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In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record.


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In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record.

30 review for Madam Secretary: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Darabut

    Long book. :) Still I appreciated 3 things: - 1st is personal: never stop learning. No matter how tired, how busy or how bored you might be, train your mind. - 2nd is related to the way she wrote the book. The first 300 pages are quite easy to read because she outlines her personal life from the moment she was born until her divorce. From there on she concentrates on explaining the international context and the way she handled the different situations as a State Secretary. - 3rd comes from the 2nd Long book. :) Still I appreciated 3 things: - 1st is personal: never stop learning. No matter how tired, how busy or how bored you might be, train your mind. - 2nd is related to the way she wrote the book. The first 300 pages are quite easy to read because she outlines her personal life from the moment she was born until her divorce. From there on she concentrates on explaining the international context and the way she handled the different situations as a State Secretary. - 3rd comes from the 2nd point. So many names, so many contexts. I never got to really understand them until this book. I know the story is told from her perspective. Still for someone who is not initiated in international politics, it gives pretty good insight.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Madam Secretary: A Memoir, Madeleine K. Albright In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دهم ماه می سال 2009 میلادی ا. شرب Madam Secretary: A Memoir, Madeleine K. Albright In this outspoken and much-praised memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence. A national bestseller on its first publication in 2003, Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دهم ماه می سال 2009 میلادی ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    In 2012 I read Albright’s “Prague Winter” (my favorite one so far). Then in 2018 I read her book on “Fascism A Warning”. In April 2020 I read her most recent memoir entitled “Hell and Other Destructions” which covers the period after being Secretary of State to the current time. I had been examining the books she had written and realized I had not read her most important memoir of her time a Secretary of State. I have now corrected that over-site by reading “Madam Secretary: A memoir” published In 2012 I read Albright’s “Prague Winter” (my favorite one so far). Then in 2018 I read her book on “Fascism A Warning”. In April 2020 I read her most recent memoir entitled “Hell and Other Destructions” which covers the period after being Secretary of State to the current time. I had been examining the books she had written and realized I had not read her most important memoir of her time a Secretary of State. I have now corrected that over-site by reading “Madam Secretary: A memoir” published in 2003. The book is well written and meticulously researched. What I like about reading a memoir is learning about an event from their viewpoint. In fact, I enjoy reading about an event from various people’s viewpoints, which means I read a lot of memoirs. Albright is tougher on herself than on other people. She admits her mistakes and states what she should have done or said with no excuses. Some people admit to no mistakes so this is refreshing. The book covers her early life to her divorce then her life working for the government. Most of the personal information is at the beginning of the book: her diplomacy role and policy viewpoints are in the later part of the book. She covers in-depth her period as Ambassador to the United Nations and as Secretary of State. I noted how helpful it was to her to have been at the United Nations before becoming Secretary of State. I highly recommend this book. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is twenty-four hours and twenty-three minutes. Albright does a good job narrating her own book. It is great to hear it straight from the author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Notess

    Now after reading this I know things about Mogadishu! And Kosovo! Did you know we fought a war there, you guys? Seriously I learned a lot, and while I'm not necessarily on board with how the U.S. throws its weight around in the world, I feel like I have a much better understanding of why and how that happens after reading this book. And there are some funny jokes; I like her sense of humor.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I enjoyed Albright's autobiography, "Prague Winter," so much, I decided to read this earlier biography which focuses almost entirely on her years as Ambassador to the UN and then Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton. The book spends a few short chapters on her life before she assumed these two positions - fleeing Czechoslovakia for England with her parents just ahead of the Nazis in 1937, returning to Czechoslovakia after the war only to flee from the Russians to the US with her famil I enjoyed Albright's autobiography, "Prague Winter," so much, I decided to read this earlier biography which focuses almost entirely on her years as Ambassador to the UN and then Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton. The book spends a few short chapters on her life before she assumed these two positions - fleeing Czechoslovakia for England with her parents just ahead of the Nazis in 1937, returning to Czechoslovakia after the war only to flee from the Russians to the US with her family when she was a teen, college years at Wellesley, her marriage to journalist Joe Albright , her years as a wife and mother of three daughters, graduate school at Columbia and early career in academia at Georgetown. A side story of her appointment (and confirmation) as Secretary of State also goes into detail about the revelation, originally uncovered by the Washington Post, that three of her grandparents and several other relatives died in the Holocaust, a fact she did not know because her parents hid their Jewish identity from her. But most of the book explores, in rather generous detail, many of complexities of international relations with lots of space devoted to some of the troubled spots with which she dealt during her term as Secretary of State: Rwanda, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Somalia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, and, over and over again, the Middle East, especially Israel and Palestine. Part of the challenge she faced was in the fall out from the breakup of the Soviet Union and the subsequent domino effect that had in Russia itself and among the so-called Eastern Bloc countries as well as other Communist countries like Cuba, China and North Korea which had depended on Soviet support. In the book, which was first published in 2006, she also discusses the ways in which 9/11,which happened just after she left office, changed the picture. I liked the book -- I am sure anyone who is interested in global politics would find it intriguing . It was also very interesting to learn about some of the particular challenges she faced as the first woman Secretary of State, not the least of which was finding herself - often - as the only woman in the room during negotiations. And did I mention it was exhausting, reading about the ninety-six separate official trips she took either as UN Ambassador or Secretary of State, many of them with stops in four or five countries wore me out, not to mention the times she was responsible for hosting talks in the US between particularly aggrieved parties. And then there is the very human side of people we know about mostly in the news; the image of Yasser Arafat playing hide and seek with her grandkids at her farm near Washington will probably stick with me forever.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Koch

    Behind my grandparents, my #1 hero in the world. This book is so good. If she had been born in the US, I would give up everything to help her be the president. But part of what makes her so amazing is her Eastern European lineage, her family's escape, her passion for that part of the world (and the work she did in that area on behalf of the UN and the State Dept - some of which is detailed in this book). Her work in Africa was amazing. I cried as I read her accounts of the genocide in the Balkan Behind my grandparents, my #1 hero in the world. This book is so good. If she had been born in the US, I would give up everything to help her be the president. But part of what makes her so amazing is her Eastern European lineage, her family's escape, her passion for that part of the world (and the work she did in that area on behalf of the UN and the State Dept - some of which is detailed in this book). Her work in Africa was amazing. I cried as I read her accounts of the genocide in the Balkans and all that she, the UN and the State Dept did (and didn't do) to resolve this monstrosity. She discussed how she does business and I liked her approach. Be generous with people, use humor, be strong and don't let people walk all over you. Invite people into your home and into your world (food always helps...people don't care if you're not a gourmet). Don't always need to be the smartest person in the room. Ask for help and be thankful. Be loyal to those who deserve it. I could go on and on...I won't.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I found Albright's memoir an extremely well written and informative book about her time as US Ambassador to the UN and Secretary of State in the 1990's.  The memoir also touches on her personal life and addresses some of the challenges of being the only woman (or one of the very few) in the highest levels of government.  The first half of the book sheds light on her personal life and her slow rise to prominence.  She states that her rise to become the first female Secretary of State is an unlike I found Albright's memoir an extremely well written and informative book about her time as US Ambassador to the UN and Secretary of State in the 1990's.  The memoir also touches on her personal life and addresses some of the challenges of being the only woman (or one of the very few) in the highest levels of government.  The first half of the book sheds light on her personal life and her slow rise to prominence.  She states that her rise to become the first female Secretary of State is an unlikely one and, even now, hard for her to believe.  Having fled her native Czechoslovakia twice - once from the Nazis, a second time from the Soviets, her parents finally settled in the US with their children.  Albright speaks about her life as an immigrant to the United States, her school years, receiving her US citizenship, getting married, and raising a family.  She addresses the challenges of being a woman who had to juggle family time with furthering her career ambitions.     The second half of the book is dedicated to talking about the trouble-spots around the world with which she had to deal as UN Ambassador and as Secretary of State.  She goes into detail about some of the negotiations she and the rest of the Clinton administration moderated, and some of her meetings with statesmen around the world.  Her writing style is down-to-earth, and her intelligence, professionalism and witty sense of humor shine through.  I would highly recommend this book to those interested in the inner workings of global politics and those who enjoy reading books by or about great role models for women.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    She's a bright woman, but a little single-minded in her relentless support of american style democracy as a one-size-fits-all solution. While conspicuously self deprecating at times, her pride overwhelms any and all second guessing. She was right, everybody else was wrong. The North Korea chapter was a treat. The Israel-Palestine negotiations section maddening.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This was a very interesting autobiography of the first woman Secretary of State. Madeleine Albright was born in Czechoslovakia. During World War II her family fled to London. Then when communism took over their country, her family came to the United States. It really shouldn't have been a surprise that Albright got involved with foreign policy since her father was an ambassador before the war. Albright did a lot as Secretary of State. She had to deal with Israel and the PLO, North Korea, Saddam H This was a very interesting autobiography of the first woman Secretary of State. Madeleine Albright was born in Czechoslovakia. During World War II her family fled to London. Then when communism took over their country, her family came to the United States. It really shouldn't have been a surprise that Albright got involved with foreign policy since her father was an ambassador before the war. Albright did a lot as Secretary of State. She had to deal with Israel and the PLO, North Korea, Saddam Hussein, Kosovo, etc. It's hard to believe that she held that post for only four years. I enjoyed reading about what happened behind the closed doors and about the human side of all the political characters around the globe. I had a lot of respect for Madeleine Albright when she was in office and I still hold her in high regards after reading this memoir.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ozma

    This book is one of my favorites. Her stories are so deeply female -- in that she says before she would go on her overseas trips as secretary, she would try on all the outfits she was packing to make sure they fit. She touchingly says of her marriage that it was the thing that gave her the most pleasure in life and she misses it greatly. She talks of how hard she worked to help Bosnia and to bring about peace in the Middle East. It is a wonderful read. I think of it often. And she is a fellow We This book is one of my favorites. Her stories are so deeply female -- in that she says before she would go on her overseas trips as secretary, she would try on all the outfits she was packing to make sure they fit. She touchingly says of her marriage that it was the thing that gave her the most pleasure in life and she misses it greatly. She talks of how hard she worked to help Bosnia and to bring about peace in the Middle East. It is a wonderful read. I think of it often. And she is a fellow Wellesley grad!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Detailed, Informative, Fascinating & Inspiring!!! I Enjoyed It!!! Detailed, Informative, Fascinating & Inspiring!!! I Enjoyed It!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kaleb Rogers

    The former Secretary's account of her life is truly inspiring. Focusing mostly on her work as Ambassador to the United Nations and her role as the first female Secretary of State, the book takes the reader through the incredibly labor intensive and - often tedious - work of the United States' chief diplomat. Albright's dedicated effort toward learning languages, hosting forums for intellectual discussion, and flat out spunk are extremely fun to read along. She made me laugh several times with so The former Secretary's account of her life is truly inspiring. Focusing mostly on her work as Ambassador to the United Nations and her role as the first female Secretary of State, the book takes the reader through the incredibly labor intensive and - often tedious - work of the United States' chief diplomat. Albright's dedicated effort toward learning languages, hosting forums for intellectual discussion, and flat out spunk are extremely fun to read along. She made me laugh several times with some of her one-liners to strongman type leaders that thought they could bully her along the way.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Siria

    A highly interesting and candid memoir from a woman who made her way from the destruction of post-Second World War Europe to one of the highest governmental positions in the United States. Albright recounts her achievements and involvements in an engaging, forceful, and funny manner; while I don't agree with all her political stances or methods (she's perhaps a little one-size-fits-all in her advocacy of American-style democracy throughout the globe), I love that what she wants to be remembered A highly interesting and candid memoir from a woman who made her way from the destruction of post-Second World War Europe to one of the highest governmental positions in the United States. Albright recounts her achievements and involvements in an engaging, forceful, and funny manner; while I don't agree with all her political stances or methods (she's perhaps a little one-size-fits-all in her advocacy of American-style democracy throughout the globe), I love that what she wants to be remembered for having taught her generation of women that you could get somewhere if you pushed hard enough, and for having showed to younger women the power of interrupting. Her descriptions of the negotiations in which she took part during her tenure as Secretary of State are lively and evocative, and give the sense of what it's like to be at the heart of such things, rather than on the outside looking in. Well worth the read if you have any interest in US foreign policy in the late twentieth century.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Moore

    I've always admired Secretary Albright especially for her work in the Balkans. I remember watching her give a speech to the Serbian people in Serbo-Croatian. I meant a lot to me then and now that she was able to give the speech in their language. Even as a foreign policy wonk she holds a special place for me because she's the first Sec of State that I remember. She digs into wonderfully delicious details not only of her life but of the foreign policy of her time. She reminds us not to let anyone I've always admired Secretary Albright especially for her work in the Balkans. I remember watching her give a speech to the Serbian people in Serbo-Croatian. I meant a lot to me then and now that she was able to give the speech in their language. Even as a foreign policy wonk she holds a special place for me because she's the first Sec of State that I remember. She digs into wonderfully delicious details not only of her life but of the foreign policy of her time. She reminds us not to let anyone tell us what we can and cannot be. Definitely recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Teele Murphy

    Albright's memoirs are poignant, funny, reflective, irreverent, and above all, enlightening. She said in the beginning that she didn't want to just describe events and her role in them, but to really engage with everything that happened, and she succeeded immensely. Sprinkled with wit and humor, Albright takes us through her time before serving President Clinton and then her role as UN Ambassador and Secretary of State. Though very much written in 2003, she weighs the good and the bad of her tim Albright's memoirs are poignant, funny, reflective, irreverent, and above all, enlightening. She said in the beginning that she didn't want to just describe events and her role in them, but to really engage with everything that happened, and she succeeded immensely. Sprinkled with wit and humor, Albright takes us through her time before serving President Clinton and then her role as UN Ambassador and Secretary of State. Though very much written in 2003, she weighs the good and the bad of her time at the forefront of American foreign policy and ultimately concludes America's positive contributions outstrip its negative ones. Perhaps most touchingly, for me and other young women out there, is Albright's engagement with gender expectations: what did it mean for her to be a mother, how did men treat her differently, and what was the significance of being the first female Secretary of State? Albright's memoirs are at their finest when she recounts the numerous times women and girls told her what she meant to them. Albright remains an icon for young women everywhere and it is touching that she realizes this.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I LOVED this book! Perhaps, I'm a little biased because I love Madeleine Albright and more than lean left politically, but this book is really well written. Obviously, this book is rather dense. She covers not only her story, but more than half a century of global history as well. Obviously, it's a lot to follow, but Madeleine Albright presents this history through her own personal experiences with anecdotes and a very direct style of writing. It's a surprisingly easy read given the tough subjec I LOVED this book! Perhaps, I'm a little biased because I love Madeleine Albright and more than lean left politically, but this book is really well written. Obviously, this book is rather dense. She covers not only her story, but more than half a century of global history as well. Obviously, it's a lot to follow, but Madeleine Albright presents this history through her own personal experiences with anecdotes and a very direct style of writing. It's a surprisingly easy read given the tough subject matters (Rwanda, Somalia, the Balkans, Communism in Eastern Europe, the Israel-Palestine conflict, etc.) thanks to her familiar writing tone. It feels more like she's telling you her story in a cafe rather than like reading a textbook full of dry facts. She also acknowledges the unique challenges she faced because of her gender without dwelling on them. She acknowledges that it was a step for gender equality, but it doesn't fix the entire system. I appreciated that; it was a very grounded assessment of her historic tenure as Secretary of State.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arlene

    Madeleine Albright has had a very interesting life, personal and public. She devoted the first half of this book to telling her unique story, often using humor to lighten the load of the heavy effect of WWII on her family. The second half of this book, however, gets bogged down with global history from her time as ambassador to the UN and as Secretary of State. The behind-the-scenes stories about her encounters with various world leaders of the era were ultimately interesting and entertaining, a Madeleine Albright has had a very interesting life, personal and public. She devoted the first half of this book to telling her unique story, often using humor to lighten the load of the heavy effect of WWII on her family. The second half of this book, however, gets bogged down with global history from her time as ambassador to the UN and as Secretary of State. The behind-the-scenes stories about her encounters with various world leaders of the era were ultimately interesting and entertaining, as was her discovery of her Jewish ancestry when she became Secretary of State. Another of her memoirs is the book Prague Winter which focuses more on the effect of the war years on her and her family. For my liking, that should have been included in this book rather than the focus on the global history of the 1990's which I lived through and have less interest in reading right now. All in all, though, I came away with a great admiration of Madeleine Albright and her accomplishments; she was an effective and impressive world leader.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ma'lena

    Madeleine Albright is a helluva woman. She has such an inherent sense of groundedness. It helps, too, that she is smarter than almost everyone else. In this memoir, Albreight manages to capture her voice and transmit her warmth, humor and sense of political fairness. She admits when she resorts to dirty tricks! This is a fascinating read just to learn about her life--an extraordinary journey in itself, but taken within the historical context of her ascension into politics, it is compelling. She Madeleine Albright is a helluva woman. She has such an inherent sense of groundedness. It helps, too, that she is smarter than almost everyone else. In this memoir, Albreight manages to capture her voice and transmit her warmth, humor and sense of political fairness. She admits when she resorts to dirty tricks! This is a fascinating read just to learn about her life--an extraordinary journey in itself, but taken within the historical context of her ascension into politics, it is compelling. She is able to condense intricate political intrique into concise and often humorous stories. Who knew that tempestuous leaders of the world, tyrants and free thinkers, could be so funny and charming? I love her relationship with the late Jessie Helms, and who knew that old bear could be so charming?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Women's National Book Association of New Orleans

    The Women's National Book Association sent this book to the White House today (March 7) in honor of Women's History Month: https://www.wnba-centennial.org/book-... From the Women's National Book Association's press release: Madame Secretary: A Memoir by Madeline Albright, the first woman to be U.S. secretary of state, is a memoir of her path to this important position, filled with extensive insights into international affairs, hotspots in U.S. foreign policy, and how Albright navigated the delicat The Women's National Book Association sent this book to the White House today (March 7) in honor of Women's History Month: https://www.wnba-centennial.org/book-... From the Women's National Book Association's press release: Madame Secretary: A Memoir by Madeline Albright, the first woman to be U.S. secretary of state, is a memoir of her path to this important position, filled with extensive insights into international affairs, hotspots in U.S. foreign policy, and how Albright navigated the delicate diplomacy required in her role as chief diplomat.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Shew

    I enjoyed the first part of this book but bogged down into the second half. Her writing changes between the two parts of the book. In the first half, she is engaged in telling a remarkable story of her childhood and how she fought her way for respect as an adult. The second half, while interesting, becomes very detailed and loses its way as she discusses her time as Secretary of State. I find Madeleine Albright a fascinating person and encourage everyone to try this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Madeleine Albright jumped to the top of my Most Admired Women list after I got into this fascinating story of her personal and political lives. She is brilliant, industrious and resilient- and weathered passages that would have brought many people down for good. She is a huge contributor to international diplomacy and a worthy feminine model, and this volume does a good job of describing why.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I know... I can't believe this is on my list of "read books" either... long story. Book was really good though, never even knew what Madeleine Albright's significance was. Very interesting lady... went through alot to make it where she is today.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vendula

    Man! You have no idea how much I enjoyed this book. Really very well written and interesting even for those who are not interested in politics. I know a lot of people hate Madeleine Albright but I am proud she comes from z Czech Republic. Nobody ever made it as far as she.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ana Porras

    This book is long and dense, but its topics are relevant to modern day politics. It was fascinating to read about specifically the experiences of the first female secretary of state. A must-read for anyoen interested in foreign policy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kira

    Brilliant insight into the life and work of United States' first female Secretary of State.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    though there's some nice behind the scenes history, and she's a formidable character...i'm not sure that i'm going to ever finish this book. life's too short. this book is too long.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill Tress

    I found this book inspiring! First, the story is about the best virtues of America namely, a light in this dark world, and a force for human rights. It inspired me because it is about an immigrant girl/woman who is gifted intellectually and is driven to be all she she can be because of the principals bestowed on her by her parents. The early part of the book describes her success as a student who is recognized and mentored by college professors and the political contacts she makes that propel her I found this book inspiring! First, the story is about the best virtues of America namely, a light in this dark world, and a force for human rights. It inspired me because it is about an immigrant girl/woman who is gifted intellectually and is driven to be all she she can be because of the principals bestowed on her by her parents. The early part of the book describes her success as a student who is recognized and mentored by college professors and the political contacts she makes that propel her to be the first female Secretary of State. After describing how she achieved the important position in the Clinton administration, she begins a narrative of the issues, crises, war, genocides that she and the President faced over the second term of his Presidency. Her story is quite compelling and in light of our current administrations missed steps, should be read as template of how foreign policy is supposed to work. This fact alone makes this book a required read for knowledge about the History of the later part of the 20th century and the diplomacy that worked and failed in spite of the efforts of the Clinton administration. Because of some prior experience, I found the narrative regarding Kosovo and Bosnia quite interesting. This administration made some of the early contacts with North Korea and this alone should be required reading for whats left of our current State Department. I believe a next step after having read this autobiography should be to read a biography of Madeleine Albright. I believe it is possible that she was too close to some situations and therefore may have had difficulty being an impartial witness. She packs this book with incredible detail that might not be captured in other narratives, thus making this an important eyewitness commentary on the history of these troubled times . She also paints the Presidency of Bill Clinton, even after living through the sex scandal that almost got him impeached, in a very positive light in addition to the foreign policy successes, she highlights his domestic achievements. If you like history, foreign relations, a good autobiography than this book is for you.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Harley

    This is the third memoir I have read by a female Secretary of State about her experience as the Secretary. First, I read Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton. Second, I read No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice. Now, I have finished Madeleine Albright's memoir. Each memoir touches on the hot spots around the world and how they dealt with their counterparts in the different countries. Madeleine was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1937. Josef Korbel, Madeleine's father, was involved in politics and ser This is the third memoir I have read by a female Secretary of State about her experience as the Secretary. First, I read Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton. Second, I read No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice. Now, I have finished Madeleine Albright's memoir. Each memoir touches on the hot spots around the world and how they dealt with their counterparts in the different countries. Madeleine was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1937. Josef Korbel, Madeleine's father, was involved in politics and served as an ambassador to Yugoslavia and Albania. The family escaped to England when the Nazis took over Czechoslovakia. They returned after the war only to escape to America after the Communists took over Czechoslovakia. They were given political asylum. The family moved to Denver, Colorado where Josef became a professor. Madeleine attended Wellesley College and was granted American citizenship in 1957. She married Joseph Albright in 1959. She gave birth to twin daughters in 1961 and a third daughter in 1967. Madeleine was a granted a Ph.D from Columbia University in 1976. In 1976, Madeleine became chief legislative assistant to Senator Edmund Muskie. She worked on the staff of the National Security Council from 1978 to 1981. She served as foreign policy advisor to presidential nominee Walter Mondale and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. She also served on the faculty at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She became the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on February 1, 1993. On January 23, 1997, Madeleine was sworn in as the 64th Secretary of State. She was the first female to hold the position. When Madeleine became Secretary of State, she discovered that she was of Jewish descent and that several of her relatives had died in the concentration camps. Her parents had raised her Catholic. Madam Secretary is a fascinating book and I highly recommend it to those who are interested in international politics.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Man this book was LONG. It took me so many weeks to finish. It was interesting, but still difficult to finish just because it was so dense and detailed. I was a kid and teenager during the time when Madeleine Albright was Secretary of State, so I remember the foreign events of those years only generally. I really had no idea of how much went on behind the scenes. Even though I don’t fully line up with her politically, I really respect her after reading so much about her life and from her viewpoin Man this book was LONG. It took me so many weeks to finish. It was interesting, but still difficult to finish just because it was so dense and detailed. I was a kid and teenager during the time when Madeleine Albright was Secretary of State, so I remember the foreign events of those years only generally. I really had no idea of how much went on behind the scenes. Even though I don’t fully line up with her politically, I really respect her after reading so much about her life and from her viewpoint—she’s persistent, incredibly intelligent, and spunky. She had a role that was intense and complicated, but she approached it with vigor and with a true desire for peace for those involved. One thing I found a little weird was that she mostly dodged the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. She recounts once conversation with Clinton about it, in which it seems he didn’t even tell the truth, and that was it. It seemed kind of weird since she overall thought really highly of him as a president. I felt it should have gotten a bit more treatment, even though it was more of a domestic than foreign issue.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ling Chung

    Hands down one of my favourite memoirs. Fascinating account of an immigrant's ascend to US' Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration. Light but colourful touch on growing up in troubled Europe in the WWII era as a diplomat's daughter. Relatable account on what it was like to be a high ranking government staffer in the 80s balancing family, career and a divorce. Absolutely engaging Cole's notes on recent history spanning from Rwanda Genocide, Kosovo War, Israel-Palestinian conflict, Gulf Hands down one of my favourite memoirs. Fascinating account of an immigrant's ascend to US' Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration. Light but colourful touch on growing up in troubled Europe in the WWII era as a diplomat's daughter. Relatable account on what it was like to be a high ranking government staffer in the 80s balancing family, career and a divorce. Absolutely engaging Cole's notes on recent history spanning from Rwanda Genocide, Kosovo War, Israel-Palestinian conflict, Gulf War, North Korea's nuclear weapon threat, Russia-China-US relations and much more. I am not knowledgeable in international relations so at points of the book I was lost. Googling my way through the book provided additional context outside the memoir that helped me appreciate Madeline Albright's personal insider anecdotes dealing with world leaders. The epilogue took a stab at George W Bush II and the Bush Administration. I didn't think that was called for - I expected a more bipartisan voice out of the book. But at the same time, this is her story - told through the lens of a naturalized American Democrat influenced by her European upbringing - so the book is not meant to be a neutral journalistic endeavour. Loved the book.

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