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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, Senat 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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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, Senat 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.

30 review for Madam Secretary: A Biography of Madeleine Albright

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christian Engler

    The fact that this book even got published makes my head smart with incredulity; there is no political objectivity or critical analysis to be found anywhere on the printed pages nor is there any scholarly, in-depth research on the life of our country's first woman Secretary of State. In the author's eyes, if one can call him that, Madeline Albright is the goddess of the State Department, and that's that. This book is astounding in that it is so terrible; it is nothing but shoddy work -- a meande The fact that this book even got published makes my head smart with incredulity; there is no political objectivity or critical analysis to be found anywhere on the printed pages nor is there any scholarly, in-depth research on the life of our country's first woman Secretary of State. In the author's eyes, if one can call him that, Madeline Albright is the goddess of the State Department, and that's that. This book is astounding in that it is so terrible; it is nothing but shoddy work -- a meandering diatribe that resembles a poorly written fifth grade book report. To say more would be a waste of space and time...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

    Fantastic book - well written, a great way to go through several decades of World history seen from the point of view of an intelligent, educated and thoughtful person, with a lot of good old fashioned common sense. The term "service to my country" is used several times - if only we could hear politicians use this term more often - and mean it. I wish the world had more politicians of Madeleine Albright's caliber. They are few and far between. Reading this book is highly reccomended. Fantastic book - well written, a great way to go through several decades of World history seen from the point of view of an intelligent, educated and thoughtful person, with a lot of good old fashioned common sense. The term "service to my country" is used several times - if only we could hear politicians use this term more often - and mean it. I wish the world had more politicians of Madeleine Albright's caliber. They are few and far between. Reading this book is highly reccomended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosa

    Even the toughest, smartest person has a history that made her who she is today. And this book sheds some light to it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    I thought this was going to be a regular biography, from birth to present day. Instead it is a biographical sketch, centering on certain events in her life, such as being nominated for Secretary of State. Still, it is interesting and insightful, of course, and illustrated with a number of photographs.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Madeleine Albright is an amazing and successful woman. She deserves better from this author. Fortunately, I've read her own writings which are enjoyable and I recommend. Madeleine Albright is an amazing and successful woman. She deserves better from this author. Fortunately, I've read her own writings which are enjoyable and I recommend.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Helen Connell

    What an amazing woman! She has quite a sense of humour. I really enjoyed the telling of her life from a child through to being Madam Secretary.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Tait

    Not bad. Good overview of her major accomplishments. But the author is totally in love with his subject. I now what to read her autobiography.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Good book - very informative. But spent a little too much time and detail on certain political issues, which tending to drag on. I would still recommend it

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karianne

    Amazing woman. Very interesting and inspiring book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beverly Dowdell

    The level of her tenacity and courage to stand up and be counted initially in an environment which prioritized academic qualifications in a male dominated world and to be able to lead tough-minded politicians deserves close scrutiny. How did she do it? Written in the complexity of the pages and political background chatter is her ability to get them (particularly men) to treat her not only with respect but "listening attentively to her every word". "Madeleine was not only first foreign-born Amer The level of her tenacity and courage to stand up and be counted initially in an environment which prioritized academic qualifications in a male dominated world and to be able to lead tough-minded politicians deserves close scrutiny. How did she do it? Written in the complexity of the pages and political background chatter is her ability to get them (particularly men) to treat her not only with respect but "listening attentively to her every word". "Madeleine was not only first foreign-born American to be nominated as UN Ambassador but the first refugee" (p87). Thank you to the author and political veteran, Thomas Blood, for his recognition of her abilities and the exclusivity of his behind-the-scenes insights. Having myself worked within the political arena as a staffer to a Federal Minister in Parliament in Australia, it is not for the fainthearted to maintain any level of personal integrity in negotiating to bring others into commonality of goals and purpose - and in Foreign Policy!! An incredible example of not what a woman can do but really what one person can do - male or female. Madeleine didn't stand around chattering about equal rights, like a true leader she just led by example (p98) "not the type ... to stand on ceremony ... made the rounds, resolution in hand ... fluent in 5 languages ... to get the point across" on Haitian refugee crisis.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    I thought of this book as one might feel about medicine--good for you, but not exactly enjoyable. Possibly the longer memoir is more interesting. There were occasional parts that weren't too bad, but on the whole, it seemed to be a series of names of people who had no relation to me or what I have known of recent past history. The comment about the landing of a plane where the pilot had to head in at a 70o descent was interesting--the runway was too short! Nothing is said for pages about Mr. Alb I thought of this book as one might feel about medicine--good for you, but not exactly enjoyable. Possibly the longer memoir is more interesting. There were occasional parts that weren't too bad, but on the whole, it seemed to be a series of names of people who had no relation to me or what I have known of recent past history. The comment about the landing of a plane where the pilot had to head in at a 70o descent was interesting--the runway was too short! Nothing is said for pages about Mr. Albright and then, sure enough--he wants out of their 23 year old marriage because he is in love with someone else. The part about the discovery of her Jewish grandparents and their Holocaust end is interesting. A lot wasn't.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    okay, i stopped half way through. i was so excited to read this book. it was just so dry and boring. i read biographies for a personal perspective on an exciting life. there were so many BORING history lessons. i understand they were a driving force and needed to be explained to show the influence on her life but...oh my gosh...if i wanted to read a full history on an event i would get a history book. it was so dry. i feel asleep as soon as i tried. i guess i am disappointed in myself because i okay, i stopped half way through. i was so excited to read this book. it was just so dry and boring. i read biographies for a personal perspective on an exciting life. there were so many BORING history lessons. i understand they were a driving force and needed to be explained to show the influence on her life but...oh my gosh...if i wanted to read a full history on an event i would get a history book. it was so dry. i feel asleep as soon as i tried. i guess i am disappointed in myself because i really wanted to finish it. but i started this on my train trip to cali. that was awhile ago.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a great book. This lady is so smart. I really paid attention to the part where she and every person told President Bush not to send ground troops to Iraq but instead hit them with airstrikes from another country. She said if we sent troops on the ground we would never get out of there and we were there for 12 years and over 400o men and women were killed. She was very right because look what has happened, Iraq has gone to the terrorists so what good did we do. None.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I enjoyed discovering the female leader behind the title, understand her childhood, dreams, education and hard work towards personal mastery. The book reveiles her vision behind the history events we mostly saw on TV. Also there are insights on other political world leaders. There are full details on major world events that she managed in her role, events that marked our modern history. Therefore this is also a good diplomacy book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Madeleine's life was very interesting, but Blood showed a little bit too much affection for her. There was not a critical word about her in the book. In addition, there was no indication of which sources went with which facts, namely no footnotes. I can't decide if I liked the fact that it was not written in chronological order or not. Overall it was short and to the point, but very one sided. Madeleine's life was very interesting, but Blood showed a little bit too much affection for her. There was not a critical word about her in the book. In addition, there was no indication of which sources went with which facts, namely no footnotes. I can't decide if I liked the fact that it was not written in chronological order or not. Overall it was short and to the point, but very one sided.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Very interesting and thorough bio of our first Secy of State with much insight into the influences that defined her, as well as understanding what it was like to be a career woman in the 60's and 70's. Author too fixated with Ms. Albright's Jewish heritage, that she supposedly did not know about. Very interesting and thorough bio of our first Secy of State with much insight into the influences that defined her, as well as understanding what it was like to be a career woman in the 60's and 70's. Author too fixated with Ms. Albright's Jewish heritage, that she supposedly did not know about.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    This was a wodnerful book about a wonderful lady. Madeleine Albright was the first secretary of state. this book gives a detailed account of her work in a predominantly male oriented position. She gets very personal and reveals her thoughts and feelings about being a mother and wife.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Just ok. I actually didn't like the fact that it was chronological. I think that made it confusing and not have a flow. I also would have liked more background history. Just ok. I actually didn't like the fact that it was chronological. I think that made it confusing and not have a flow. I also would have liked more background history.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Micaela

    This is a look at one of the most fascinating political figures of our time -- beautifully executed and a great read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vikki Neil

    One of the more interesting biographies.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    The author skips around in Albright's life which is a bit confusing. I would have preferred to have learned more about her early life before she became U.N. ambassador and Secretary of State. The author skips around in Albright's life which is a bit confusing. I would have preferred to have learned more about her early life before she became U.N. ambassador and Secretary of State.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hollie Mctiernan

    Madeline Albright is one of my heroes and this is an excellent account of the events in her life from early childhood in Prague to the the US Secretary of State.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Found this to be really interesting both as a memoir of an impressive woman and as a look behind the scenes of an administration/current events that I was old enough to remember/be aware of

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Jurgens

    funny and fascinating!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    this Madam is one awesome lady!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather Katz

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky Mentzer

    I had to do a presentation on an immigrant who made a difference in our country and chose Madeleine Albright. She had a fascinating life and I was especially drawn to the portion of her really long memoir describing her early life and the years leading up to her role as our first female Secretary of State. However, she was very long-winded and this book was just too much...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Désirée

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ion Arseni

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gary Spilger

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