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Download Known and Unknown: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Known and Unknown: A Memoir, by Donald Rumsfeld Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (511 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donald Rumsfeld Narrator: Donald Rumsfel Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches.

With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld’s memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld’s unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age thirty; his cabinet level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.

Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the twenty-first century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world’s best-known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.

Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today’s readers and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow’s historians.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by John Benson | 2/12/2014

    " This book filled in a number of blanks for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Joe Mossa | 2/6/2014

    " he does a lot of whining,complaining and blaming. powell should have been sec of defense and rummy sec of state. people with no significant military experience should not run dod. i can t believe he was smarter than rice. he was jealous cause bush talked with rice each day at 6 am. bush was in love with rice and vice versa. it will come out someday..ha "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Woodard Family | 2/5/2014

    " I (Jon) enjoyed this book. Rumsfeld gives a very interesting perspective on the political scene from since he was a congressman in 1962. Like the title says, he tells personal things from various known periods of history. He presents himself as a straight shooter, being open about what he considers his own mistakes, and being open about stating the mistakes of others he worked with. I was surprised to learn he was involved in flu vaccines, Monsanto, and artificial sweeteners, all of which I consider very destructive. He consistently works from the perspective that United States intervention throughout the world is in the interest of the US, and other nations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gale Jake | 2/1/2014

    " Audible book. Excellent read. Of course, one needs to keep in mind that biographies are biased and leave the whole story out and autobiographies are often outright lies. Rumsfeld narrates his own book, does a superb job, and his views on many major events and his relationships with powerful people is highly interesting, captivating and is a look at history of the last 50 years as he presents it. It's a look behind the white (house) curtain. He can certainly not be as humble as he presents himself. To validate the events will take the reading of several other books. I recently finished W's auto biography titled George Bush which was narrated by him. It will be interesting to read the autos of Cheny and Kissenger. And to read some opposing points of view. Wherever they converge, Rumsfeld has definitely been a major player in American politics since the '70s. Seems like he's always been around in politics in my lifetime. Last year's read of a book by a former Bush speechwriter (need to look up the title) castigated nearly everyone in the W Bush administration except Rummy. He genuinely liked him..all in all, what a guy, good or bad. When I mentioned he book to friends, most responded with distain and often expletives at the mention of his name. Rummy thought very highly of president Ford, had positive thing to say about Nixon, Johnson and others, without being supportive of all their actions. The book is traveled through the presidencies, wars and the major national events of our time. The president Ford years and Viet Nam loss were covered from the perspective of someone close to the scene. Exhaustive detail. Rumsfeld lays the analysis of decisions before the event, during the event and after the event. Thus, he sets the stage to reconcile and justify most all that he is involved in. Hindsight helps structure, in his defense, how what happens next goes down, good or bad, making him look ok to good to great, rarely bad. During most of the political scene since the '60s, he was there. A workaholic for sure, his 15 hour days seemed to have a negative impact on his family. Rumsfeld is differential to W Bush, always referring to him as Mr. President. He states that Bush has the courage of his convictions, rarely second guesses, seems to respect Bush a lot. Rumsfeld makes compelling arguments in support of the Afganistan and Iraq wars. He makes a point that the US must not only defend, but must be on the offensive toward terrorists, which he defines as mostly Islamic fundementalist radicals who are out to unite the world to their philosophy. Let's face it, like them or not, agree with their actions or not, most high level positions in the US are very bright, capable and accomplish many good things, far more than bad, and each have their supporters and distractions. We are so offer split nearly 50 / 50, usually along party lines over these individuals and events. Reading well written books that cover many events that shape our nation should focus on the actions and history without being overly judgmental of the author. After all, could any of us do much better as president, secretary of defense, cabinet member or congressperson? A difficult and seemingly impossible job. The book was packed with substantial depth of people and events, opinions and actions defended with strong arguments and justifications and represented his strong point of view very effectively. I'd definitely read it again, especially the audio version, but would prefer, and recommend the abridged version. "

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