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Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists? Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a th Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists? Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her experiences while in office and her own deepest beliefs about morality, the United States, and the present state of world affairs, a woman noted for plain speaking offers her thoughts about the most controversial topics of our time.


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Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists? Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a th Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists? Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her experiences while in office and her own deepest beliefs about morality, the United States, and the present state of world affairs, a woman noted for plain speaking offers her thoughts about the most controversial topics of our time.

30 review for The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Once I had a chance to really read this book, I found it almost impossible to put down. Even to eat. Or sleep. If you've ever wondered about the part religion plays in world affairs, especially as this relates to Islam, this is a book you must read. This woman has been all over the world, has worked in both the Carter and Clinton administrations, and has served as the US Secretary of State. She knows her stuff, and as a college professor, she also knows how to teach. She covers lots of history an Once I had a chance to really read this book, I found it almost impossible to put down. Even to eat. Or sleep. If you've ever wondered about the part religion plays in world affairs, especially as this relates to Islam, this is a book you must read. This woman has been all over the world, has worked in both the Carter and Clinton administrations, and has served as the US Secretary of State. She knows her stuff, and as a college professor, she also knows how to teach. She covers lots of history and visits nations all over the world in this book. At no time does she talk down to you or talk over your head. She just succinctly explains everything you need to know, and makes you curious as hell to learn the rest. Awesome, awesome book. I will read everything she's written. Next, her memoirs. I'm really looking forward to that!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I picked up this audiobook at the library used book store because I am a big Madeleine Albright fan and I was looking for a new audiobook. I found the subject very fascinating and a good examination of some of the problems facing the world today, even though it is about 10 years old. Many of the issues she discussed in terms of what is happening with Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the surge in "conservative" or "radical" Islam (or those who claim to represent that religion) were quite prescient and I wonde I picked up this audiobook at the library used book store because I am a big Madeleine Albright fan and I was looking for a new audiobook. I found the subject very fascinating and a good examination of some of the problems facing the world today, even though it is about 10 years old. Many of the issues she discussed in terms of what is happening with Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the surge in "conservative" or "radical" Islam (or those who claim to represent that religion) were quite prescient and I wondered what an addendum to this book would be like, with the new issues of the Arab Spring, the election of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the changes in the government in Turkey, and the rise of ISIS. She starts off with the concept that for so long, people's religious beliefs, while important to them, were not really given much play on the world stage because they were believed to be personal. But 9/11 changed all that, making religious points of view crucial to diplomatic dialogue, and the many screeching voices of bigotry within religion, from Pat Roberston to the reigning clergy in Iran, have only made matters worse. In addiiton to discussing history and how the different cultures and religions view the central issue of individual dignity and the question of freedom, Albright covered ideas on how to foster tolerance. I was impressed with her candor, and her willingness to see a basis of reason in many of the actions by President George W. Bush that the Left often write off as mere examples of hubris and/or stupidity. Her arguments are compelling and her tone both thoughtful and passionate. In the end, she offered ideas for working together to create a better world for everyone. Normally, I would look to pass along this copy of the book to another, but it had several discs with some big skips or scratches in them -- probably costing the ear-reader no more than a paragraph or two at a time -- which were annoying and would likely mar the listening experience of others. But I would recommend it to anyone interested in world affairs and the role that religion plays on the world stage today.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Ellen

    I love Madeleine Albright. In my opinion, she's one of the most amazing people in the modern world. An immigrant, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a professor, an advisor, a diplomat, a writer - she's exactly the type of woman I would like to emulate. This book is the second I read by M. Albright. The first was her memoir. Another fantastically interesting read! The Mighty & The Almighty, however, is so relevant to the time in which we're living. She recounts history of conflicts that perhaps someo I love Madeleine Albright. In my opinion, she's one of the most amazing people in the modern world. An immigrant, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a professor, an advisor, a diplomat, a writer - she's exactly the type of woman I would like to emulate. This book is the second I read by M. Albright. The first was her memoir. Another fantastically interesting read! The Mighty & The Almighty, however, is so relevant to the time in which we're living. She recounts history of conflicts that perhaps someone under 50 years old would not know. Or just about anyone from the Western, anyways. Then she sheds light in the relevance of where / how the history of these conflicts plays a role in what is happening today with the U.S.'s relations in the Arab / Muslim world. It goes beyond the black & white debate presented by the modern media. Brilliant, must read for anyone who is interested in current affairs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    Secretary Albright's book is significantly better when she talks about the Mighty than when she tries to describe the role of the Almighty. Many of her chapters have insightful analyses of the current states of various countries around the world. I think Secretary Albright thinks she's adding valuable insight by pointing to religious angles for various conflicts, but when she drops that and stays in her comfort zone of listing major characters and events, she shows an impressive ability to synth Secretary Albright's book is significantly better when she talks about the Mighty than when she tries to describe the role of the Almighty. Many of her chapters have insightful analyses of the current states of various countries around the world. I think Secretary Albright thinks she's adding valuable insight by pointing to religious angles for various conflicts, but when she drops that and stays in her comfort zone of listing major characters and events, she shows an impressive ability to synthesize vast amounts of information. This book is most valuable for that aspect, even if it is probably a bit dated today. Additionally, Secretary Albright has some direct and unapologetic critiques of President Bush's foreign policy decisions with which she disagrees, but she is impeccably fair and professional, and the book benefits from her maturity. When it comes to the Almighty, though, Secretary Albright just seems out of her element. She writes briefly about a discovery, late in life, that her heritage is Jewish, and she shares a few details about growing up as a cultural Roman Catholic, but she never convincingly presents herself as a person of faith. Quite the opposite, actually: she seems to identify with and address this book to career diplomats who have believed that, since religion has no personal meaning for their daily lives, then they don't need to know anything about it when interacting with people from other cultures. Her point is a terrific one, as she recommends that professionals learn about the major religions of the areas where they will be working, including a suggestion that more Arabic-speakers need to apply for positions in African countries with significant Muslim populations. As a spiritual guide herself, though, Secretary Albright just lacks either the experience or the personal convictions to influence someone other than a functionally atheist career diplomat. I scribbled an excited note in the margin of her Afterword, when she notes that a minister who read an earlier edition of the book chided her for strongly suggesting that doubt is a virtue and certainty a vice. To her credit, Secretary Albright spells out the strongest points of the minister's position, even though her own response is a bit lackluster and clumsy. This book may be helpful to students of international studies at secular universities. It may be useful to diplomats who have never considered taking someone else's religion seriously. It is surely required reading for fans of Madeleine Albright. But for everyone else, I just don't think it's worth much time, and I am thankful that I found my copy on the bargain rack.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emi Bevacqua

    Every season I wince watching The Amazing Race, at the team that each season believes so loudly and self-righteously that God is rooting for them to win. Those are the ones I especially wish would read this book for Albright's insightful views on religious tolerance. It took me literally five years but I'm glad I stuck with it and finally finished. Not only is she brilliant, a former US Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, but Madeleine Albright is uniquely qualified to tout Every season I wince watching The Amazing Race, at the team that each season believes so loudly and self-righteously that God is rooting for them to win. Those are the ones I especially wish would read this book for Albright's insightful views on religious tolerance. It took me literally five years but I'm glad I stuck with it and finally finished. Not only is she brilliant, a former US Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, but Madeleine Albright is uniquely qualified to tout such a stance on tolerance as a born Czechoslovakian whose family emigrated to the US and only revealed to her their actual Jewishness after she'd been raised Catholic and married Episcopalian. I love the straight-up full-on pragmatism, common sense approach and mutual respect that she preaches and also practices. Like the importance of specifying our enemy being "Al Quaeda and their allies" rather than "Muslims," "Islamists," or "Jihad." Albright is quite candid in breaking down insensitive gaffes made by Bush, Falwell and the Pope and explaining how years of diplomacy have thus been undermined. She provides an amazing collection of quotes and anecdotes, I just felt so much like the choir being preached to it got repetitive after a bit.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Madeline Albright totally threw me for a loop with this one; not only did she re-establish her relevance, even as a sidelines commentator, in the foreign policy arena, but she also proved that her ideas are still applicable today, though proved may be the wrong word. There's no proof of such a thing, but the insinuation is certainly there, and I immediately believed it. She's a lot more "wide-scope" than I imagined her to be, a refreshing trait for a statesperson (though shouldn't that be the nor Madeline Albright totally threw me for a loop with this one; not only did she re-establish her relevance, even as a sidelines commentator, in the foreign policy arena, but she also proved that her ideas are still applicable today, though proved may be the wrong word. There's no proof of such a thing, but the insinuation is certainly there, and I immediately believed it. She's a lot more "wide-scope" than I imagined her to be, a refreshing trait for a statesperson (though shouldn't that be the norm), and this book not only provided a nice little history refresher, but in the specific context about which she's interested she explores the decades old hurts and issues that are just now coming to a head. Scary enough, but really enthralling read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I'll be honest. I read half of it and skimmed the rest. Any student of politics need not read this book. It will tell you nothing you haven't already learned (or should have learnt) about politics, September 11, US policy in the Middle East etc. To me it seemed that the earlier parts of the book lacked coherence. Albright delves into the religious aspects of politics and statesmanship fairly well, and her brief synopsis of Islam is a credit to her, but I could never really forgive her open espou I'll be honest. I read half of it and skimmed the rest. Any student of politics need not read this book. It will tell you nothing you haven't already learned (or should have learnt) about politics, September 11, US policy in the Middle East etc. To me it seemed that the earlier parts of the book lacked coherence. Albright delves into the religious aspects of politics and statesmanship fairly well, and her brief synopsis of Islam is a credit to her, but I could never really forgive her open espousal of a quote from Candide by Voltaire "Everything is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds". Those who have read Candide (I recommend it) will know that Voltaire devotes the entire book to mercilessly lampooning and systematically disproving this statement.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Kenney

    I read this book shortly after it was published in 2006 and decided to reread it. The information is still relevant, and many of the people and places discussed are still in the news. The commentary is a very insightful and gives a diplomat's view of the role religion plays in our interactions with other nations. It also focuses on the ways that our actions are perceived by other nations and groups within those nations. I read this book shortly after it was published in 2006 and decided to reread it. The information is still relevant, and many of the people and places discussed are still in the news. The commentary is a very insightful and gives a diplomat's view of the role religion plays in our interactions with other nations. It also focuses on the ways that our actions are perceived by other nations and groups within those nations.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    I started reading this book after finishing Prague Winter. I loved reading Prague Winter and was very curious about her treatment of the topic of religion even though the book was written in 2006 and in a very different political climate. Clearly, as a former Secretary of State, a renowned professor and the 20th ambassador to the United Nations she can write with authority on many matters of state. I borrowed two copies from my library - one in audio form and one in written form so I could actua I started reading this book after finishing Prague Winter. I loved reading Prague Winter and was very curious about her treatment of the topic of religion even though the book was written in 2006 and in a very different political climate. Clearly, as a former Secretary of State, a renowned professor and the 20th ambassador to the United Nations she can write with authority on many matters of state. I borrowed two copies from my library - one in audio form and one in written form so I could actually hear her read the book as I simultaneously studied the text in her written version. Because Albright was raised Catholic but discovered later in life she was actually Jewish, I assumed she would have a unique and compelling viewpoint on religion. Unfortunately she is totally out of her realm in writing about it. In addition she comes off as self-righteous and arrogant. Her arguments are contradictory and circular and other than bashing Christians, she never really explains any of her arguments conclusively enough to be convincing. This surprised me. What happened? This book is so biased to the left and so anti-Christian I could not read it without feeling a deep hurt. Labeling Christians as “paranoid” and “fearful” of modern society and culture seems to be her only argument to prove why Christians are wrong and everyone else is right. “Faith does not produce wisdom”, she says. This might actually be her one true statement because it is the fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom and not faith alone. I’ll let others draw their own conclusions. I will never judge Albright because I respect her too much to assume I know why she wrote what she wrote. Maybe she was just out of her realm of expertise. Or maybe Bill Woodward or her publishers revised and bent the text to ensure it portrayed the left wing liberal narrative they wanted to push in order to sell the book to their like minded followers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deb W

    I recently finished listening to the most recent book by Ms Albright, and was so impressed by it that I decided to read/listen to her previous works in my library holdings. This is the earliest. It wasn't as easy for me to follow, which I attribute to the breadth and depth of a topic that is so familiar to her, but not to me. What I did gleen from it is still phenomenal, and I suspect I would get even more from it if I read it. I am now a huge fan of this woman's body of work, her verve, her dept I recently finished listening to the most recent book by Ms Albright, and was so impressed by it that I decided to read/listen to her previous works in my library holdings. This is the earliest. It wasn't as easy for me to follow, which I attribute to the breadth and depth of a topic that is so familiar to her, but not to me. What I did gleen from it is still phenomenal, and I suspect I would get even more from it if I read it. I am now a huge fan of this woman's body of work, her verve, her depth of compassion of the plight of others regardless of which side of the table they might sit from her. Everyone can learn something we all need to learn from this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This is a good book to read as context for diplomacy and religion in the second half of the 20th century/first half of the 21st, but the conscientious reader will bear in mind that it was published before: - the Obama administration - the Arab Spring uprisings - the capture and killings of Hussein and bin Laden - the Trump administration and it’s attendant global political polarization - the COVID-19 pandemic - the January 6, 2021 insurrection in Washington DC

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terry Earley

    Although somewhat dated, Albright is a delightful, and thoughtful author. She points out that religion is central to world politics and culture whether we want it to be or not. Our values should drive our decisions. Including many examples, though from over 10 years ago, it is still an important read today.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lorna

    While I didn't agree with everything she believes in this was a good book. It made me realize I have paid more attention than I thought I had to the news since 9/11. It is important to understand the culture and faith of people and countries we are trying to negotiate, cooperate and have relationships with. Some good takeaways and an excellent source of recent history. While I didn't agree with everything she believes in this was a good book. It made me realize I have paid more attention than I thought I had to the news since 9/11. It is important to understand the culture and faith of people and countries we are trying to negotiate, cooperate and have relationships with. Some good takeaways and an excellent source of recent history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dania

    Could not form an opinion on the impact of the Almighty on her personally. It seemed a little shy. The ironic thing is that, from a political point of view, I agree with her on the Bush administration but I guess that is a cheap shot. Who doesn't agree looking back?! But even then, her description of Saudi is very shallow and uneducated. I did not expect a well rounded politician like herself. Could not form an opinion on the impact of the Almighty on her personally. It seemed a little shy. The ironic thing is that, from a political point of view, I agree with her on the Bush administration but I guess that is a cheap shot. Who doesn't agree looking back?! But even then, her description of Saudi is very shallow and uneducated. I did not expect a well rounded politician like herself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kamda

    Madeleine Albright is a true role model. This book was a great explanation of the inpact of religion on politics. If you don’t understand the connection between islam and the way gowerments of countries with the majority of muslims acts, start with reading this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robert Bob

    What a nice & polite 2006 view! Pre-Obama Pre-Hillary Jews/ Christians/ Muslims are similarly linked in her essays! NOTE: Madeleine Albright gave speech in 2004 to YALE Divinity School on religion & American foreign policy! She's college-professor- level-smart! What a nice & polite 2006 view! Pre-Obama Pre-Hillary Jews/ Christians/ Muslims are similarly linked in her essays! NOTE: Madeleine Albright gave speech in 2004 to YALE Divinity School on religion & American foreign policy! She's college-professor- level-smart!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is a great book showing the competing policies of our government with the policies of government and religion of the Arab world. Albright digs into background and discusses how the power of the Bush administration hurt the careful, methodical policies, planning and choices of the US.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Leon Olivier, Jr

    Well written and a worthwhile read. Secretary Albright is an intelligent and insightful author. She makes an observation that seems like common sense but remains elusive in our in our world that discounts religion for the secular. While much information is dated it is a good read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I learned a lot from this book...specifically about the United States' relationship with Muslim-predominate countries in the Middle East and Africa prior to 9/11 and how 9/11 changed that. I learned a lot from this book...specifically about the United States' relationship with Muslim-predominate countries in the Middle East and Africa prior to 9/11 and how 9/11 changed that.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Shaffer

    Seeing her at a restaurant recently in NYC, reminded me of this book on my shelf to read. Enlightening, informative, and more importantly taught several misconceptions of terrorism.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jan Kroken

    Not a bad book, good overview of modern history in the US relations to other countries. However, it is not deep and does not contain significant amounts of inside information.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hussain Rumi

    I love her

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave J

    Lost interest after reading 1/4 of the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Kwok

    Reading this book was way overdue for me. Ms. Albright is a national treasure and I am always impressed by how she thinks and articulates her views on the world. The overall theme of the book is that religion and morality underpin a lot of how people around the world think and it is foolish to pretend that it isn't the case. She recommends that diplomats learn to understand the role and pull of religion in the areas where they are stationed. In conclusion, I would recommend this book or any of h Reading this book was way overdue for me. Ms. Albright is a national treasure and I am always impressed by how she thinks and articulates her views on the world. The overall theme of the book is that religion and morality underpin a lot of how people around the world think and it is foolish to pretend that it isn't the case. She recommends that diplomats learn to understand the role and pull of religion in the areas where they are stationed. In conclusion, I would recommend this book or any of her works to everyone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gremrien

    This book may be considered a collection of essays reflecting about various aspects of the international politics of the U.S. related to religion in some way. There are also some personal memoirs of Madeleine Albright, both from her personal life and her personal experiences during her work in the American government, but the book is mostly about larger things, i.e. history and politics overall. Of course, the center of attention here is the Middle East and Islamic fundamentalism. Albright tries This book may be considered a collection of essays reflecting about various aspects of the international politics of the U.S. related to religion in some way. There are also some personal memoirs of Madeleine Albright, both from her personal life and her personal experiences during her work in the American government, but the book is mostly about larger things, i.e. history and politics overall. Of course, the center of attention here is the Middle East and Islamic fundamentalism. Albright tries to explain many complex things through historical events and political affairs, and she is probably quite good in this, but as I had only an audio version of the book and could not follow her narration as closely as I would like to, I still found all these things too complicated for me. One of the most interesting and important part of her book for me was her reflections about a unique role of Turkey as a major intermediate link between the West and the Middle East. Madeleine Albright talks about very significant aspects that should be respected and handled with great care — and alas, reading all this in 2020 feels disastrous, because today all these highly important precautions were flushed down the toilet completely, and the U.S. lost Turkey as its key to possible resolving “the Middle East problem.” I would probably re-listen to the book one day when I feel more prepared in terms of my knowledge about the Middle East. Nevertheless, I suppose that the book might be very interesting for those who already have an opinion about the Middle East situation and want to learn another perspective on it. For me personally, much more illuminating and relevant were her reflections and experiences related to the U.S. efforts directed to the development of democracy in other countries. I learned a lot about the whole attitude of the more progressive societies looking at the societies struggling to find their way to democracy. Although Madeleine Albright touches the subject only very lightly, here and there, I now understand all those foreign governments and their politics toward us much better. I understand now why foreign leaders try not to intervene or make only very vague remarks when we are so desperate about their specific and strong “support,” why they often do not do anything except for talking about their “deep concern,” and why they are “supporting,” from our point of view, the tendencies and events that look so wrong to us. Madeleine Albright makes clear that the U.S., as any civilized democratic country, seeks the development of democracy in other countries and makes all the efforts to support it, but this means, first of all, that various societies should find their own way to democracy. Democracy cannot be forced upon societies that have no idea what it is and why they need it, and democracy cannot be planted into an infertile soil; every society should grow their own democracy from their hearts, through intense discussions and interactions between all the people, through trials and errors, and every society should adapt their own traditions, cultural and historical specifics to the demands of democracy — and no outsider can really help with it. That’s why, from the point of view of democratic societies, free elections of bad leaders are better than unfree elections of good leaders or no elections at all. That’s why democratic societies often applaud about the very fact of a free and fair election overall and disregard that people actually elected some monstrous jerk there — democratic societies consider all this our own mistakes and the necessary process of groping our path in the darkness, a learning curve so important for the development of democracy from the bottom of the society, from nowhere. I would love to read more about all these aspects from Madeleine Albright if she decides to write a separate book about it, and I suppose understanding these things would be very important for us. Regardless of the subject, the more I listen to Madeleine Albright and read her books, the deeper respect I feel about her. She is extremely intelligent and professional, and yet she is also very considerate and open-minded, ready to admit her mistakes and talk about things she herself did not understand properly before. She is an awesome politician and one of the shrewdest and most integral minds of our time, in my opinion, and I appreciate her points of view very much.

  26. 5 out of 5

    K

    Two things that are clear from reading this book: Madeleine Albright is extremely likable and also has a finely-honed "BS detector." Wow, was this a terrific and educational read. I feel really grateful for her service to America after reading this and grateful to President Clinton for picking her. Secretary Albright is full of common sense, moderation, and an ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives. Surprisingly, this book did not feel out date even though I read this eight years aft Two things that are clear from reading this book: Madeleine Albright is extremely likable and also has a finely-honed "BS detector." Wow, was this a terrific and educational read. I feel really grateful for her service to America after reading this and grateful to President Clinton for picking her. Secretary Albright is full of common sense, moderation, and an ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives. Surprisingly, this book did not feel out date even though I read this eight years after its initial publication. Indeed, she forsaw some of the problems that would occur later such as Mubuarak's authoritarianism being in conflict with an Egyptian public yearning for democracy. The most educational chapters for me were on Iraq, Islam in the West, and Africa. Each one of those chapters contained lots of quotes from religious leaders and ideas that were new to me. I hadn't seen these subjects discussed so frankly or indepth in the press. An an American expat who has lived in the Czech Republic, I loved her appreciations of Vaclav Havel and Tomas Masaryk. It made me wonder if she was able to be present for President Obama's speech in Prague celebrating Masaryk. How she would have enjoyed that! I was so proud when Vaclav Havel died at how beautifully America was represented at his funeral by Secretary Albright and the Clintons. The Russians had sent no one. Now I am an American expat living in Turkey. I was cheering at the part in the book where Secretary Albright educated readers on the strategic importance of Turkey to NATO and the West. The only part of the book that felt dated were her descriptions of what Turkey must do to become part of the EU. It doesn't seem like either side is all that interested anymore. This is the second time I have seen the West's problem with Turkey of the Greek Patriarch's seminary being closed described (the first time was on 60 Minutes). It isn't at all clear to regular citizens why this is such a hard problem to solve. I wish she had explained this. This one issue could win Turkey so much publicity in the Western World for intercultural dialogue and moderation. Keeping it shut seems lacking in modernity. Spiteful, even. Why doesn't it happen? Just open it, already. It would be front-page news worldwide. I wish she had explained this. Like Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright took responsibility for something that went wrong on her watch. This ability to say "I was wrong" shows her accountability as Secretary. I didn't even remember the time she cites in the book where she spoke too quickly and inelegantly on a sensitive topic. Still, I respect that she walked the reader through it and said her statement needed to be revised. Well revised! There are three chapters I would like to see added to this book just because I don't know the answers to these questions of inquiry and she has now made me curious about them: 1) how have worldwide religions impacted American foreign policy on the subject of climate change? 2) how have religions impacted American foreign policy on the subject of (for lack of a better term) 'reconciliation' when we as a nation could fix something we "broke?" For example, cleaning up all the land mines leftover in Laos from the Vietnam War so that people don't get hurt. 3) While she did explain the conundrum of the Balfour Declaration not considering what should happen to native Palestinian populations once the nation of Israel was started, I wish she had walked the reader through more places where American and Israeli interests might diverge and how both sides plan to handle these situations. She gave no hint to the influence of the pro-Israel lobby on policy. While I'm sure this is difficult to write about diplomatically, doing so, would have been very useful to the American reader wanting to understand. I hope Secretary Albright continues to have major impact on American foreign policy. I trust her and deeply respect her.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nihal

    Personally, I don't worry much about lies. Lies can be easily dismissed, but "half truths", especially when they are smartly told, can go a long way. I paused long before rating and reviewing this book. I can't deny that it was a very enjoyable and informative read, written by one of the smartest and most professional diplomats alive. I liked a lot Mrs. Albright's ability of summing up long historical conflicts in a nutshell, along with her rarely matched rhetorical skill in describing the most c Personally, I don't worry much about lies. Lies can be easily dismissed, but "half truths", especially when they are smartly told, can go a long way. I paused long before rating and reviewing this book. I can't deny that it was a very enjoyable and informative read, written by one of the smartest and most professional diplomats alive. I liked a lot Mrs. Albright's ability of summing up long historical conflicts in a nutshell, along with her rarely matched rhetorical skill in describing the most complex of situations in compact, accurate and persuasive sentences. I have to admit that her just and fair views astonished me in many parts. Actually, as a Muslim, I found her explanation of sectarian conflicts within Islam along with her explainiation of extremists' and terrorists' manipulation and extracting some Quranic verses out of their context, I found all that stunningly accurate, simplified and fair enough to take hats off for. Albright never tells lies, so don't worry this is not a book of lies, actually she doesn't even tell half truths, she tells "most" of the truth, accurately and fairly. It's just that the former Secretary Of State, may from time to time "skip" one single info, or event, but it is usually THE "one" piece that is stirring the situation ; for example she condemns Saddam Hussien openly and fairly, yet she cleverly skimmed the reason why had he conquered his neighbour state Kuwait, encouraged and given green light by whom?!!! She condemned openly and fairly the killing of civilians committed by palestinian radicals, she just skillfully skipped mentioning that Israelis are committing the same crime with victims of the later largely outnumbers victims of Former. She mentioned briefly the "Marshall Plan", she again selectively "skipped", how largely had the USA benefited from that plan! In other parts of the book, Mrs. Albright chose to disarm the reader by playing fair; mentioning the with and against as openly and fairly as possible. She here doesn't skip facts or incidents, but just giving them a very subjective little weight compared to what she considered grave crimes. For example she goes very lightly over the fact of building settlements by Israel, and throwing the original land owners to refugee camps, yes she did mention the fact , but in a "no big deal" tone!!. She very briefly mentioned the killing and displacements of civilians by US troops in Iraq as a "side effect", she denounces the torture of prisoners in US prisons (built in third world countries for obvious reasons), as a mistake which can add fuel to the "misunderstanding" of US policies within the Arab world!! Despite all of the above, I still suggest that the book is a great read, if not for any of the valuable information it contains, then for learning the skills of persuasion and manipulating facts without telling a single lie ;)

  28. 5 out of 5

    E

    I filled nearly every margin in this book with either seething criticism or cries of "Yes!" Madeleine Albright is a politician and a successful one, which means that however admirable her morals may (sometimes) be, they have often been compromised. Consequently, the book is a terribly interesting exposé of foreign policy behind closed doors. I was glad to see her apologize for her statement that the thousands of Iraqi children dead because of the sanctions was "worth it." I was glad to see her ha I filled nearly every margin in this book with either seething criticism or cries of "Yes!" Madeleine Albright is a politician and a successful one, which means that however admirable her morals may (sometimes) be, they have often been compromised. Consequently, the book is a terribly interesting exposé of foreign policy behind closed doors. I was glad to see her apologize for her statement that the thousands of Iraqi children dead because of the sanctions was "worth it." I was glad to see her harp on the religious right's power in America. When she asks, after embracing an armless Sudanese child, how anyone could ever do such a thing, she appeals to the reader as a humanist. And then... she declares the oppressive 1950's a time of "moral clarity," she uses Red Scare rhetoric, justifying U.S. Cold War policy, she declares post-war Vietnam worse off than during the war, she reinforces America's support of the Royal House of Saud, she reveals her pro-war stance on Afghanistan after 9-11, she kowtows to the right in claiming Bush invaded Iraq to protect Americans, ...AND THUS ends up implicitly supporting several tactics that resulted in the deaths of many American and foreign children no more guilty than the one she held in her arms in Sudan. It might help to avoid appearing as a radical politician to supporters of American big business, but it ensures that the people are rarely fully represented by their leaders negotiating at the table. Complaining that the European Union is an elitist members-only club disinterested in what American politicians have to say only likens her more to an imperialist suffering from megalomania. This book is very important to read; I would have given it four stars if I had agreed with more of her arguments, but it nevertheless it proves that foreign policy is overwhelmingly complex due to the stubbornness of not only foreign leaders but also our own (of course). Like the president who appointed her, I conclude that Albright (unlike Rice) is a generally good person and somewhat of a good politician who must be held accountable for every exception to humanism she makes in favor of traditional U.S. policy that results in the deaths and/or oppression of innocents.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Imad

    I believe that this book to lose a big deal about how the american policy is working and middle east , when it comes to the middle east the relation between our country's in the arab world and other countries such as the united states of america particularly are always measured by religious differences which makes it difficult that some point to look at the common side between us and other countries specially that fanatics always have the loudest voices in the region. Cineworld now there's a lot I believe that this book to lose a big deal about how the american policy is working and middle east , when it comes to the middle east the relation between our country's in the arab world and other countries such as the united states of america particularly are always measured by religious differences which makes it difficult that some point to look at the common side between us and other countries specially that fanatics always have the loudest voices in the region. Cineworld now there's a lot of point of views that tells us nothing is completely true nothing is completely wrong and i believe that we can reach a state that is in between to would help everyone be connected and understand each other today we're living in a world that is full of diversity and i believe it's not impossible to realise diversity in our arab world. Our arab world long suffered from point of views that are obsessed with the conspiracy theory witches one huge reason that there is this gap between our country's and the other part of the world and i believe that that religion plays a big role in ir specially if it's not understood clearly and if it's been held in hands of the wrong people because i believe that islam christianity judaism muhammad jesus and moses are all perfect but we are not and this is the main problem hear that we're comparing ourselves to them and then comparing our souls to the other part of the world not seeing that all of us incomplete and imperfect as jesus or muhammad that's the main problem thus this book suggest that we have to put some parameters that could connect us in the future and which are mainly based on the fact that every human being has a value that makes them equal to everyone regardless to their religion or nationality or anything else and i believe that religion is not something that could stand in the way of peace since it calles for this as if in a way or another it is calling for democracy that madeleine albright talked and illustrated in her book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jarrodtrainque

    Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists?/ Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her exp Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists?/ Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her experiences while in office and her own deepest beliefs about morality, the United States, and the present state of world affairs, a woman noted for plain speaking offers her thoughts about the most controversial topics of our time./ In The Mighty and the Almighty, Madeleine Albright examines the profound impact of religion on America's view of itself, the effect on U.S. policy of the rise of the Christian right, the Bush administration's successes and failures in responding to 9//11, the challenges posed by the war in Iraq, and the importance of understanding Islam. She offers a balanced but, when necessary, devastating analysis of U.S. strategy and condemns those of all faiths who exploit religious fervor to create divisions or enhance their own power./ In this illuminating account, Albright argues that, to be effective, U.S. policy-makers must understand the power and place of religion in motivating others and in coloring how American actions are perceived. Defying the conventional wisdom, she suggests not only that religion and politics are inseparable, but that their partnership, when properly harnessed, can be a force for justice and peace./

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