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Madam Secretary: A Memoir Paperback – Unabridged, 5 Nov 2004


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Paperback, Unabridged, 5 Nov 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; 1 edition (5 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330419552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330419550
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4.7 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 784,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'It is a mark of the excellence of this memoir by the highest-ranking woman in American history... that it could not have been written by a man... Ms Albright's authentic voice is vivid... [an] unusually honest book' Jonathan Mirsky, Spectator; 'It is fashionable in some of the more rabid right-wing Washington salons to look at the Clinton years as ones of drift and equivocation. [Madam Secretary] makes a case for the defence - in foreign policy at least - that largely avoids the partisan sniping... If that were this book's only quality it would be worth noting' Alex Massie, Scotland on Sunday"

Book Description

Madeleine Albright was for eight years during the first and second Clinton terms privy to some of the most fascinating and controversial episodes in recent memory. Her refreshingly candid memoir brings to life the world leaders with whom she worked and the joys and difficulties of her own private life: her daughters, the painful break-up of her marriage, and the discovery late in life of her Jewish grandparents' fate. Weaving together the public and the private, the national and the intimate, Madam Secretary is a valuable contribution to political history and destined to become a classic of its kind. 'It is a mark of the excellence of this memoir by the highest-ranking woman in American history . . . that it could not have been written by a man . . . Ms Albright’s authentic voice is vivid . . . [an] unusually honest book' Jonathan Mirsky, Spectator 'It is fashionable in some of the more rabid right-wing Washington salons to look at the Clinton years as ones of drift and equivocation. [ Madam Secretary] makes a case for the defence - in foreign policy at least - that largely avoids the partisan sniping . . . If that were this book's only quality it would be worth noting' Alex Massie, Scotland on Sunday

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Nov 2003
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading this book very much, the writing style is easy and Ms Albright brings a variety of international political personalities to life.
Ms Albright is an articulate, intelligent yet unpretentious writer. You feel the author is sitting with you conversing about her journey from a humble start as an immigrant from Czechoslovakia to becomming the highest ranking woman in office. I also liked the fact that despite some painful experiences the undertones of this book were positive and optimistic throughout. I suppose you must always have hope to work in politics otherwise you cannot strive to move forward.
Some of her stories in office are hilarious, like when she brought Yasser Arafat home from a break from some intense political negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Her grandson ran screaming into the house upon seeing the President of Palestine, let's just say he didnt find him to be too aesthetically pleasing to the eye :) Others are very touching like when she discovered only a few years ago that her grandparents were sent to concentration camps and how she could (if at all) reconcile this fact with her successful and safe life when she still had family living in Czechoslovakia throughout those difficult times. The guilt and the gratitude she must still feel to this day.
She made politics interesting for me and showed me that the people you see making huge descisions in the world are also human beings and not just distant faces on the television.
Thank you Ms Albright for writing an inspirational moving and touching book, I enjoyed every chapter. My only complaint is that I would have loved to read more and more about your life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Nov 2003
Format: Hardcover
The best book if you want to understand the contemporary history. Albright expalins it very well and is easy to follow. the books is fascinating to read and i would recommend it to anybody, even if you have no time to spare for "pleasure reading" as this book is very much worth it. Also, this book made me re-think my plans to do my Ph.D. Now I am in the mids of applying for the program. The book is great mood lifter as well as a just plain excelent work of life. I wish all biographies (auto and non) were written that way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Alcat on 6 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought "Madam Secretary" almost five years ago, and only read it recently, during my holidays. I now regret not having done so before, but then, it is always best to do something late than never at all.

Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become Secretary of State in the United States, shares with us the story of her life, and a look behind closed doors regarding events that we can already find in the pages of history books. In this book you will find the kind of details regarding her professional life that will allow you to understand things like the dynamics of high stakes negotiations, or the important role that humor plays when trying to avoid direct confrontation.

In her collaboration with Bill Woodward, Albright manages to engage the reader, and even make him laugh. Can you help but smile when you read that "The mood was good - deceptively so. The summit would rapidly deteriorate into an exercise similar to the herding of cats"? Or fail to appreciate Albright's self-deprecating humor when she said to the Security Council that action on an issue had to be delayed until she received orders from Washington, because "The issue will not be decided until the fat lady sings"?

On the whole, "Madam Secretary" is a book that I loved. In my opinion, it is a very good choice for people who like to read witty and well-written autobiographies, but a particularly special treat for those that are also interested or working in the field of International Relations. Highly recommended...

Belén Alcat
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 20 Sep 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Madam Secretary" presents the memoirs of Madeleine Albright, the highest ranking woman in the history of U.S. government (despite what conclusions you might have reached about some of the First Ladies, Edith Galt Wilson in particular). During the eight years of the Clinton administration Albright served as U.N. ambassador and then, following the resignation of Warren Christopher, as Secretary of State. Half of "Madam Secretary" is devoted to that period of her life, while the rest tells the story of how a refugee from Czechoslovakia eventually became the first woman Secretary of State in American history and one of the most admired public figures of recent years (she was confirmed 99-0 by the Senate). The result is a book that is both candid and insightful. The memoirs of any Secretary of State are going to be of importance, but "Madam Secretary" is actually a good read.
Madeleine Korbel Albright was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1937. Her father was an official in the Czech government-in-exile who fled to London, where she remembers enduring the blitz. Her father served in several diplomatic posts after World War II and when the Communists took over Czechoslovakia in 1948 he sent his family to the United States, where he ended up running the School of International Studies at the University of Denver (where one of his prize students was Condolezza Rice). On the personal side of the ledger Albright talks about her marriage to "Newsday" scion Joe Albright, which ended in divorce, raising her three daughters, and learning late in her life that her Jewish grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.
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