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Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st-Century Memoir

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albrigh reflects on the final stages of her career, and working productively into your her decades in this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir. In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America’s first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. “I don’t want to be remembered,” she an Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albrigh reflects on the final stages of her career, and working productively into your her decades in this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir. In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America’s first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. “I don’t want to be remembered,” she answered. “I am still here and have much more I intend to do. As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last.” In that time of transition, the former Secretary considered the possibilities: she could write, teach, travel, give speeches, start a business, fight for democracy, help to empower women, campaign for favored political candidates, spend more time with her grandchildren. Instead of choosing one or two, she decided to do it all. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Hell and Other Destinations reveals this Albright at her bluntest, funniest, most intimate, and most serious. It is the tale of our times anchored in lessons for all time, narrated by an extraordinary woman with a matchless zest for life.


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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albrigh reflects on the final stages of her career, and working productively into your her decades in this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir. In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America’s first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. “I don’t want to be remembered,” she an Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albrigh reflects on the final stages of her career, and working productively into your her decades in this revealing, funny, and inspiring memoir. In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America’s first female secretary of state, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. “I don’t want to be remembered,” she answered. “I am still here and have much more I intend to do. As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last.” In that time of transition, the former Secretary considered the possibilities: she could write, teach, travel, give speeches, start a business, fight for democracy, help to empower women, campaign for favored political candidates, spend more time with her grandchildren. Instead of choosing one or two, she decided to do it all. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Hell and Other Destinations reveals this Albright at her bluntest, funniest, most intimate, and most serious. It is the tale of our times anchored in lessons for all time, narrated by an extraordinary woman with a matchless zest for life.

30 review for Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st-Century Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    I have read a number of Madeleine Albright’s books in 2012 I read “Prague Winter: Personal Story of Remembrance and War 1937-1948”, and in 2018 I read “Fascism: A Warning”. I realize I somehow missed reading her 2003 memoir “Madam Secretary” about her time as Secretary of State (1997-2001) and before that the United States Ambassador to the United Nations (1995-1997). I will quickly remedy that oversight. The book I just read “Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st Century Memoir” covers her life a I have read a number of Madeleine Albright’s books in 2012 I read “Prague Winter: Personal Story of Remembrance and War 1937-1948”, and in 2018 I read “Fascism: A Warning”. I realize I somehow missed reading her 2003 memoir “Madam Secretary” about her time as Secretary of State (1997-2001) and before that the United States Ambassador to the United Nations (1995-1997). I will quickly remedy that oversight. The book I just read “Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st Century Memoir” covers her life after being Secretary of State to the present time. The book is well written and researched. I am amazed at Albright’s energy. She has managed to do so many different things in her later life from writing books, lecturing and book tours, Professor at Georgetown University, chair of the Albright-Stonebridge Group, serving on many boards in the United States and for the United Nations. She states she enjoys most the postgame diplomatic analysis. The book contains humor, and I found that Albright was as hard on her own performance as she was on critiquing others. In 2012 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is thirteen hours and twenty-four minutes. Madeleine Albright does a good job narrating her own book. Listening to her tell about her life was like I was having tea and a chat with her.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    A wonderful memoir worth reading not only for the insight into Madeline Albright's life and thinking but also as inspiration for those who need a push to speak up. Yes, she's right- there is a special place in hell for women who don't help women. This doesn't btw mean that women who vote for men are condemned. It's aimed at the mean girls (you know who they are). Albright, a deeply serious woman has a sense of humor not only about the world but also herself. She's committed, she's thoughtful, sh A wonderful memoir worth reading not only for the insight into Madeline Albright's life and thinking but also as inspiration for those who need a push to speak up. Yes, she's right- there is a special place in hell for women who don't help women. This doesn't btw mean that women who vote for men are condemned. It's aimed at the mean girls (you know who they are). Albright, a deeply serious woman has a sense of humor not only about the world but also herself. She's committed, she's thoughtful, she's set a great example - and she's willing to let a little air out of the balloon. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. An excellent read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Madeleine Albright is an amazing woman, a staunch supporter of labor and civil rights and democracy. In this memoir filled with interesting anecdotes the octogenarian discusses her Czechoslovakia ancestry and background as well as the diplomatic positions she has held in both government and the private sector. Most people know of her time as Secretary of State. However, she has not faded into the woodwork since then. Her consulting company, the Albright Group (TAG), worked with Merck to help cou Madeleine Albright is an amazing woman, a staunch supporter of labor and civil rights and democracy. In this memoir filled with interesting anecdotes the octogenarian discusses her Czechoslovakia ancestry and background as well as the diplomatic positions she has held in both government and the private sector. Most people know of her time as Secretary of State. However, she has not faded into the woodwork since then. Her consulting company, the Albright Group (TAG), worked with Merck to help countries such as Botswana, Romania, and Poland obtain vaccines to treat HIV/AIDS. As a member of the Aspen Ministers Forum she has participated with other ex-foreign ministers to promote beneficial foreign policy and security. She is involved with the Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) consisting of regional groups with expertise in health, technology, environmental and social sustainability and describes itself as "the world's leading commercial diplomacy and geopolitical risk firm." Its goal is to help its clients operate wisely and expand into foreign markets. Just some of the many global events discussed: the Cold War and dismantlement of the Berlin Wall; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and her work on revision; the threat of Russian land grabs; the decision by the George W. Bush administration to invade Iraq; the Taliban and ISIS; the Arab Spring; and on a lighter note, the meaning of the pins she wears. Especially interesting to me was Albright's family history and revelations she learned about World War II from her father's notebooks, writings, and letters. Albright's stories about world leaders, entertainers, other celebrities, her travels and what-not make this a fascinating memoir.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Thanks to Harper and Edelweiss for sharing the latest memoir by Madeline Albright. I’ve long been an admirer of hers, but hadn’t gotten around to reading her prior books (I will make it a higher priority of). I enjoyed her writing style and found her down to earth and refreshingly self-deprecating. I recommend this for fans of hers, and of foreign affairs, politics or memoirs.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is the first book that I have read by Madeleine Albright. She has written many other books. She is very giving of her time and expertise, has stored a lot of information in her brain, is busier than any one person should be, and is very talented!! This book does have some policy talk in it and how she has used her time after she was Secretary of State. But it is not dry and you can certainly tell that she has a great sense of humor and is very approachable. She knows that she has a wealth of This is the first book that I have read by Madeleine Albright. She has written many other books. She is very giving of her time and expertise, has stored a lot of information in her brain, is busier than any one person should be, and is very talented!! This book does have some policy talk in it and how she has used her time after she was Secretary of State. But it is not dry and you can certainly tell that she has a great sense of humor and is very approachable. She knows that she has a wealth of information and she wants to share it and make the world a better place. I would recommend this book!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Murphy

    What an inspirational account of a life full of public service and leadership. Albright’s positive attitude and humor are just what I needed during these dark political times.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    The author began this book by asking what a former Secretary of State is to do with the final decades of her life, and she answered this question in a variety of ways. Part memoir, part reflections on historical events, this was a lengthy yet interesting book. I found more enjoyment and insight from the sections in which the author discussed her childhood, family, and personal moments from her professional life. I would have preferred more of these intimate stories and fewer of the strictly desc The author began this book by asking what a former Secretary of State is to do with the final decades of her life, and she answered this question in a variety of ways. Part memoir, part reflections on historical events, this was a lengthy yet interesting book. I found more enjoyment and insight from the sections in which the author discussed her childhood, family, and personal moments from her professional life. I would have preferred more of these intimate stories and fewer of the strictly descriptive sections about history and/or political engagements. However, despite the handful of less personal sections, I still took away a fair amount of advice and food for thought about making the most of one’s life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Surprisingly bad. This book should be released instead as a Young Reader's book as the author glosses over world events of the past 15 years as if you have been living under a rock and only have a 7th grade education. This book came across as a cash-grab from the publisher. Stick with her Fascism book, which was actually heavily summarized in this book, and a lot more informative and insightful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cary Giese

    Secretary Albright is very funny, endlessly curious, very smart and has many interesting friends in the world. She is over (as she says) 70 years and 120 months but has not seemed to have slowed down! When she finished her turn as Secretary of State she decided it was the end of her middle life and determined to keep going. She didn’t have to worry, she was constantly being ask to join this task force, lead that effort. She started her own consulting company and continued a very hectic schedule Secretary Albright is very funny, endlessly curious, very smart and has many interesting friends in the world. She is over (as she says) 70 years and 120 months but has not seemed to have slowed down! When she finished her turn as Secretary of State she decided it was the end of her middle life and determined to keep going. She didn’t have to worry, she was constantly being ask to join this task force, lead that effort. She started her own consulting company and continued a very hectic schedule of world wide travel, speaking, meeting clients, etc. The book is a history of her life, The Who’s and why’s of her life. A life that included a vast list of experiences and fun! e.g. Acting and drumming! You will learn some history; be introduced to interesting people, gain insights into how government really functions through trust gained by unlikely friendships. And she warns us! She quotes Alexander Hamilton, “Of those men who have overturned the liberties,” he advises, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” And, Eric Hoffer; “rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” I imaging myself using that quote someday! The book is fun, interesting and illuminating! A great read! PS By the way—Madame Secretary, as of today, is now over 70 years and 156 months and 23 days! Born May 15, 1937!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Garrett

    Sentimental and serious, witty and informative. Secretary Albright’s anecdotes and lessons frame some of the most important moments in U.S. history from the past few decades. Her descriptions of her own life post-State Department are thorough but not tedious, and her personality shines through the whole book. I appreciate that explanations of controversial moments are not whiny or bitter, and the Secretary always has a point to make that goes beyond her own story. The book is written well, is ea Sentimental and serious, witty and informative. Secretary Albright’s anecdotes and lessons frame some of the most important moments in U.S. history from the past few decades. Her descriptions of her own life post-State Department are thorough but not tedious, and her personality shines through the whole book. I appreciate that explanations of controversial moments are not whiny or bitter, and the Secretary always has a point to make that goes beyond her own story. The book is written well, is easy to digest, and covers all manner of topics throughout Secretary Albright’s life. She writes proudly of her womanhood, her refugee history, her love for other people, her relationships, and her family.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I am a longtime admirer of Secretary Albright and have read a few of her other books, but this new memoir has easily become my favorite of her works. Her new memoir is a heartfelt reflection of her personal and professional choices and how those choices have shaped her later decades. It’s serious, inspiring, intimate, and funny. Albright’s zest for life is undeniable and she remains energetic in the 21 century even after plenty of challenges to remind everyone that the torch for equality, democr I am a longtime admirer of Secretary Albright and have read a few of her other books, but this new memoir has easily become my favorite of her works. Her new memoir is a heartfelt reflection of her personal and professional choices and how those choices have shaped her later decades. It’s serious, inspiring, intimate, and funny. Albright’s zest for life is undeniable and she remains energetic in the 21 century even after plenty of challenges to remind everyone that the torch for equality, democracy, and honesty still burns bright. It’s worth a read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Decillis

    This started out disjointed and that worried me. But I kept going because her sense of humor reared its head at the most wonderful moments and I kept finding myself laughing hysterically again and again. By the end, when her writing felt more like a symphony, I realized that the disjointedness had been intentional. The second you leave the job of a lifetime and can do whatever you want, who wouldn’t be disjointed? Who wouldn’t try things and see if they fit into a life of your own creation? She This started out disjointed and that worried me. But I kept going because her sense of humor reared its head at the most wonderful moments and I kept finding myself laughing hysterically again and again. By the end, when her writing felt more like a symphony, I realized that the disjointedness had been intentional. The second you leave the job of a lifetime and can do whatever you want, who wouldn’t be disjointed? Who wouldn’t try things and see if they fit into a life of your own creation? She went from not knowing who she was anymore to finding that perfect fit, that symphony for her own life. After reading this, I admire her even more and will miss having her as a companion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marion

    What a gal she is and what a life she is leading at 83 years young. She cares deeply about the big issues and the small details and never stops saying yes to the opportunity to make the world a better place.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Gah! I love listening to Albright’s audiobooks. When I listened to Prague Winter some time ago, I was worried her monotone voice would lull me to sleep but now I oddly think it adds to her work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Madeleine Albright is a hero of mine so I relished every page of this book. Not her first memoir, Hell and Other Destinations focuses on Albright's life post-government. Without a formal office/title, how does she remain relevant and influential? Albright appears to be one of these people with boundless energy and an insatiable mind. This memoir is contemplative but also has a lot of fun vignettes, such as "Madeleine and her Exes." Because this was recently published, Albright had the unfortunat Madeleine Albright is a hero of mine so I relished every page of this book. Not her first memoir, Hell and Other Destinations focuses on Albright's life post-government. Without a formal office/title, how does she remain relevant and influential? Albright appears to be one of these people with boundless energy and an insatiable mind. This memoir is contemplative but also has a lot of fun vignettes, such as "Madeleine and her Exes." Because this was recently published, Albright had the unfortunate "benefit" of a few years to observe and comment on the current inhabitant of the White House, taking the opportunity to comment on him in the context of "what could have been" with a different outcome in 2016 and fitting him into the constellation of autocrats who have been in her sights on a lifelong promotion of democracy. Only 4 stars because it was a little bit of a hodge-podge from a narrative perspective.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Nelson

    My review may be biased because a signficant amount of the book is about her establishment of the Albright Stonebridge Group, where I work, but this is another fine book from the Secretary.

  17. 4 out of 5

    George Briggs

    An Incredible Journey America's first female Secretary of State has been a witness to the horrors of Nazism, poverty, gender discrimination, and the descent of democracy in our country since 2016. Madeleine Albright offers transparent insight as she negotiated with the contenders and pretenders, and challenges us to stay the course and be better.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I really wanted to like this book, as I respect Madeleine Albright, but I was ultimately disappointed with this book. The first part of the book is good, but the following 2/3 just didn't interest me. The most interesting parts were the times she was summarizing her previous books, which have to be more interesting than this book. Albright mentions all the businesses and charities she's involved in, and the people she works with, but rarely goes in depth about interactions with said people. I ag I really wanted to like this book, as I respect Madeleine Albright, but I was ultimately disappointed with this book. The first part of the book is good, but the following 2/3 just didn't interest me. The most interesting parts were the times she was summarizing her previous books, which have to be more interesting than this book. Albright mentions all the businesses and charities she's involved in, and the people she works with, but rarely goes in depth about interactions with said people. I agree with the other reviewers who said this book seems more like a cash grab book than anything substantial. I will, however, probably pick up her previous works which seem more interesting than this turned out to be.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fay

    Madeleine Albright is one of the people I'd love to have lunch with. Her intelligence, wit, honesty and caring nature would make her a wonderful companion. Her writing displays the same qualities. She does not deny her age, but does not let it stop her from keeping what would be a full schedule for anyone at any age. And she asks at the very end of this informative book, "What's next?" I hope there are many more "nexts" for her and several more books to come.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Some interesting bits, but many not.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    Madeleine Albright is the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton, and the first woman appointed as U.S. Secretary of State. This memoir focuses on Albright's career post-presidential cabinet as a consultant, speaker, professor, and author. It reminds me of a mix between Katharine Graham's Personal History, Julie Andrews Edwards's Home Work, and Samantha Power's Education of an Idealist. It truly amazes me how humanity can be rather stupid sometimes, but there Madeleine Albright is the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton, and the first woman appointed as U.S. Secretary of State. This memoir focuses on Albright's career post-presidential cabinet as a consultant, speaker, professor, and author. It reminds me of a mix between Katharine Graham's Personal History, Julie Andrews Edwards's Home Work, and Samantha Power's Education of an Idealist. It truly amazes me how humanity can be rather stupid sometimes, but there are (usually) intelligent, diplomatic individuals in important rooms who keep our world turning. Madeleine is one of those people.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bloom

    Madeleine K. Albright deserves praise and remembrance. She is the first female Secretary of State. Part of her personal life story is written about along with her public appearances. She meets with other famous politically named people including the present President, Donald Trump. Always throughout the pages one wonders how in the world could one woman fit all of these activities in one day. Then, ask 'what's next?' During the wonderful period of leaving Wellesley College and moving forward in Madeleine K. Albright deserves praise and remembrance. She is the first female Secretary of State. Part of her personal life story is written about along with her public appearances. She meets with other famous politically named people including the present President, Donald Trump. Always throughout the pages one wonders how in the world could one woman fit all of these activities in one day. Then, ask 'what's next?' During the wonderful period of leaving Wellesley College and moving forward in life she, in one day, makes four speeches. Two on each coast. It is very special reading about her seemingly forever friendship with Hillary Clinton. During a blessed moment in American History, she is there. This is when Barack Obama becomes the first black President of the United States and Michelle Obama becomes the first First Lady of the White House. It is great to read about a leader who is open to listening to Muslims and different groups about how to improve our nation. Colin Powell one of our Military heroes is not dismissed. Their relationship led her to write a note signed "Forcefully Yours." She gives a springboard to other books she has written. Reading about her meaningful love of pins is exciting. At one time she adds dove earrings with her dove pin. She owns over two hundred pins. When choosing one to wear, great care is taken. Just as she cares about and loves her three daughters and grandchildren. Her personal life and ancestry leads to "Prague Winter." Learn what she did not know about herself until sixty years old. Reevaluate what horrors man is capable of doing to his fellowman. There are also lighter moments throughout the book. She as the ability to laugh at herself. When a group of old men at her table are too shy to ask her to dance, she gets up goes to the other side of the room and politely puts her hand out to a younger man. He dances with her. She dances gracefully and with a flair. Lo and behold, she gains an invitation to the program "Dancing With The Stars." As we leave her, she is ninety years old. She admits that time is drawing near to meet death. Quite truthfully she admits she is afraid of death. For a woman this energetic and so caring about human problems I feel she will not leave us too soon. Wherever she is today I know she is asking the question "what's next?" While she greets each new day with a wish to smell the roses.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Piselli

    Albright has taken to writing some really excellent books (for that she blames her enablers - as she says in her acknowledgements). She is perceptive and experienced with an incredible life history. A Russian security official claimed to have undergone hypnosis to commune with her subconscious, she was hugged on a flight by an inebriated man who thought she was Mother Teresa (shorter even than she, better qualified to dispense blessings, and dead for many years, says Albright), she was friendly Albright has taken to writing some really excellent books (for that she blames her enablers - as she says in her acknowledgements). She is perceptive and experienced with an incredible life history. A Russian security official claimed to have undergone hypnosis to commune with her subconscious, she was hugged on a flight by an inebriated man who thought she was Mother Teresa (shorter even than she, better qualified to dispense blessings, and dead for many years, says Albright), she was friendly with the artist Christo, who has recently died, drove a Ferrari upon checking into a hotel hosting a Ferrari convention, guested on the drums with a jazz band, and got kissed by a dissident in Prague disguised in an actual trench coat while posing as his girlfriend to fool the authorities. Of all these kooky stories, none was so gripping and surprising as her discovering her maternal grandmother, Ruzena's diary, which is reproduced in this book - the failure of the Third Reich, says Albright, became one reason she finds it impossible to be cynical. The diary alone is worth the price of admission, but Albright's observations about government are intelligent and, of course, diplomatic. She has high praise for Obama's conduct as president, a candidate she had not supported until he won the Democratic nomination. She does have harsh words for politicians who deny climate change, placing on future generations what may be "an insurmountable burden", worse, denying it even though they know better, but are too cowardly to say so. She does not suffer certain things, Netanyahu's manipulative lying, Assad's descent into bloody despotism ("the eye doctor lacked vision and…wasn't squeamish after all"), and, in the US, "the current 'lie, deny, and defy' approach to executive leadership". She proposes an alliance of Middle Easterners of every nation or no nation who want to build their communities and to live in peace with their neighbors. But her idealism is tempered with fatigue - speaking of her father's work at the United Nations on Kashmir, she says "Now he is dead, I am old, and the tensions are more dangerous than ever." As her grandmother writes in her diary "a person lives all the time with one foot in the grave". But though things may seem dim, Albright maintains a path out of the gloom and cynicism of one who has seen so much.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Carlson

    Medal of Freedom recipient, First Female Secretary of State, Founder of the Albright Stonebridge Group, Author Madeleine Albright is simply an amazing force to behold in her 21st Century Memoir; Hell and Other Destinations (pp.370). I remember attending a University of Minnesota Graduation for my sister years ago and was absolutely giddy when I saw who the commencement speaker was; it was the highly intelligent Madeleine Albright. Most speakers are dry to boring but she is anything but dull. Thi Medal of Freedom recipient, First Female Secretary of State, Founder of the Albright Stonebridge Group, Author Madeleine Albright is simply an amazing force to behold in her 21st Century Memoir; Hell and Other Destinations (pp.370). I remember attending a University of Minnesota Graduation for my sister years ago and was absolutely giddy when I saw who the commencement speaker was; it was the highly intelligent Madeleine Albright. Most speakers are dry to boring but she is anything but dull. This book doesn't follow a linear line but instead seems to be written on the subjects the impressive Albright wants to talk about. It is accompanied by beautiful color photos. Codename "Pathfinder" when she was Secretary of State this book is naturally full of political insights on presidents and foreign policy. She is also very familiar with private business. I wish I had more female friends exactly like her; she's curious, loves a challenge, is a girl's girl who knows the value of being supportive to other women, a loving parent and Albright is not afraid to speak her mind. During this uncertain time of Covid19 this book is an excellent meditation to believe in yourself especially if you are "resetting" your life because of personal or professional change. Albright has effectively reset herself many times with great success. I'd recommend one of her previous books, Madame Secretary, as well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn Laigle

    This was my first experience with Madaleine Albright. I knew very little about her, other than she had once been Secretary of State. When I saw this book in Barnes & Noble and read the synopsis, I was attracted to the strong, successful woman, who appeared to have great conviction and drive. I was not disappointed. Within the first couple of chapters, I had fallen in love with Ms. Albright's wit, intelligence and cheekiness. I admire the way she was able to write respectfully about members of th This was my first experience with Madaleine Albright. I knew very little about her, other than she had once been Secretary of State. When I saw this book in Barnes & Noble and read the synopsis, I was attracted to the strong, successful woman, who appeared to have great conviction and drive. I was not disappointed. Within the first couple of chapters, I had fallen in love with Ms. Albright's wit, intelligence and cheekiness. I admire the way she was able to write respectfully about members of the other party in a time when tensions are so high and one feels like you are a traitor to your convictions if you don't categorize every member of the opposing party as evil. Her ability to maintain friendships with the former ministers and leaders she once had heated debates and negotiations with gives me hope in the goodness of people and humanity's ability to work together. Her work is so inspiring that I found I had trouble finishing the book because of the strong desire I suddenly felt to get out there and do something good myself. She has inspired me to begin a couple of projects that I hope will grow and affect people's lives for the better. I will definitely be reading more of her work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This is my 1st read of any of Madeline Albright's books, and I'm impressed by her wit, as well as her story-telling ability. She jumps time quite a bit between stories, yet her stories transition by common themes. She is a total inspiration, and has lived many lives-- as is the point of this book. Since she was Clinton's Secretary of State, she has remained a vital member of the DC circuit, as a professor, consultant, actor and leader for countless non-profits, educational institutions, think ta This is my 1st read of any of Madeline Albright's books, and I'm impressed by her wit, as well as her story-telling ability. She jumps time quite a bit between stories, yet her stories transition by common themes. She is a total inspiration, and has lived many lives-- as is the point of this book. Since she was Clinton's Secretary of State, she has remained a vital member of the DC circuit, as a professor, consultant, actor and leader for countless non-profits, educational institutions, think tanks, and other organizations seeking to promote democracy at home, and abroad. She charms with anecdotes from all areas of her life, while offering a much-needed review of recent US and World history. (I don't think there exists an American today who doesn't need to review our history in greater depth. But that's my statement, not Madame Secretary's.) This is an interesting, entertaining and quick read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan O'Dea

    A fantastic book from the first woman Secretary of State. Weaving personal and work experience together into a quilt of information and observations, Albright gives us a full picture of how government is supposed to work versus how it actually is working (or not working when it fails). Albright has been both a consultant for government and working within the government; this lets her balance how the job works versus how we lay persons think it works... a critical distinction, because our opinion A fantastic book from the first woman Secretary of State. Weaving personal and work experience together into a quilt of information and observations, Albright gives us a full picture of how government is supposed to work versus how it actually is working (or not working when it fails). Albright has been both a consultant for government and working within the government; this lets her balance how the job works versus how we lay persons think it works... a critical distinction, because our opinions of government depend on what we think, not what is reality. I definitely recommend this book if you have any interest in learning about diplomacy... and why the Trump Administration's opinions on diplomacy seem so different.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elyse

    Memoirs aren't my usual genre, but this one sparked my interest. I'm glad I read it! This features Albright's post-retirement years. "Retirement" is used loosely as she remains vigorously active in professional circles, organizing initiatives to increase communication, understanding, vision, and commitment to democracies worldwide. I happened to read this right after I had also retired, so the timing was ideal for me in relating to some of Albright's choices about how best to refocus her energies. Memoirs aren't my usual genre, but this one sparked my interest. I'm glad I read it! This features Albright's post-retirement years. "Retirement" is used loosely as she remains vigorously active in professional circles, organizing initiatives to increase communication, understanding, vision, and commitment to democracies worldwide. I happened to read this right after I had also retired, so the timing was ideal for me in relating to some of Albright's choices about how best to refocus her energies. Her narrative style is detailed, but not overly so. Humorous, honest, hopeful, and inspiring.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynnette Goebel

    Sometimes it is good to read books by people with whom you disagree politically. However, sometimes it is very frustrating. She often tried to be gracious to her opposition, but it's good to remember that her conclusions are based on her beliefs. That doesn't mean they are accurate. I enjoyed the less political chapters, the ones that talked about her experiences and efforts. She is quite a tireless woman who has had some delightful opportunities given to her. And she has a good sense of humor. Th Sometimes it is good to read books by people with whom you disagree politically. However, sometimes it is very frustrating. She often tried to be gracious to her opposition, but it's good to remember that her conclusions are based on her beliefs. That doesn't mean they are accurate. I enjoyed the less political chapters, the ones that talked about her experiences and efforts. She is quite a tireless woman who has had some delightful opportunities given to her. And she has a good sense of humor. This will be a good book to discuss in our book club. I shall enjoy hearing what others have to say.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chet Slonina

    I rated this a 5 star on the author's frank and easy approach to many aspects presented in this book. This woman is a marvel from being a mother to a government scholar to a person with such deep experience and insight. She does a remarkable job of showing her candor in past personal and political experiences not withstanding her own personal shortcomings as well as her many triumphs. From WW II and Czechoslovakia to current events, she presents her views on the topics which, when digested, make I rated this a 5 star on the author's frank and easy approach to many aspects presented in this book. This woman is a marvel from being a mother to a government scholar to a person with such deep experience and insight. She does a remarkable job of showing her candor in past personal and political experiences not withstanding her own personal shortcomings as well as her many triumphs. From WW II and Czechoslovakia to current events, she presents her views on the topics which, when digested, makes one (myself) feel that she has given a life that has made a better world. I cherish her writing and am anxious to read more of her literary offerings.

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