Known and Unknown: A Memoir

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Penguin, Feb 8, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 832 pages
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Discover Known and Unknown Deluxe offering an unprecedented reading experience for a memoir by a major public figure. For web-connected readers, it features more than 500 links to never-before-available original documents from Donald Rumsfeld's extensive personal archive. It includes State Department cables, correspondence, and memoranda on topics such as Vietnam, Watergate, the days following 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more. Available in ePub and Adobe Reader.

Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches.

With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.

Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world's best known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.

Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today's readers and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians.

Proceeds from the sales of Known and Unknown will go to the veterans charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.

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User Review  - bookmarkaussie -

Donald Rumsfeld was twice, once in the 1970's and again after the millennium, the US Secretary of Defense. He also served as a member of the United States Congress in the sixties and was the United ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - morriss003 -

All memoirs are self serving to some extent, and this memoir is no different, but it is no worse than most. Rumsfeld's descriptions of his early experiences are set in black and white with little or ... Read full review


Authors Note
Smiling Death
CHAPTER4 The Longest of Long Shots
CHAPTER6 Young Turks
Year of Turmoil
Little Birds in a Nest
Kabul Falls Karzai Rises
Out of the
CHAPTER32 A Failure of Diplomacy
Exit the Butcher of Baghdad
Catastrophic Success
Mission Accomplished?
Too Many Hands on the Steering Wheel

NATO and Nixons Fall
A Rocky Start
An Agonizing Reappraisal
Turning On the Lights
The 1976 Defeat
Searles Sweet Success
From Malaise to Morning in America
CHAPTER21 Here We Go Again
Bears in the Woods
The National Security Council
CHAPTER25 The Agony of Surprise
War President
CHAPTER27 Special Operations
Liberation from the Occupation
The Least Worst Place
The Twentieth Hijacker
Law in a Time of
CHAPTER41 The Road Not Traveled
Katrina and the Challenge of New Institutions
CHAPTER43 Gardening
CHAPTER44 The Army We
The Dead Enders
CHAPTER47 Eyes on Afghanistan
Iraqs Summer of Violence

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About the author (2011)

Donald Rumsfeld was the 13th and 21st U.S. Secretary of Defense. He currently chairs the Rumsfeld Foundation, which supports leadership and public service at home and the growth of free political and free economic systems abroad. The Rumsfeld Foundation funds microfinance development projects, fellowships for graduate students interested in public service, the development of young leaders from Central Asia and the Caucasus, and charitable causes that benefit the men and women of the U.S. armed forces and their families.

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