No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

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Crown/Archetype, Nov 1, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 784 pages
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From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.  In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.  Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues – a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense.  It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes.
With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe.  Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after.  No day was ever the same.  Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks.  Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis.  Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.

From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion.
In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President’s foreign policy as Secretary of State.  As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America’s enemies.  Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos.  She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour -- and at a moment’s notice -- she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world.
No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa. 
Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds.  In No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft  -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

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Good chronological account of the foreign policy story between 2000-2008. I was hoping it would be a little bit more insightful, but still good to follow Secretary Rice through the bureacracy of implementing US National Security Policy and Foreign Policy. Illustrating the importance of personal relationships and the necessity to navigate different personalities (and their accompanying egos). 

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I can admit that this probably isn't the most admirable woman around.. but to hear her side of the story was absolutely wonderful. I am really excited for this weeks book report radio show because I usually pick out books that Elaine Charles reads. I was SUPER hesitant at first picking up this book.... but she is very intelligent and I like how she talks about Gadhaffi! For those who have read it.... Elaines reviewing it THIS WEEK... cant tell you your radio station but I know the archives go up at and she always has the most fantastic literary commentators speak about books. It's a must listen to.  


Honest Broker
Policy Begins
The Middle East
Vladimir Putin
7 The United States Is Under Attack
War Planning Begins
The War on Terror and the Ilome Front
5 Bush the African
lb New Challenges in Iraq
Iraqis Need to Govern Themselves
I9 Another Step Toward a Palestinian State
for U S China Relations
Free and at Peace
Cenienting Key Relationships with Iraq and India

Trouble in Nuclear South Asia
1o The TwoState Solution
The World s Most Dangerous Weapons
I1 Saddam Again
s Confronting the International Community
He Lives in His Own Head
The Financial Crisis ot2008
One Last Chalice for a Palestinian State
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About the author (2011)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE was the sixty-sixth U.S. Secretary of State and the first black woman to hold that office.  Prior to that, she was the first woman to serve as National Security Advisor.  She is a professor at Stanford University, and co-founder of the RiceHadley Group.  Rice is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family.

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