No Higher Honor
A Memoir of My Years in Washington
by Condoleezza Rice
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by Massscorecard.org:
Those looking for insight into Condoleezza Rice's personal history won't find it in this autobiography.
It's "A Memoir of My Years in Washington", so it starts with Bush's 2000 campaign for the White House.
There's nothing about Condi's early life, nor even much about her life outside the White House.
The book does cover Condi's years as National Security Advisor (Bush's first term) and her years as Secretary of State (Bush's second term).
Condi writes about everything she did in those two roles -- in other words, there's hardly anything on domestic policy either.
I complained about Tom Ridge's naivete on foreign policy matters as expressed in his book, The Test of our Times;
Condi is not naive about foreign policy.
I complained about Tom Ridge that I knew more about foreign countries than him;
Condi knows more about foreign countries than me, or than just about anyone.
Condi thrilled me by using the term "Pashtunistan" -- the only time I've ever seen the term in print except in my own article on Pashtunistan.
("Pashtunistan" means the ethnically-defined region that spans the Pakistan-Afghan border; both countries' presidents prefer to include "Greater Pashtunistan" in their own country, according to Condi, pp. 445-6).
What about a run for elective office?
Condi has only one brief quip, regarding Sen. Barabara Boxer (D, CA) and why the Senator might have disliked Condi:
"Perhaps she bristled at speculation that I'd one day take her on for that seat. She needn't have worried."
Condi seems to be saying she won't run against Sen. Boxer -- but we read-between-the-line pundits note that Condi used the PAST tense,
so maybe, just maybe, there's hope for a FUTURE run. We found little in this book to substantiate a rumor, but we'd love to start an unsubstantiated rumor, so here goes: "Condi might run for California Senate against Barbara Boxer in 2016."
Those interested in Condi's personal life, or her views on domestic policy, will have to wait for another book.
Those interested in whether Condi plans on running for office will have to wait for another book, too --
but if she DOES run, it will have been worth the wait.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@Massscorecard.org, Dec. 2011
P.S. This book was written in 2011, and, as mentioned above, the reader did not have to wait long for a book on Condi's personal history:
her personal autobiography, My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me, came out in 2012.
| Massscorecard.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Condoleezza Rice: Appointed State Department's first chief diversity officer.
Bill Clinton: Fight war on drugs in all of the Andean states.
George W. Bush: Afghans wanted roads; Bush wanted aerial poppy eradication.
Condoleezza Rice: Encourage critical languages: Faris, Chinese, Arabic.
Condoleezza Rice: Spotlight the importance of foreign exchange student program.
Energy & Oil|
Condoleezza Rice: Kyoto Protocol fatally flawed, but address climate change.
Dick Cheney: Drew a line in the sand: Nothing to do with Kyoto Protocol.
Colin Powell: Liberia is part of U.S. history; stay involved there.
Condoleezza Rice: Liberia is part of U.S. history; stay involved there.
Condoleezza Rice: Post-WWII push for democratic institutions reflected values.
Condoleezza Rice: Support democratic aspirations abroad, not just stability.
Condoleezza Rice: Development assistance should support US objectives.
Condoleezza Rice: Be respectful but determined with China on human rights.
Condoleezza Rice: Channel Arab Spring into positive development.
George W. Bush: Millennium Challenge Account: no more money down a rat hole.
Margaret Spellings: Spotlight the importance of foreign exchange student program.
Condoleezza Rice: 1990s: Dreams of a missile shield died with the Cold War.
Condoleezza Rice: Bin Laden's death vindicated CIA interrogation programs.
George W. Bush: Bush Doctrine: Put state sponsors of terrorism on notice.
Margaret Spellings: Encourage critical languages: Faris, Chinese, Arabic.
Ronald Reagan: 1983: Anti-missiles replace mutually-assured destruction.
Principles & Values|
Colin Powell: OpEd: Worldview is nuanced; decisionmaking by consensus.
Donald Rumsfeld: OpEd: Worldview is black-and-white; decisionmaking secretive.
Alberto Gonzalez: Speeding up FISA very important in the war on terror.
Condoleezza Rice: Pushed to improve intellectual property rights in China.
War & Peace|
Condoleezza Rice: Saddam was a cancer in the Mideast, even without WMD.
Condoleezza Rice: We should have admitted "The 16 Words" were a mistake.
George W. Bush: 2003: Sent warships to force Liberian president to resign.
The above quotations are from No Higher Honor
A Memoir of My Years in Washington
by Condoleezza Rice.
Books by and about Cabinet Members:
- Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward, by Charlyne Berens
- Between Worlds, by Gov. Bill Richardson, Secretary of Commerce-designee
- Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis, by Sen. Tom Daschle, Secretary of Health & Human Services-designee
- Dreams from My Father:, by Sen. Barack Obama, President-elect
- It Takes A Village, by Sen. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State-designee
- Leading by Example, by Gov. Bill Richardson, Secretary of Commerce-designee
- Like No Other Time: The Two Years That Changed America, by Sen. Tom Daschle, Secretary of Health & Human Services-designee
- Living History, by Sen. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State-designee
- Profiles In Courage, by John F. Kennedy
- Profiles In Courage For Our Time, by Caroline Kennedy, including chapter on Rep. Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor-designee
- Promises to Keep, by Sen. Joe Biden, Vice President-elect
- The Audacity of Hope, by Sen. Barack Obama, President-elect
- No Higher Honor, by Condoleezza Rice (2011)
- My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me, by Condoleezza Rice (2012)
- The Plan: Big Ideas for Change in America, by Rahm Emanuel
- The Thumpin': How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless, by Naftali Bendavid; profiling Rep. Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff
- For the Record, by Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan