Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Secretary of State . . . What did Hillary Clinton really do?

I just finished a fascinating new book about Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State called The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the heart of American Power by Kim Ghattas. 

Hillary and I have had a politically embittered relationship until I read this book and learned about Hillary the person. While I haven’t become a devoted Hillary fan after reading this book, I have a new respect for Hillary’s passion to accomplish her visions and for the compassionate person her friends and colleagues know.

BBC foreign correspondent and author, Kim Ghattas shares her unique perspective of America, the world’s superpower and Hillary, second in command of the United States as perceived by the international community. Growing up in worn torn Beirut, Ghattas had a love/hate relationship with America. She hated America for not rescuing her country from war but she and her friends loved most things American. By weaving her own personal feelings deftly into her firsthand narrative account of traveling with the Secretary’s press corps around the world, Ghattas introduces us to a world that simultaneously complains about America’s interference abroad while vying for its’ favor and monetary aid.  

Ghattas’ narrative moves along quickly, providing enough details to help us understand Hillary’s role. Her background summaries of countries and conflicts are well balanced and introduce us to the context of Hillary’s dilemmas without detracting from the focus of the book which is Hillary’s experiences as Secretary. If you want to learn more about one of the most complex jobs in our government, and be introduced personally to some of the most controversial world leaders, this book is for you.

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