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Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For

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Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice--National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations--delivers an inspiring account of a life in service to family and country. Although you may think you know Susan Rice--whose name became synonymous with Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice--National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations--delivers an inspiring account of a life in service to family and country. Although you may think you know Susan Rice--whose name became synonymous with Benghazi following her Sunday news show appearances after the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya--in Tough Love, the author reveals the truth of her surprising story with unflinching honesty. Often mischaracterized by political opponents, Rice emerges as neither a villain nor victim, but a strong, compassionate leader. Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Rice connects the personal and the professional. Taught early, with tough love, how to compete and excel as an African American woman in settings where people of color are few, Susan shares wisdom learned along the way. Laying bare the family struggles that shaped her early life in Washington, D.C., she also examines the ancestral legacies that influenced her. Rice's elders--immigrants on one side and descendants of slaves on the other--had high expectations that each generation would rise. And rise they did, but not without paying it forward--in uniform and in the pulpit, as educators, community leaders, and public servants. Susan too rose rapidly. She served throughout the Clinton administration, becoming one of the nation's youngest assistant secretaries of state and, later, one of President Obama's most trusted advisors. Rice provides an insider's account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from "Black Hawk Down" in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late 1990s, to Libya, Syria, a secret channel to Iran, the Ebola epidemic, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years. With unmatched insight and characteristic bluntness, she reveals previously untold stories behind recent national security challenges, including confrontations with Russia and China, the war against ISIS, the struggle to contain the fallout from Edward Snowden's leaks, the U.S. response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the surreal transition to the Trump administration. Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love culminates with an appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.


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Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice--National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations--delivers an inspiring account of a life in service to family and country. Although you may think you know Susan Rice--whose name became synonymous with Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice--National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations--delivers an inspiring account of a life in service to family and country. Although you may think you know Susan Rice--whose name became synonymous with Benghazi following her Sunday news show appearances after the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya--in Tough Love, the author reveals the truth of her surprising story with unflinching honesty. Often mischaracterized by political opponents, Rice emerges as neither a villain nor victim, but a strong, compassionate leader. Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Rice connects the personal and the professional. Taught early, with tough love, how to compete and excel as an African American woman in settings where people of color are few, Susan shares wisdom learned along the way. Laying bare the family struggles that shaped her early life in Washington, D.C., she also examines the ancestral legacies that influenced her. Rice's elders--immigrants on one side and descendants of slaves on the other--had high expectations that each generation would rise. And rise they did, but not without paying it forward--in uniform and in the pulpit, as educators, community leaders, and public servants. Susan too rose rapidly. She served throughout the Clinton administration, becoming one of the nation's youngest assistant secretaries of state and, later, one of President Obama's most trusted advisors. Rice provides an insider's account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from "Black Hawk Down" in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late 1990s, to Libya, Syria, a secret channel to Iran, the Ebola epidemic, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years. With unmatched insight and characteristic bluntness, she reveals previously untold stories behind recent national security challenges, including confrontations with Russia and China, the war against ISIS, the struggle to contain the fallout from Edward Snowden's leaks, the U.S. response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the surreal transition to the Trump administration. Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love culminates with an appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.

30 review for Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Susan Rice was the Ambassador to the United Nations during Obama’s first term. She was the National Security Advisor during the second term. Prior to that she was a career State Department diplomat in charge of part of Africa. The book is well written and researched. This is Rice’s memoir of her life to-date. She tells of the problems of being an African-American female attempting to excel in a white man’s world. Rice attended Stanford University. She won a Rhodes Scholarship and graduated from Susan Rice was the Ambassador to the United Nations during Obama’s first term. She was the National Security Advisor during the second term. Prior to that she was a career State Department diplomat in charge of part of Africa. The book is well written and researched. This is Rice’s memoir of her life to-date. She tells of the problems of being an African-American female attempting to excel in a white man’s world. Rice attended Stanford University. She won a Rhodes Scholarship and graduated from Oxford University with a master’s and doctorate in International Relations. She was born and raised in Washington, D. C. Rice tells of her personal and professional life. It is great to read about an ultra-high achiever. I enjoyed reading the interesting memoir. The book could have been a bit shorter, but it is a highly readable. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is twenty-two hours and nineteen minutes. Susan Rice does a good job narrating her own book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'm going to rave about this book, but I'll get my one complaint out first. I think it could have been edited better, because there were a lot of details at certain points that I thought could have been cut out. The audiobook was SO LONG, and eventually I had to listen to it at a faster speed than I normally would to get through it--and it still took me over a month to listen to it. I rated this 4 stars at first, but after I realized how many good things I have to say about it, I'm bumping it up I'm going to rave about this book, but I'll get my one complaint out first. I think it could have been edited better, because there were a lot of details at certain points that I thought could have been cut out. The audiobook was SO LONG, and eventually I had to listen to it at a faster speed than I normally would to get through it--and it still took me over a month to listen to it. I rated this 4 stars at first, but after I realized how many good things I have to say about it, I'm bumping it up to 5. I still think it would have been a smoother read if it was a bit shorter, but my feelings are overwhelmingly positive. However, overall, I wholeheartedly recommend this book if you are interested in the workings of government. Susan Rice is such an impressive person. She's smart, accomplished, tough, direct, and committed to her values. She'd also a team player who is deeply loyal to both get president and her team. She does talk about the tough love she herself has received--particularly a candid talk she received as Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton administration, about how her leadership style was turning off members of her team, and the way she handled criticism and made changes. While I can easily imagine being intimidated by working for her, the way she reflected and dealt with the situation made me admire her all the more. I really loved hearing about her career and her experiences in the Clinton and Obama administrations. And I have to say, I hope she'll be in at least one more--she's my dream VP pick for the 2020 election, or at least for my preferred candidate. She'd also be a fantastic Secretary of State. This book begins with a lot of detail about Rice's childhood and early life, interspersed with tidbits of her time with Obama. Later it proceeds more linearly through her time in the Obama and Clinton administrations. There is a lot of information about world events during those times, as well as plenty of details about internal processes and negotiations she was involved in. There are also a few juicy stories about things that happened in the White House. To me, this was mostly really fascinating. As a political junkie, I loved hearing about these internal workings of politics. Rice's telling of her time as National Security Advisor was especially engrossing, but also increased my already great respect and admiration for President Obama, who Rice portrays as a tough, thoughtful, kind, loyal, and pragmatic leader. Her descriptions of interactions with him were one of my favorite parts of this book. Another one of the most fascinating parts of the book was how Rice became a target of right-wing media after the Benghazi attacks. As Ambassador to the U.N., she had no direct involvement, but because she happened to be the person sent to deliver the Intelligence Community talking points on the Sunday shows, she was demonized and smeared by Republicans and Fox News. The way Obama defended her while all this was going on made me love him all the more, and made it clear why he earned the loyalty of his staff. Hearing about such superstars in government, who have given so much to our country, and who have done so much important work that many of us never even know about, makes me even more despondent about all we are losing during the current administration. I hope we still have enough non-partisan career civil servants to prop us up until we have an administration who actually cares about American ideals, but it's easy to lose hope. Rice does end on a note of optimism and hope for America's future, and if she can believe it, it gives me hope as well. I truly hope we see Susan Rice in government again, and I enthusiastically recommend this book to pretty much everyone. *Used for PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge prompt "A book recommended by a celebrity you admire." (Recommended by President Obama!)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I have read many autobiographies through the years. There were some that I truly enjoyed reading, and in all honesty, I will admit there were a few that I just could not get into and never finished reading. However, I have never read one that completely captured my attention throughout the entire book...an autobiography that pulled me in from the opening prologue and held my attention to the point that I read the entire book in one sitting. That all changed when I read Tough Love: My Story of I have read many autobiographies through the years. There were some that I truly enjoyed reading, and in all honesty, I will admit there were a few that I just could not get into and never finished reading. However, I have never read one that completely captured my attention throughout the entire book...an autobiography that pulled me in from the opening prologue and held my attention to the point that I read the entire book in one sitting. That all changed when I read Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For by Susan Rice. The prologue takes place during the last few hours of the Obama administration, and is perfectly titled Farewell to the Moral Universe. Sadly, that title still fits today's divided political climate. She relays her skepticism on that day, as well as her hope that the new administration will be successful. She talks about the sadness she feels, as well as looking forward to the next chapter in her life. Of course, there are some people that will never give this book a chance, and that is truly unfortunate. This book discusses politics, but the overall substance of this autobiography is so much more than just politics. Many people only know who Susan Rice is due to her appearance on the Sunday news shows back in 2012 regarding Benghazi, and her role within the Obama administration...they do not know about the journey she went through to get to there. Some people might be surprised to learn that in addition to her B.A, from Stanford University, she was a Rhodes Scholar and received her master's degree and doctorate from Oxford University. In this book, Susan Rice highlights in great detail how she became the woman she is today, and the important role her family played throughout her life. Her family history is truly fascinating...one side descendants of slaves...one side immigrants...but all deeply devoted to family and all striving to become the best they can possibly be. At a time when race could hold a person of color back, her family overcame the obstacles and used their drive and determination to excel. She tells their stories with an openness that truly brings her intriguing family history to life. She is brutally honest as she relays their triumphs as well as their struggles, and how tough love was taught early on in all of their lives. Susan covers just about every aspect of her life, and there is no hesitation to discuss her achievements as well as her failures. She beautifully weaves together every thread of her life, and in the end, gives the reader a captivating look into her personal life as well as her political life. Tough Love is definitely an autobiography worth reading! I would like to thank Susan Rice, Simon & Schuster, and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For. My views are my own, and are in no way influenced by anyone else.

  4. 4 out of 5

    W. Whalin

    A Well-Crafted Memoir I knew about Susan Rice from her public roles as UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor for President Obama. I knew little else until listening to TOUGH LOVE from beginning to end. Listeners will learn about her childhood, her education at Oxford, her work in politics and much more. I found TOUGH LOVE fascinating and well-done and worthwhile listening. Rice is transparent about her family and other relationships. For example, you learn why she selected her Secret A Well-Crafted Memoir I knew about Susan Rice from her public roles as UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor for President Obama. I knew little else until listening to TOUGH LOVE from beginning to end. Listeners will learn about her childhood, her education at Oxford, her work in politics and much more. I found TOUGH LOVE fascinating and well-done and worthwhile listening. Rice is transparent about her family and other relationships. For example, you learn why she selected her Secret Service name as point guard (a position she played in college). Also you will learn about her son who led the Republicans at Stanford University. They have robust political discussions at the Rice home and it showed in the pages of TOUGH LOVE. I listened to this book from cover to cover and recommend it. W. Terry Whalin is an editor and the author of more than 60 books Straight Talk From the Editor

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    I have read many biographies and memoirs about powerful women, but this one really grabbed my attention. Susan Rice is known for appearing on Sunday shows about Benghazi, but this book thoughtfully and powerfully allows the reader to go on the journey with her to that point in history. She is honest and straightforward when explaining why she made the choices she had to. I found this to be a brilliant read and am hoping we hear more from Susan Rice in the future.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marija

    I really enjoyed Tough Love. It is a book worth reading for so many reasons right now. I read bits every night before going to sleep. It was a treat to do so given all the reading I have been doing in law school. I agree with Ambassador Rice, "Today, our domestic political divisions constitute the greatest threat to our national security. Healing them is critical to the survival of our democracy and the preservation of America's global leadership." It is a well-written and honest memoir. I am I really enjoyed Tough Love. It is a book worth reading for so many reasons right now. I read bits every night before going to sleep. It was a treat to do so given all the reading I have been doing in law school. I agree with Ambassador Rice, "Today, our domestic political divisions constitute the greatest threat to our national security. Healing them is critical to the survival of our democracy and the preservation of America's global leadership." It is a well-written and honest memoir. I am grateful to have role models like Ambassador Rice. She also kindly signed my copy of the book and said, "Good luck with your studies and your service."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mlg

    Bright, outspoken lady. The book needed a good editor. Way too much extraneous information.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Martina Clark

    Fabulous and humbling. Susan Rice shares personal glimpses into her most extraordinary life. I thoroughly enjoyed “Tough Love” and felt like I got a mini course in ethics, national security, and civics. Her contributions to our country are amazing, as is she.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cortney

    In Tough Love Susan Rice gives a detailed account of her years in Washington as UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor. We get a behind the scenes look at our national security and global affairs involving our relationships with Cuba, Sudan, Iraq, China, & other countries. It was also interesting to hear her correct prediction about what would happen with Iran considering recent events. She also touches on the Russian hacking that took place during the 2016 election. I found this memoir In Tough Love Susan Rice gives a detailed account of her years in Washington as UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor. We get a behind the scenes look at our national security and global affairs involving our relationships with Cuba, Sudan, Iraq, China, & other countries. It was also interesting to hear her correct prediction about what would happen with Iran considering recent events. She also touches on the Russian hacking that took place during the 2016 election. I found this memoir to be insightful and reflective and I would recommend to those looking to get a better understanding of some of the trials and tribulations involving US national security over the past two decades.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    I'm half way through Rice's book. At this point, I'd say this book would best be called Rice's memoirs--memoir with the S, like the books written by presidents and important men in earlier centuries. The material is detailed, describing in depth her childhood, schooling, and rise to public office. At first, I felt bogged down by the detail, but as I reach the halfway mark, I realize how much I appreciate her incredible historical documentation of the genocides in Africa, the Arab Spring, I'm half way through Rice's book. At this point, I'd say this book would best be called Rice's memoirs--memoir with the S, like the books written by presidents and important men in earlier centuries. The material is detailed, describing in depth her childhood, schooling, and rise to public office. At first, I felt bogged down by the detail, but as I reach the halfway mark, I realize how much I appreciate her incredible historical documentation of the genocides in Africa, the Arab Spring, Benghazi and more. I feel like I'm getting an up close picture of these events that I watched in real time on the news but could never have understood quite so well as I am now. I value reading about the integrity, knowledge base, and commitment of career diplomats. Rice's story of things worth fight for is a worthy read. Finished this book feeling deeply satisfied with the read. I learned so much about the nature of the job of National Security Advisor (and US UN Ambassador)and the way in which Rice tackled the job (s). Throughout the book, her record of history is illuminating and educational. Adds an interesting dimension to read this books as the impeachment hearings are underway and see how differently two administrations view diplomacy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Tough apparently means profane. Books by Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Rachel Maddow and Madeleine Albright give readers a view of what happened during the 20th century in war, energy and petroleum industry people among nations affecting our current political situations in a data driven world of international business affairs. Read them if you care to know.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    'There's a lot of hate out there'...we must allow the ability to hear each other and voice our differences in a meaningful and insightful way. What exists today didn't arrive on our doorstep overnight yet we know that the tactic being used by DT may be 'brilliant yet devious' in using his greatest weakness of corruption by using it to his advantage with sweetheart deals for his kids, to licenses for clothing lines,& we the American public are paying the price through his own personal and 'There's a lot of hate out there'...we must allow the ability to hear each other and voice our differences in a meaningful and insightful way. What exists today didn't arrive on our doorstep overnight yet we know that the tactic being used by DT may be 'brilliant yet devious' in using his greatest weakness of corruption by using it to his advantage with sweetheart deals for his kids, to licenses for clothing lines,& we the American public are paying the price through his own personal and political interests. Deny, Deflect, and Lie is part of the 'new norm' while our democracy falters. 'We have a President of the United States whose not pursuing the American interests'....with adversaries like China to get involved in his election campaign to try to exonerate Russia to play ball with his extortion to remain in our good graces. An interesting background that led to today's heightened awareness of the dangers we face as a country. Tough Love was a rather interesting read and for more information on this topic: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/wa...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Rice: We've been through worse than this and come out stronger: Susan Rice, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., contrasts Donald Trump's corruption intentions toward Ukraine with Joe Biden's work on internationally supported goals of fighting corruption and encouraging a fledgling democracy in Ukraine, and further notes that as difficult and frightening as the Donald Trump era is, Americans have dealt with bigger problems.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Sisney

    Before an insane white supremacist occupied the White House, I never would have read this book because I've never been as interested in politics, especially foreign policy. Rice's detailed discussion of how she and first the Clinton and then Obama administrations dealt with foreign crises was both fascinating and frightening. Whether describing successful actions like solving the Ebola problem quickly, renewing ties with Cuba, or completing the nuclear agreement with Iran or discussing less Before an insane white supremacist occupied the White House, I never would have read this book because I've never been as interested in politics, especially foreign policy. Rice's detailed discussion of how she and first the Clinton and then Obama administrations dealt with foreign crises was both fascinating and frightening. Whether describing successful actions like solving the Ebola problem quickly, renewing ties with Cuba, or completing the nuclear agreement with Iran or discussing less successful (and at times disastrous) events like Rwanda, South Sudan, and the rise of ISIS, Rice shows how difficult and consequential foreign affairs work is. Even when the President, his Cabinet, and staff are smart, hard-working, and sane, things can go wrong. And right now our President is stupid and crazy. While captivated by the details of her foreign policy work, I still preferred the early discussion of Rice's family because they were prominent black people. I also enjoyed learning that Senator Michael Bennet was a friend from nursery school and former Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul was a fellow Stanford Rhodes scholar. Susan might not have known as many people as Gloria Steinem, but she was well-connected before she started working in the White House. She reminds me of Donna Brazile, who makes an amusing cameo appearance dancing with Susan's 89-year-old father. Both like to drink, dance, curse, and throw their weight around. But I preferred Susan, who is less narcissistic and more willing to admit mistakes. However, I suspect the comical Donna is more popular in Washington not only because of her humor, but also because she's darker and I assume taller than Susan. A bad ass, dark-skinned black woman is less annoying to white men than a tiny, light-skinned one, especially if the tiny, lighter black woman doesn't smile much.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Interesting viewpoint on many topics of current affairs. Good background on a quietly pivotal person in the political scene. Much I didn't know about her, a seemingly private person yet devoted to public service. Mistakenly the target of much political anger from the 'conservative' republicans determined to undermine democratic women, particularly those with any potential and real political power. Read this to get a good perspective on how we got to 2019.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dan Christovich

    Interesting and detailed, Dr. Rice gives the reader an inside view of all the major happenings in her personal and professional life from the beginning to the present. Listening to the 22 hour audiobook, i got a little tired of the author's choppy speech as she read her own work, but the stories were authentic and candid and left no doubt as to her perspective on the world. However I can't help but see it as a set piece for a future campaign for public office. First step will have to be a move Interesting and detailed, Dr. Rice gives the reader an inside view of all the major happenings in her personal and professional life from the beginning to the present. Listening to the 22 hour audiobook, i got a little tired of the author's choppy speech as she read her own work, but the stories were authentic and candid and left no doubt as to her perspective on the world. However I can't help but see it as a set piece for a future campaign for public office. First step will have to be a move out of DC, unless the Dr. Is just waiting for the next democrat in the White House to appoint her SecState or SecDef.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    I am glad that Dr. Susan Rice penned a memoir. She is an impressive person who I wish would run for president, but sadly due to the current political climate and Benghazi, she will not. However, there is a Senator's race in Maine. Just sayin'

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cindywue

    Susan Rice tells her story of growing up in D.C. with privilege and expectations to make a difference - to serve. Her story is one of an overachiever who made a difference, accomplished so much - and yet, is left with the feeling that it is never enough - and there are forces at work to tear it all down. The struggle is real.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Libriar

    I've listened to several autobiographies/memoirs by women who are involved in politics. This wasn't my favorite but I'm glad that I listened to it. Strengths: When Rice talks about her personal life - from growing up to current times. When Rice inserts her own commentary/views on a political situation. Rice narrates the audiobook. Weaknesses: It's a bit dry - lots of political situations told in a way that history books might tell them. It's long. Rice talks quite slowly (I sped it up to 1.25). I've listened to several autobiographies/memoirs by women who are involved in politics. This wasn't my favorite but I'm glad that I listened to it. Strengths: When Rice talks about her personal life - from growing up to current times. When Rice inserts her own commentary/views on a political situation. Rice narrates the audiobook. Weaknesses: It's a bit dry - lots of political situations told in a way that history books might tell them. It's long. Rice talks quite slowly (I sped it up to 1.25). (One thing that is so minor to the whole book but that really stuck out to me as something that should have been expanded on is when she had her first child she stated she had 3 months maternity leave. She was working for the federal government so how did that happen? Did she take the time off without pay? She talks a lot about parenting and the struggles so I wish she didn't just gloss over how she was able to take 3 months leave while most women don't have that option.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Interesting to hear her perspective. Book a bit slow.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matthew LaPine

    Susan RIce's "memoir" is to me more of an autobiography. She goes through detail of of family history back a few generations, her own history, then her marriage and her kids, on the premise of setting context for her political ups (Clinton & Obama administrations) and downs (Benghazi). In between (and the forward to each chapter) is the story of her service in the Obama administration, first as UN Ambassador and then as National Security Advisor, which may be what most people who get this Susan RIce's "memoir" is to me more of an autobiography. She goes through detail of of family history back a few generations, her own history, then her marriage and her kids, on the premise of setting context for her political ups (Clinton & Obama administrations) and downs (Benghazi). In between (and the forward to each chapter) is the story of her service in the Obama administration, first as UN Ambassador and then as National Security Advisor, which may be what most people who get this book are interested in. She's very clearly a super-talented, super-smart, driven, capable individual, who has given up much for her country, and her many accomplishments speak to this. The things they got done in her areas in the Obama administration were really impressive; knowing what has happened since Jan 2017 makes it depressing. If her call to action in the end can be followed, perhaps better things are ahead.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    NICE BOOK.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I stay current with politics and enjoy it, but this book got a little dry. Too many names, too much detail which could have used some editing. I listened to it, and Ms Rice has a monotone quality which is hard in long stretches. I admire Ms Rice and she’s certainly done well but I just couldn’t continue after the 60% mark.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbpie

    Thank you for your service, Susan Rice. And thank you for a memoir that lays everything out, including the personal, which made it all the more readable.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marieka

    I was really, really impressed with Susan Rice’s memoir. First of all, her background and family history are fascinating. She alludes to her privilege, yet doesn’t gloss over the strife in her family and hits a delicate balance that honors her parents, their history, and all of their complexity. Then there are Susan Rice’s achievements on her own, which are formidable. She packed so much into her account and related both her triumphs and her failures in her many roles so even-handedly. I’m so I was really, really impressed with Susan Rice’s memoir. First of all, her background and family history are fascinating. She alludes to her privilege, yet doesn’t gloss over the strife in her family and hits a delicate balance that honors her parents, their history, and all of their complexity. Then there are Susan Rice’s achievements on her own, which are formidable. She packed so much into her account and related both her triumphs and her failures in her many roles so even-handedly. I’m so glad that I picked her book up. It was a fascinating and illuminating read, and in these chaotic and dark political times, her book gave me something that I never, ever would have expected and was so grateful for: hope. Perfect title, too, in so many respects. She personifies it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Barton Swain, @WSJ: "What’s most offensive to this reviewer, however, is her decision to place these narrow self-vindications within a 500-page book full of family anecdotes and hokey adages and tedious renditions of policy views. Both Ms. Power’s and Ms. Rice’s apologias might have worked well, shorn of banalities, as 5,000- or 6,000-word essays for the New Yorker or the Atlantic. But an essay doesn’t slake the thirst for vainglory." https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-educ... -- but there is a cute Barton Swain, @WSJ: "What’s most offensive to this reviewer, however, is her decision to place these narrow self-vindications within a 500-page book full of family anecdotes and hokey adages and tedious renditions of policy views. Both Ms. Power’s and Ms. Rice’s apologias might have worked well, shorn of banalities, as 5,000- or 6,000-word essays for the New Yorker or the Atlantic. But an essay doesn’t slake the thirst for vainglory." https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-educ... -- but there is a cute photo of Rice, Powers & Pres. Obama, which is worth finding. I didn't know Powers was so big! Or Rice so small . . .

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Rubenstein

    I am sure this is an excellent book for people who wish to know more about the experiences of the wonderful Ms. Rice. I found it quite dry. I certainly missed important context when I skipped ahead and read of her pulling out of her nomination as secretary of state, but that section seemed rather self-serving regarding her motivations. I wish her well, but do not have the motivation to finish reading this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    John P. Davidson

    An engaging, well written autobiography that is detailed throughout, frequently amusing, and brutally honest. I would definitely recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Genuine and real. Susan Rice is one amazing lady, and she truly lets you get to know her during this book. She reveals her struggles and triumphs, as well as that of her family and ancestors. She speaks not only of her time in the Obama administration, but shows who she is behind the public persona. I admired her before reading this book, but now feel as though she’s taken on so many more dimensions. The lady who you see on TV is real, approachable, oh-so-smart, funny, and badass. A great read Genuine and real. Susan Rice is one amazing lady, and she truly lets you get to know her during this book. She reveals her struggles and triumphs, as well as that of her family and ancestors. She speaks not only of her time in the Obama administration, but shows who she is behind the public persona. I admired her before reading this book, but now feel as though she’s taken on so many more dimensions. The lady who you see on TV is real, approachable, oh-so-smart, funny, and badass. A great read from the historical aspect but also from the personal side. And yes, after reading this, I had to go and see when her book tour is coming near by. I will be going! Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Shaw

    I enjoyed it very much, though at times it became a safari through dense undergrowth. The last chapter is particularly relevant and succinct. Her characterizations are aptly put. It is a liberal's perspective but the last chapter issues us all a warning. It is a lot to read.

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