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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 Rumsfeld Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged 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.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Rumsfeld "describes the highs and lows of a long and dramatic career and discloses some behind the scenes details that may shock you. Sean Hannity (interview transcript)/2/9/2011
  • Known and Unknown is a meaty, well-written book that will be a primary source for historians...this power memoir deserves to be read with the care that went into writing it. Christopher Buckley/Businessweek/2/10/2011
  • 'Dismissive' is a word often used to describe Rumsfeld, but 'dismissive' perfectly describes his critics, who are unwilling or unable to re-examine their own assumptions in the light of new or overlooked information and fresh perspective provided by Rumsfeld, in his exceedingly well-documented work. With its hundreds of annotations and supplementary documents, Known and Unknown is a significant contribution to the historical record. It is, as Rumsfeld once noted about similar memoirs, 'only from one perspective,' but it's a unique and valuable perspective, a serious work that deserves consideration by any serious student of recent history. Jamie McIntyre (former CNN Pentagon correspondent)/Line of Departure/2/10/2011
  • It is a terrific book...Let me tell you something, it is absolutely fascinating. He's very blunt in talking about people and issues and so forth, you'll really enjoy it, in my humble opinion. Mark Levin (interview transcript)/2/10/2011
  • I would heartily recommend it. I don't think anybody could go buy a book written by anybody who has been more intimately involved, closer to power, for as many years, has been through as much, has known all of the power players as you have. It is amazing. Rush Limbaugh (interview transcript)/2/8/2001
  • Readers might be appreciative to find themselves in possession of a serious memoir, more in keeping with the older Washington tradition of Dean Acheson or Henry Kissinger. As might the historians. Kimberly Strassel/Wall Street Journal/2/8/2011
  • The battle is joined. After a long silence, Donald Rumsfeld opened both barrels Tuesday, releasing his memoir, Known and Unknown . Early leaks of the book's defiant take on his life, times, and conduct of the Iraq War drew howls from some of the targets of his score-settling...But Rumsfeld battles on, taking his unapologetic account to the public. John Barry/Newsweek-The Daily Beast/2/8/2011
  • The book places the reader in Rumsfeld's chair and is a serious stab at telling the history of a consequential period in America through the eyes of one of its most consequential players. It will be an important addition to the history of our time. Peter Baker (New York Times White House correspondent)/Foreign Policy/2/9/2011

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Fay | 2/2/2014

    " If you like revisionist history, you will enjoy this book. While it was difficult to swallow some of his retelling, the book provided intering insights into how his mind works and helps explain why we are where we are today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ann | 2/1/2014

    " This memoir written by Donald Rumsfeld, our country's secretary of defense during the Geo. W. Bush years, is well worth reading through to the very last page of a very long book. Mr. Rumsfeld's service to his country covers decades ... he is a truly dedicated public servant as opposed to a polished politician. Having a son in the ARMY who served in Iraq from 2006-2007, I fully appreciate Mr. Rumsfeld's dedication to fully supporting and equipping our men and women in uniform during the months and years following 9/11... He was the right man for the right job at the right time in our country's history ... he is a man of integrity, toughness, and creative thinking. His analysis of the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the amazing preparation that went into the execution of both wars is fascinating. He is extremely honest about the weaknesses and mistakes made during both, but also sets the record straight about many misconceptions that were promoted mainly by the media. I pray that we continue to have men like Mr. Rumsfeld to lead our country in the years to come. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Joseph Howard | 1/19/2014

    " Very insightful and documenting. I was glad to start seeing books from the Bush Administration written by the players themselves, so I started with this one. Rummy is a bit on the arrogant side, so you have to take that into consideration, but I don't feel as though his arrogance was at the forefront in this book. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in political as well as American history, because the book covers a lot of behind-the-scenes action from the 1950s all the way into the George W. Bush presidency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dave | 1/17/2014

    " This book is kind of broken into three sections. The first section is Rumsfeld's early years in public service and elected office. This section worried me, because almost all of it is written in a general tone with too few details. At one point, Rumsfeld writes about Ford's involvement in a conflict in Asia with the Mayaguez incident between the Khmer Rouge and the United States from May 12-15, 1975. I had never heard of this incident, so I really appreciated that Rumsfeld went into more details by outlining options that were foreseen, consequences of the various options, and how all the other players were responding. Until then, Rumsfeld's details of his public service were very general lacking depth and only followed a timeline. This made me think that Rumsfeld really was not on the inside of the major issues of the day, and made me worried about the rest of the book. Then Rumsfeld enters the private sector, and his writing changes to someone speaking with great depth of knowledge, experience, and practical advise. The third section goes back into public service and has a mix of general timeline info and great depth on specific issues. I am sure that many readers will have significant issues with the later section of the book, the G.W. Bush Presidency and the decisions made after 9/11. But I greatly appreciated the depth of information presented regarding all of the options and issues that were present. These types of books always try to settle old scores, and I did not appreciate some of the swipes that Rumsfeld takes at others, especially when he paints Secretary Rice as a petty, uppity, manipulative person. Its understandable that different administrators have different opinions and many in politics have alternative agendas, the President was his own man and listened to whom ever he wanted and made his own decisions. It is a very long read, but I liked it, and I think I would also like Rumsfeld's Rules; he certainly quotes himself enough times. "

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