Madam Secretary

Madam Secretary

by Madeleine Albright
4.6 13


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Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright

"It was a quarter to ten. I was sipping coffee, but by then my body was manufacturing its own caffeine. I still couldn't allow myself to believe. Finally, at 9:47, the call came. 'I want you to be my Secretary of State.' These are his first words. I finally believed it."

For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an active participant in the most dramatic events of recent times—from the pursuit of peace in the Middle East to NATO's humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. Now, in an outspoken memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence.

The story begins with Albright's childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family first fled Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of eleven, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. She became the first woman to serve as America's secretary of state and one of the most admired individuals of our era.

Refreshingly candid, Madam Secretary brings to life the world leaders Albright dealt with face-to-face in her years of service and the battles she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated arena. There are intriguing portraits of such leading figures as Vaclav Havel, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Slobodan Milosevic, and North Korea's mysterious Kim Jong-Il, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Jesse Helms.

Besides her encounters with the famous and powerful, we get to know Albright the private woman: her life raising three daughters, the painful breakup of her marriage to the scion of one of America's leading newspapers families, and the discovery late in life of her Jewish ancestry and that her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.

Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. It is a tapestry both intimate and panoramic, a rich memoir destined to become a twenty-first century classic.

About the Author:
Madeleine Albright, born in Prague, was confirmed as the sixty-fourth secretary of state in 1997. Her distinguished career in government as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Virginia.

Bill Woodward, a foreign policy specialist, has advised and written for Secretary Albright, Senator John Kerry, Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, and U.S. Representative Gerry Studds. He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife Robin Blackwood and their daughter Mary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401399474
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication date: 10/01/2001

About the Author

Madeleine Albright, born in Prague, was confirmed as the 64th secretary of state in 1997. Her distinguished career in government includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. Bill Woodward is a foreign policy specialist who has written for John Kerry and Michael Dukakis. He lives on Capitol Hill.

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Madam Secretary 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say that I was quite excited to read Albright's book...however, I was bored. She goes into excruciating detail about policy and it reads like a textbook, not a memoir. I was looking for personal insight on her experience, yet she wrote of her own experience like it didn't happen to her, like she was writing about someone else. It's a shame since she was the highest ranking woman in US government in history, and she didn't have much of interest to say.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Terribly dissappointed. I figured she was writing about her experiences. I felt like she was writing about someone elses life. She could address some issues very well, but seemed she was trying to entertain the reader more than anything. That distanced her
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must for anyone interested in American foreign affairs. This book will hold your attention. It is an inspiration for women with high aspirations.
LACHINA1 More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very inspirational. Learning about the experiences of the first female Secretary of State was motivational particularly in regards to her experiences relating to obstacles she encountered on a professional and personal level. I have a greater respect for the position of Secretary of State. I now understand the multi-dimensional responsibilities required for any person occupying this position, and feel pride that a woman was able to successfully manage such a highly stressful occupation while also filling equally important roles as mother and wife. After reading this book, I am a major supporter of Madeleine Albright and wish her the very best in her present and future endeviours. BEST OF LUCK MADELEINE!
AmandaZann More than 1 year ago
Madeleine Albright provides a wonderful memoir of her life thus far. As the first female United States Secretary of State, her story is inspirational, heartbreaking and revealing. She offers a refreshing look into her life beyond politics. We learn about her family, her early life in Europe, her marriage, divorce and the hardships she faced as a working mother. She speaks candidly about her role in the Clinton administration. She admits to her greatest mistake as Secretary of State. Any political junkie, mother, father, daughter, Czechoslovakian or student out there can gain a lot by reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Madeline Albright, as revealed in the excellent memoir, is truly an incredible woman and leader. She reveals the many facets of serving as the Secretary of State and we learn that it is no easy task. There is so much going on in world policy that most people aren't aware of, and this book opened a window into that world and how one woman worked to change the world in a positive way. She is right up there with Eleanor Roosevelt in my opinion. This book is a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I think Madame Secretary and Clinton's A Living History were two of the best memoirs I've read. I thought they both did a terrific job of presenting an interesting mix of their personal lives and their government roles and with HUMOR. I thought their descriptions of how the washington bureacracy and international rules of diplomacy work was fascinating and educating. I read the two books back-to-back so it was also fun to see some of the overlap. For those of you that think Madame Secretary read like a textbook, read Thurgood Marshall's autobiography, that was like reading a history book for a class. I didn't know much about Albright before I read her book but I have a tremendous amount of respect for her now. I enjoyed Katharine Graham's autobiography but thought Albright's and Clinton's were better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was captivated by this WONDERFUL book. Sec. Albright is one of my biggest role models, she shows that anyone no matter where they come from can rise to be one who influences world affairs. This book depicts that message PERFECTLY!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent insight on her foreign policy relations. She deserves high respect. The book is delightful reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Look at the subject then read on. Most of the reviews on Madeleine were negative, but personally think the book is really good. Madeleine's memior is was much more candid then Margaret's memiors which more textbook. Both had twins, Madeleine had 2 girls that look the same, Margaret had boy and girl. Madeleine had a divorce and Margaret didn't. I could go on forever, but I stop here. I hope Madeleine comes to my town's book store to sign her book for the customers. Thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I laughed and I cried. Ms. Albright did a tremendous job with bringing the last 20 years of International Relations to life. Her accounts of the turmoil that was occurring, both here and abroad, were both personal and professional. I would recommend this book to anyone who desires a more thorough understanding of U.S. diplomatic relations without being bored to tears with mere facts. Her personal accounts are both entertaining and insightful. This is a lady to admire for her strengths and commitments to the human race.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! When I bought it and sat down to start reading it I thought it would be fairly boring, but I could not believe how interesting it was and how funny she is. Mrs, Albright is indeed a very good writer as well as a remarkable woman. A great insight to American foriegn policy and what a great secretary of state we had in Mrs. Albright. I highly recommend this book!!