On Sale: December 11, 2007
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Condoleezza Rice, one of most powerful and controversial
women in the world, has until now remained a mystery behind
an elegant, cool veneer. In this stunning new biography, New
York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller peels back the layers
and presents a revelatory portrait of the first black female
secretary of state and President George W. Bush’s national
security adviser on September 11, 2001. The book relates in
more intimate detail than ever before the personal voyage of
a young black woman out of the segregated American South and
also tells the sweeping story of a tumultuous half-century
in the nation’s history.
In Condoleezza Rice: An American Life, we see Rice’s Alabama
childhood under Bull Connor’s reign of terror in
“Bombingham,’’ the name given to Birmingham when it was the
central battleground of the civil rights movement; her
education in foreign policy under Josef Korbel, a
charismatic Czech intellectual who also happened to be the
father of Madeleine Albright, the only other female
secretary of state in U.S. history; and Rice’s
confrontations with minorities and women while she was
provost at Stanford University in the 1990s.
Examining the current administration, Bumiller explores in
depth Rice’s extraordinarily close relationship with George
W. Bush, her battles with Vice President Dick Cheney, and
her indirect but crucial role in the ousting of Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Bumiller shows us Rice missing
clues to the September 11 attacks, waging war against Saddam
Hussein, and counting election returns with Karl Rove in
2004. In addition, we watch Rice’s recent attempts to
salvage the ruins of the Iraq policy she helped create and
to avoid war with Iran.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Rice and more than 150
others, including colleagues, family members, government
officials, and critics, this book offers dramatic new
information about the events and personalities of the Bush
administration. With great insight, Bumiller explores Rice’s
effectiveness as national security adviser and secretary of
state, her attempts to revive classic American diplomacy,
her longtime political ambitions, and her future on the
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