President 2000

"Wes Clark has produced a wonderful forward-looking memoir. It uses the inspiring events in his life, both in war and peace, as a springboard to provide lessons for the future. It's a joy to read and a trove of interesting ideas."— Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute

"Inspirational insights from a gifted leader with a solid grasp of the issues challenging America at home and abroad—a leader with proven talent for motivating people and achieving historic results."—General John Wickham, Army Chief of Staff 1983-1987

"I was fortunate to serve as General Clark's Deputy in Belgium when he was Supreme Allied Commander and I saw at first hand his masterly handling of events in the Balkans; where by intellect, courage, determination and sheer military skill, he succeeded when none thought this was possible. He established a model for peace and reconstruction, which those involved in Iraq and Afghanistan today can only long for. His book gives a fascinating and very human insight of his unique life experiences which led up to this success, and which have shaped his vision for America and the post cold war Europe. An important book which sheds new light on many of the difficult issues facing those involved in warfighting or peacemaking today." —General Sir Jeremy Mackenzie GCB OBE DL

"Wes Clark has written more than a life story. This is a primer on leadership forged in battle and by decades of experience. I have watched Wes Clark demonstrate exceptional leadership from our teenage years at West Point through Vietnam, the Cold War, Kosovo, politics, marriage and fatherhood. This isn't just a book; it's a manual for leading people and living a good life."—Barry McCaffrey, General, USA (ret.)

"An earnest reflection on war and peace from a commander's unique point of view"—Kirkus

"A combination memoir, patriotic tract, and broadside about contemporary American politics."—Publisher's Weekly

"In direct, unadorned prose, Clark imparts his conviction of the anticommunist cause in Vietnam and his significan controbution to the army's recovery in the 1980s."—Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230610774
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/4/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 541,051
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)
  • File size: 340 KB

Meet the Author

General Wesley K. Clark served in the United States Army for thirty-four years and rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He is author of the best selling books Waging Modern War and Winning Modern Wars. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tom Carhart holds a B.S. from West Point, two Purple Hearts from Vietnam, a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, and a Ph.D. in American and military history from Princeton University. The author of five military history books, his latest is Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg--and Why It Failed. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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Read an Excerpt

I scanned left and right, hoping they weren't maneuvering around us. I could tell something was wrong with my foot - it wasn't moving right, and now I could see the broken bone sticking out of my hand. I wasn't in pain, but I really didn't want to be right here, right now - not like this. For an awful instant I remembered my three month old son at home, my son whom I hadn't even seen yet.
      No, it wasn't going to end like this, and I suppressed the thought.
      Focus. Fight. Take charge.
      "Get that gun going!" I shouted again, as I looked back under my left arm and saw the first troops come across the little footbridge. They were here. And they came running, those peace-symbol-lovin', foul-cussin', war-hatin', draftee American soldiers came, right into the firefight. They came right into the smack of the bullets, and the whine of the ricochets. They were called forward, and they came! God, I loved them.--From A Time to Lead
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Table of Contents

5. VIETNAM (1968-1970)
6. HEALING WOUNDS (1970-1980)
7. BUILDING A FORCE (1980-1982)
12. WAR AS A LAST RESORT (1997-2000)
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