Madam Secretary: A Biography of Madeleine Albright

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9780312195052: Madam Secretary: A Biography of Madeleine Albright
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No American envoy has ever burst on the diplomatic scene and grabbed center stage in the theater of foreign relations like Madeleine Albright. Navigating difficult terrain as few can, Thomas Blood provides exclusive interviews with, and revealing anecdotes from, politicians, friends, adversaries, and colleagues, including former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Senators Leahy, Mikulski, Kerrey, Helms, Reid, and Rockefeller, and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt.

This unique biography reveals the dramatic story of the first woman U.S. Secretary of State. Rather than providing a simple chronology, Blood focuses on the defining moments in Madeleine Albright's life, identifying the periods that best open a window on the Secretary of State's uncanny ability to triumph over adversity, her unparalleled success in politics and her meteoric rise to dominance in the world of foreign policy.

From her family's thrilling escape from Czechoslovakia to her astounding rise to power to her victories and setbacks as the head of American foreign policy, Madeleine Albright's life unfolds like a major motion picture. An immensely readable biogrpahy that illuminates key experiences in Albright's career and personal life, Madam Secretary introduces us to Madeleine Albright the person, the politician, the policymaker-- a woman for our times.

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About the Author:

Thomas Blood has spent the last seventeen years in the political arena. He is currently C.E.O. of a prominent Washington-based lobbying firm and a veteran of six presidential campaigns. Most recently, Blood was coauthor of a book on the Clinton presidency, State of the Union. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A slapdash effort, lacking in critical perspective and reading like a background report for an ``Albright for President'' campaign. Blood, a lobbyist and trustee of the Democratic National Committee, is so gushing about his subject that he may have unwittingly created a new phenomenon: damning with great praise. For example, after Albright's appointment as UN representative, it is claimed that she ``singlehandedly transformed her post from mere messenger to chief architect and articulator of American foreign policy.'' Chief architect? Given this heady position it might seem difficult to explain foreign policy failures without tarnishing Albright's image, but when Blood looks at the Somalia fiasco, there is an answer, for she was ``proactively excluded from the policy-making process.'' The hyperbole is actually cranked up another notch upon her ascent to secretary of state: Blood claims that Albright is the first person since John F. Kennedy to establish a personal connection between American foreign policy and the rest of the world, and that ``people flock to see [her] like a rock star.'' By the end of the book one expects Albright to don a costume with a large S on the chest and fly off to save the world. Refusing to mention anything that could be characterized as criticism and recognizing only superior personal qualities is ultimately a disservice to Albright, however. She probably is a fine person and an outstanding public servant, but we all know that when issues are serious and complex, no person or policy can always be right; painting inherently gray material strictly in black-and- white only serves to irritate readers and leave them wondering about Albright as well as the author. If Albright is nearly as upright and moral as the person portrayed in this volume, she will surely be embarrassed by it. (24 b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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