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Extended Audio Sample No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington Audiobook, by Condoleezza Rice Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (699 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Condoleezza Rice Narrator: Condoleezza Rice Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2011 ISBN: 9780307966988
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From one of the world’s most admired women, this is former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s compelling story of eight years serving at the highest levels of government.  In her position as America’s chief diplomat, Rice traveled almost continuously around the globe, seeking common ground among sometimes bitter enemies, forging agreement on divisive issues, and compiling a remarkable record of achievement.
 
A native of Birmingham, Alabama who overcame the racism of the Civil Rights era to become a brilliant academic and expert on foreign affairs, Rice distinguished herself as an advisor to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.  Once Bush was elected, she served as his chief adviser on national-security issues – a job whose duties included harmonizing the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense.  It was a role that deepened her bond with the President and ultimately made her one of his closest confidantes.
 
With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe.  Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after.  No day was ever the same.  Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq.
 
The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks.  Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis.  Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.

From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion.
 
In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President’s foreign policy as Secretary of State.  As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America’s enemies.  Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos.  She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour -- and at a moment’s notice -- she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world.
 
No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa. 
 
Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds.  InNo Higher Honor, she deliversa master class in statecraft  -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

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Quotes & Awards

  • In her memoir, NO HIGHER HONOR, Rice looks back, offering unexpected candor about her tenure as national security adviser in Bush’s first term and as secretary of state…the [book’s] moments of self-doubt and regrets are a revelation…Rice offers sharp and penetrating portraits of foreign leaders…Her memoir is a reminder that foreign-policy choices facing the United States are complex and difficult, with no easy solutions…Rice has acquitted herself well in telling her side of the story; now she awaits the judgment of history. The Washington Post
  • Rice provides a vivid account of the tumultuous years after Sept. 11, 2001…the latest in a string of memoirs emerging from Bush administration figures trying to define the history of their tenure [this book is] the most expansive record of those eight years by any of the leading participants. The New York Times
  • The fascination of Rice’s memoir, and it is fascinating, is less in the broad vision put forth for a more democratic world than in the gritty description of the way decisions were made in the White House and in the State Department as the Bush Administration sought to adapt to a universe radically changed by Al  Qaeda’s attacks on the United States in 2001.  Rice’s account of the immediate aftermath, as seen from inside the halls of the White House, is both vivid and disturbing. Newsweek
  • Condoleezza Rice has a lot in common with Henry A. Kissinger…Now, like Kissinger, Rice has written a memoir drenched in details of the daily work of diplomacy…hers is a great story. Bloomberg.com
  • Important…her stories [of the aftermath of 9-11] add texture to the well-known history of those days and weeks, sometimes movingly so. Wall Street Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin O'Brien | 2/19/2014

    " I had a hard time getting into this one... couldn't get through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/18/2014

    " This is a great book that caused me to re-evaluate my thoughts about the Bush administration. While I was somewhat daunted by the 734 pages, I learned a TON about other parts of the world so am glad I read it. I would definitely recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 2/16/2014

    " This is a great book. I am sad that I am finished reading it. I will miss my daily dose of Rice. The White House needs her again. And I need another book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Hoskins | 2/15/2014

    " Condoleezza I Love You! :) this is a great book and a history lesson in how a real lady handles herself under exstream pressure. I know she'd probably never run for president but she's got my vote. Loved this book. Please read her other book also about her parents. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/8/2014

    " Rice recounts her Washington days with an honesty sure to upset other members of the Bush administration. Offering personal accounts, as well as historical context, this is the best memoir to come from Bush-era staffers. As bad as the Bush years were to some, withour Rice's voice of reason, they no doubt would have been much worse. I left this book with a tremendous amount of respect for Rice and the challenges she faced in the White House. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruchi | 1/10/2014

    " She always intrigued me. SO I picked up this book, but I enjoyed only a little of it. Her super-detailed accounts of every single meeting she ever had with a foreign politician was too much for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mikaela Shaw | 1/5/2014

    " A great review of the Bush years foreign policy. Improved my respect for Ms. Rice ten-fold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stu Page | 12/25/2013

    " I have just started reading this bookmark, but I think it is very interesting and well written. Since I have read Presidents Bushes book and Donald Rumsfield book, it will be interesting to review the same issues from her point of view. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Riker | 12/11/2013

    " I liked this book, at times it seemed repetative, other times just slow "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wai-kit | 11/22/2013

    " Short and succinct. But I thot the tone was a little too ego-centric and the views a bit too bias. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristy | 11/17/2013

    " So far this is an absolutely captivating read, which is usually difficult to say sometimes about a memoir. Not only do you feel engaged in her life, you also are learning a lot about history at the same time. What an amazing woman!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Don B | 9/5/2013

    " I have been a fan of Rice, and certainly admire her intellectual acumen. However--this book was laborious. If you want minutiae, this will be right up your alley. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Going | 7/2/2013

    " I love Condi, but would have liked an abridged version of this tome! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jessica | 6/30/2013

    " Only got about 20% through. Interesting in its way, but I kept falling asleep, so I decided to put it down until summer. It's interesting to see where/how national decisions are made, but it did not make me a Bush supporter... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin Zagray | 5/8/2013

    " Terrific book that provided insight into the relationship between the white house, NSA and Sec of State. Insider perspective on the decision-making related to the global challenges of the last decade. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eileen Kenah | 11/29/2012

    " Very interesting book but way too long and detailed for me. Gave up after 100 pages "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg Miller | 11/18/2012

    " Could not finish... a very dense, thorough book which is too much blow-by-blow, full of foreign names and acronyms. I enjoyed portions where she told stories, but too much of it felt that she was reading her calendar in detail. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 1/4/2012

    " This was a very detailed accounting of Condoleezza Rice's years as a member of the George W. Bush White House staff (both as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State). While parts were definitely interesting, and she is quite a woman, this book just dragged on for me. "

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About the Author
Author Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, and a professor of political science at Stanford University. Rice was the second woman and first African American woman to serve as US Secretary of State and the first woman to serve as national security adviser.