Turmoil and triumph: my years as secretary of state
George P. Shultz has written a towering book, a brilliant personal account of his years (1982-1989) as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. Not since Dean Acheson or Henry Kissinger has a former secretary of state written so deftly and articulately about the forging of a new, stronger foreign policy for America. When Secretary Shultz joined the Reagan cabinet, war raged in Lebanon, the Soviets were escalating the arms race, terrorism was at fever pitch. Yet his relentless determination - his use of strength in tandem with diplomacy - led to bold initiatives in the Middle East, new strategies for peace with the Soviets that transformed the superpower relationship, a strengthening of our hand in Asia and in Central and South America, and the forward march of democracy. There are behind-the-scenes talks with the Palestinians and Israelis, critical meetings with the Soviets, and frank discussions with the Japanese and Chinese. There is also a surprisingly close-up look at the power struggle of the State Department with the staffs of the National Security Council and the White House and with the CIA, climaxing in the Iran-Contra affair. The events of Iran-Contra set out here can only be described as astounding. It is the first complete assembling of the facts from Secretary Shultz's vantage point and is destined to provoke a reassessment of this period in our history. George Shultz paints vivid portraits of the major players during his term in office. On the world scene: Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Deng Xiaoping, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, King Hussein, and Hosni Mubarak. And on the domestic scene: Cap Weinberger, Bill Casey, GeorgeBush, Don Regan, Ed Meese, and Jim Baker. His most stunning portrayal, though, is of Ronald Reagan. Secretary Shultz's assessment of Reagan is as revealing as it is startling. In Turmoil and Triumph, George Shultz documents it all - the hows and the whys, the personalities at play - so that it reads like high drama and "living history". Certainly no other book by a member of the Reagan administration has this depth of purpose, this scope, this degree of revelation, or makes a contribution of this significance.
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