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The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs
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The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  728 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists?

Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a th
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published October 12th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Mary-Ellen
Jun 09, 2007 Mary-Ellen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Current Affairs
I love Madeleine Albright. In my opinion, she's one of the most amazing people in the modern world. An immigrant, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a professor, an advisor, a diplomat, a writer - she's exactly the type of woman I would like to emulate.

This book is the second I read by M. Albright. The first was her memoir. Another fantastically interesting read! The Mighty & The Almighty, however, is so relevant to the time in which we're living. She recounts history of conflicts that perhaps s
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Laura
Once I had a chance to really read this book, I found it almost impossible to put down. Even to eat. Or sleep.

If you've ever wondered about the part religion plays in world affairs, especially as this relates to Islam, this is a book you must read. This woman has been all over the world, has worked in both the Carter and Clinton administrations, and has served as the US Secretary of State. She knows her stuff, and as a college professor, she also knows how to teach.

She covers lots of history an
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Rebecca
I'll be honest. I read half of it and skimmed the rest. Any student of politics need not read this book. It will tell you nothing you haven't already learned (or should have learnt) about politics, September 11, US policy in the Middle East etc. To me it seemed that the earlier parts of the book lacked coherence. Albright delves into the religious aspects of politics and statesmanship fairly well, and her brief synopsis of Islam is a credit to her, but I could never really forgive her open espou ...more
Simon
Madeline Albright totally threw me for a loop with this one; not only did she re-establish her relevance, even as a sidelines commentator, in the foreign policy arena, but she also proved that her ideas are still applicable today, though proved may be the wrong word. There's no proof of such a thing, but the insinuation is certainly there, and I immediately believed it.

She's a lot more "wide-scope" than I imagined her to be, a refreshing trait for a statesperson (though shouldn't that be the nor
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Karen
Two things that are clear from reading this book: Madeleine Albright is extremely likable and also has a finely-honed "BS detector." Wow, was this a terrific and educational read. I feel really grateful for her service to America after reading this and grateful to President Clinton for picking her. Secretary Albright is full of common sense, moderation, and an ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives. Surprisingly, this book did not feel out date even though I read this eight years aft ...more
Margaret Kenney
I read this book shortly after it was published in 2006 and decided to reread it. The information is still relevant, and many of the people and places discussed are still in the news. The commentary is a very insightful and gives a diplomat's view of the role religion plays in our interactions with other nations. It also focuses on the ways that our actions are perceived by other nations and groups within those nations.
Nihal Zaki
Personally, I don't worry much about lies. Lies can be easily dismissed, but "half truths", especially when they are smartly told, can go a long way.

I paused long before rating and reviewing this book. I can't deny that it was a very enjoyable and informative read, written by one of the smartest and most professional diplomats alive. I liked a lot Mrs. Albright's ability of summing up long historical conflicts in a nutshell, along with her rarely matched rhetorical skill in describing the most c
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Imad
Feb 14, 2014 Imad added it
I believe that this book to lose a big deal about how the american policy is working and middle east , when it comes to the middle east the relation between our country's in the arab world and other countries such as the united states of america particularly are always measured by religious differences which makes it difficult that some point to look at the common side between us and other countries specially that fanatics always have the loudest voices in the region. Cineworld now there's a lot ...more
Kurt
Secretary Albright's book is significantly better when she talks about the Mighty than when she tries to describe the role of the Almighty. Many of her chapters have insightful analyses of the current states of various countries around the world. I think Secretary Albright thinks she's adding valuable insight by pointing to religious angles for various conflicts, but when she drops that and stays in her comfort zone of listing major characters and events, she shows an impressive ability to synth ...more
Alice
This book is like a primer on Middle Eastern-US relations. It gives a nice but brief history of Islam and Middle Eastern politics. I'm wary thought that it does not warn the reader of the things that it may have left out. Unfortunately I am coming to this book with a very weak background in history, so often I would read a paragraph and immediately forget what I just read. At times it felt like some blunt editing went on in order to be able to hit all of the major points.

Overall I liked the boo
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Emi Bevacqua
Every season I wince watching The Amazing Race, at the team that each season believes so loudly and self-righteously that God is rooting for them to win. Those are the ones I especially wish would read this book for Albright's insightful views on religious tolerance.

It took me literally five years but I'm glad I stuck with it and finally finished. Not only is she brilliant, a former US Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, but Madeleine Albright is uniquely qualified to tout
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Jarrodtrainque
Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists?/ Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her exp ...more
E
I filled nearly every margin in this book with either seething criticism or cries of "Yes!" Madeleine Albright is a politician and a successful one, which means that however admirable her morals may (sometimes) be, they have often been compromised. Consequently, the book is a terribly interesting exposé of foreign policy behind closed doors.

I was glad to see her apologize for her statement that the thousands of Iraqi children dead because of the sanctions was "worth it." I was glad to see her ha
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Lindsey
This was a good lesson in how religion plays into world politics and specifically how Christianity and Islam are shaping the political stage right now. I will say this book was interesting, but overall there is not a lot I can do about this subject so I wasn't eating it up ready to implement her advice into my life. I enjoyed most her closing thoughts that included her own beliefs with which I strongly related. And honestly, I probably would have been better off reading her memoir of her life th ...more
Kelley
Insightful, clear prose from a very sharp lady. It was interesting to read Albright's commentary about Iraq a couple of years beyond the invasion, but with the knowledge gained from nearly another decade of war in the Middle East (the book was published in 2008). Her sections on Islam were interesting and tidily written, but never oversimplified.
Angela
May 08, 2007 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a little context for this crazy world we live in
I'm usually not one for non-fiction, but this was a well-written, well-balanced, and incredibly fair book and definitely worth reading. I didn't pay much attention to politics and modern history growing up (and come on, I would've learned it from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh--can you imagine how I would've turned out?), and I skipped most of my political science classes in college, so for me this book was all about gaining the context around which today's events have been shaped.

The bulk of the bo
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Heather
Aug 17, 2009 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Before I started the madness otherwise known as graduate school, I got to hear Madeleine Albright speak about her new book -- and got a free copy. I just started it and am learning about some of the historical background of foreign policy in the US. Have you ever read something someone has written and thought, "I would love to have a conversation with this person?" I have that feeling reading this book.

Finished it. Now want to learn more about Islam and all the countries in the world that are no
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Janice
Surprisingly, I found Ms. Albright's writing very readable. The subject matter: diplomacy, world affairs and religion, specifically Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, is well organized, and informative. I appreciated her Islamic tutorial. I found it helpful. I also enjoyed Ms. Albright's thoughts as to how former president George W Bush's initial responses to 9/11 were positive and appropriate, but then quickly nose dived to negative and inappropriate. The United States and the world continue to ...more
Cecilia
Anyway, The Might and the Almighty is a very interesting exploration of the way faith and religion influence political motives and choices in various countries and contexts. Albright has the unique perspective of being able to tell stories about how she approached certain world leaders and international issues with a respect for the influence of faith. Also, Albright has the luxury of dropping brilliant quotes from Bill Clinton (who also wrote the introduction) all over the place. It’s a good re ...more
Holly
Full disclosure. I love Madeleine Albright. She is a hero to me--brilliant, tough, and a successful Secretary of State. It makes me love Bill Clinton more for choosing her to represent America to the world. The Mighty and the Almighty was not the most fascinating memoir I've ever read (sorry Maddy!). But its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. Albright talks about the Clinton administration's decision-making processes (which she speculates are far, far different from those of the current admi ...more
Meara Breuker
Some books you need to read at a certain point in your life. It was the right time for me. Although the book is now about 10 years old, I still found the topics discussed as relevant as ever. I'd never really thought about solving world problems at a diplomatic level - from this book I can see it takes endurance and patience as little is accomplished - but I am glad that I now have some grasp of the process. Religion, conflict, and the struggle for basic human rights pervade our societies. There ...more
David Norris
Simply wonderful. Every one interested in politics should read this.
Mary Beaudry
lots of interesting history
Jarod
An extended exploration of her obvious and basically unexceptional foreign policy philosophy: nations shouldn't act wholly amorally in their self-interest, but at the same time must take into account harsh realities and unintended consequences. Worth reading for the insights into how policy discussions are conducted at the cabinet and intra-department level (although no more than you get from any book by a policy maker, I suppose) and for the few specific examples of unintended consequences of e ...more
John Wick
Dec 20, 2007 John Wick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: biographical
A very compelling look at the world, its leaders, its past, current, and future situations through the eyes of Madeline Albright. Her thoughtful and careful attention to the Catholic faith, Muslim and jewish faith in her writing is wonderful. She offers respect to all religions, and appropriately states that if we fail to address religious beliefs in the world theatre, we will dearly pay the price. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how religion shapes our world. The Mighty and ...more
A.gasior
Awful, awful book. So dry I had to force myself to stick with it and finish it. How can someone write so much while saying so little? I still don't know what the take away point was for this book, or why it was written. It offers no profound insight on any of the subjects it claims to address. Yes Madeleine, you believe in God, and so do a lot of people, thanks for letting us know. It did leave me wondering how she managed to get appointed to the position she filled in Bill Clinton's cabinet.
Emily
A sensible, calm look at our foreign policy and struggles between religion over the last 50 years or so, with a focus on looking towards the future. Not much of the information was brand-new but she clarified a lot of things and reminded me of stuff I had forgotten after history classes. It was a refreshing break after those finger-pointing, name-calling, angry political books. Albright seems so smart and nice and humble and I want to hang out with her.
Mom
Ms. Albright gives a lot to think about. I didn't always agree with her, but I have a lot of respect for her opinion. She realizes that although separation of church and state is right and good, our religious heritage and values should and does affect all of our dealings, political and non-political. For better or worse, this is the case with people around the world, and must be factored into how we deal with them.
Stephanie
I've slowed to a turtle's pace on this one. It's now got the effect on me of a good lullaby. I really like her and the way she thinks about and looks at people and the world. I agree with her conclusions on how things would be best handled, but her book itself is boring. I do, however, feel as though I'm learning a little history as I think it should be written, so I'm determined to finish it!
Gregory
I had the opportunity to hear Madeleine Albright speak recently, which inspired me to move this book that had been sitting around the house to the top of the "to read" list. I find her to be very genuine, wise, and likable person. She is brilliant too! In this book, she examines the role of religious beliefs in global conflicts. I can't say it is exactly inspiring, but I did learn a lot.
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Madeleine Korbel Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová) was the first woman to become United States Secretary of State. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate 99-0. She was sworn in on January 23, 1997.
More about Madeleine Albright...
Madam Secretary: A Memoir Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box Memo to the President Elect LP: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership U.S.-Turkey Relations: Independent Task Force Report

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“History would be far different
if we did not tend to hear God
most clearly when we think
He is telling us
exactly what it is
we want to heat”
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