Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington” as Want to Read:
No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,666 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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

ebook, 784 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about No Higher Honor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about No Higher Honor

Diplomacy by Henry KissingerGhost Wars by Steve CollThe Looming Tower by Lawrence WrightThe Cold War by John Lewis GaddisThe Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
American Foreign Policy
23rd out of 259 books — 148 voters
Become a Better You by Joel OsteenEvery Day a Friday by Joel OsteenGood, Better, Blessed by Joel OsteenTwilight by Stephenie MeyerNew Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Books I Would BURN
54th out of 54 books — 15 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Disclosure: I am a third generation Stanford grad and admit to an innate, non-partisan sympathy toward fellow graduates as diverse as Condi Rice and Chelsea Clinton.

As political memoirs go, this bulky autobiography merits a careful, deliberate reading. It runs a bit long, flushing out an abundance of non-eseential details and catchy anecdotes. There are plenty of recollections and profiles of world leaders.

In foreign affairs perception is everything. Words are carefully crafted to eliminate an
Dec 05, 2011 Kendra rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historians, friends, family, students, anti-Bush activists
Shelves: nonfiction
For a reader who's not really into heavy politics, I found Condoleezza Rice's memoirs of George W. Bush's eight years in office to be a riveting read. Rice is an honest and forthright narrator, open about her beliefs and her biases, and unafraid to claim her faith. I respect that. I also respect her choice to steer clear of the dirt-slinging so common in political memoirs--she gives fair treatment to both sides of every situation, and shows the logic behind every controversial (and mundane) deci ...more
Virginia Albanese
I am plowing through this very detailed book. I am an older woman and not sure I have enough lifetime to spend reading it, but shall keep at it. After several weeks I returned to this book and found it still detailed, but fascinating in relation to the constant travel, negoiations in trying to reach agreements with various countries and people representing them. Kind of like an alcoholic who falls off the wagon, gets back on, falls etc. It is a very long process reaching consensus. There certain ...more
Kathleen Hagen
No Higher Honor: a Memoir of my Years in Washington, by Condoleezza Rice, read by the author, Produced by Random House Audio, downloaded from

This book is one to be reread in a few months, maybe more than once. It’s a remarkable history of the eight years of the Bush presidency. Whatever one thinks of the policies she espoused on behalf of the president, Condoleezza Rice had dignity, poise, thought on her feet, and spent an incredible amount of time smoothing the feathers of various
Jean Poulos
I have read several biographies about Condoleezza Rice, now I shall obtain the information from her via this memoir. Rice always appears gracious, well poised, intelligent and well dressed. The other books I read provided a good deal of information about her childhood and education. I am most interested in learning about her time as national security advisor and Secretary of State. The book is long at 750 pages. I read these types of books to obtain knowledge therefore I keep an open mind while ...more
I left my Political Science PhD program on 9/12/2001. I’ll always be able to remember the day for an obvious reason, and for a host of reasons I was ready to start on a new path in life. I have to admit after so many years of living and breathing political science I was ready to bury my head in the sand for a bit (well, relatively speaking). So, Rice’s book is about the first truly political book I’ve read in a long while. She covers her beginnings in the administration as the National Security ...more
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.
After listening to the audio book by Hillary Clinton on her experience as Secretary of State, I decided to follow it with No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice, her predecessor. The books are in many ways very similar both in the telling and in the stories being told. Like I was not a Clinton fan prior to reading her book, Hard Choices, I am not a George Bush fan either. In fact, I have very negative views of his conduct of the wars during his administration, but I feel it is very important to kee ...more
This is the second book by Rice I've read. While her first book, Extraordinary Ordinary People, is more about her family and herself, this latter book is pretty much a history of her work since she became national security advisor in 2001 until she retires from government service in 2008. This book gives you incredible insights behind some of the major events in the international politics that was unfolded in the news media. It kinda connects the dots between what you see on TV or read in the pa ...more
Condoleezza Rice may very well be the most intelligent woman in the world, and this nearly-800-page memoir is a worthy reflection of just such an accolade. This book is true to its title, & is far from an autobiography in almost every way. Dr. Rice reveals sparse details about her personal life, except when relevant, aside from relating tales of her humble beginnings, her parents & upbringing in Alabama, when a friend of hers was killed by the Ku Klux Klan; or of her love of playing clas ...more
Brandon Halvorsen
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." (Matt. 5:9) Whenever I read or think of that verse I will think of Condoleeza Rice. Her service to our country in Washington and especially as Secretary of State helped keep our nation safe and saved countless lives when nations in the middle east and the far east were on the brink of war. Without her efforts millions would probably have died and the world would be a much worse place today.

Hearing the details of her
No Higher Honor supports author, Joel Mowbrey's book: 'Dangerous Diplomacy'. No Higher Honor besides giving behind the scenes stories & descriptions, which are very interesting, makes two strong points in my opinion that supports 'Dangerous Diplomacy': 1) the U.S. State Department's culture is to 'make a deal'. Any deal, just so there's a deal completed; regardless whether its in the U.S. best interest or NOT, just get a deal done, and 2)Almost every meeting, issue, event and situation that ...more
Wow, this book manages to make major domestic and international controversies seem boring and impersonal. Reads like a history text or a witness deposition.
Great memoir! As far as political memoirs go, I have only read a few. However, I think Condi's memoir is so refreshingly different than the others I have read. She writes a heavy intellectual and chronological account of her days as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under George W. Bush. She gave some great political, personal, and historical perspective to each issue she discusses. I felt she was candid with her feelings about certain policies and certain people which is always r ...more
I have always admired Condoleeza Rice ever since she became a prominent figure in the George W. Bush Administration. Her Memoir of her time in Washington cemented my high opinion of her as a talented diplomat, an intellectual powerhouse, and a genuinely good person. The book itself is heavy in details as it covers relationships with many foreign leaders, the thought-process behind decisions and the difficulties of negotiating with such varied personalities and distinct cultural bias.

This book k
A Standford graduate fluent in Russian and a trained concert pianist, Dr. Rice offers an insightful and vivid account of her eight years of service; entrenched in details of her punishing schedule as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State.

A highly candid and detailed memoir of one of the highest ranking African-American women in the Bush administration. As observed from the halls of the White House, Dr. Rice shares her tension with some high ranking officials in Congress and vario
I really enjoyed reading this book. I bought the Kindle edition and sadly failed to look at how long the book is (750ish pages). I like politics, but not that much.

My favorite part of the book was the epilogue, which was a delightful pep-talk about Democracy and the Arab Spring. I don't tend to agree with the GOP, but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book. This book helped me realize that I'm more of an independent than I ever gave myself credit for (I agree with GOP more than I thought).
Toby Harnden
No Higher Honour: a Memoir of My Years in Washington by Condoleezza Rice; Condoleezza Rice’s memoir of life at the centre of George Bush’s White House, No Higher Honour, is a classic piece of score-settling with her rivals, says Toby Harnden.
By Toby Harnden
1009 words
15 November 2011
2011 Telegraph Group Limited, London

There’s a saying in Washington that every political memoir can be boiled down to six words: “If Only They’d Listened to Me." If that’s true then C
Timothy Browning
I think I've probably had the most respect for Ms. Rice out of any of the members of this administration. She always seemed serious and focused on getting the job done rather than pushing some personal or political agenda. I disagree with some of her politics and even more with some of the policies that she had to enforce, but I believe that her motives are good. She paints a pretty clear picture where most of the Bush presidency was a war with her and Colin Powell on one side and Rumsfeld and C ...more
David Huff
A very detailed (sometimes excruciatingly so) account of Condi's term as NSA and then Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration. Her account is comprehensive and fascinating, and she is fair and professional toward all -- even those with whom she disagrees. The personal anecdotes sprinkled through this heavy volume were especially interesting. A gracious, classy lady who could be tough when needed, and one whom I greatly respect.
I read this when I was 17.This was a REALLY good book on the tenure of Condoleezza Rice and her time at State and NSC. Lots of interesting details on the inner workings of these institutions. One role that the national security advisor usually finds himself/herself in is having to manage the relationship between the Secretaries of State and Defense, particularly challenging for Rice because Rumsfeld and Powell rarely got along. Interesting accounts of her management of Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia ...more
Jan 14, 2013 Whit added it
Too long, even for a Condi lover like myself. Every time I read a political memoir, I wish American politicians - or maybe this should be a universal rule - would be required to get an MFA in nonfiction first. I think that would be a good prerequisite before entering public service.

But this book does shine light on the Bush Administration. You thought they were disorganized. That maybe they didn't think everything through. You have no idea. She reveals some of what we already know: Donny Rumsfe
I am almost done with this long long book, and I'm afraid I remember very little of it. The impressions are still there - Rice is an academic writer, her prose is decent but lacks any emotion that I relate to. The memoir reads like a defense of reasons to stay with the Bush administration, and at times, she even feels compelled to defend Bush, writing more than once that he is wiser than he appears to the public. Rice comes off as a very good person, led by monotheistic beliefs and standards, wi ...more
This political memoir doesn't come across like some others I've read. Instead of a "see how smart I am" focus, this one seems focused on "see how a normal person reacts to these world events". Rice appears less a leader than an observer and occasionally an expert. Bush appears in this book to be the wise man in the corner who gets the last word. Rice repeatedly calls the Oval Office "the Oval", which sounds like something on a gameshow or in professional wrestling. She doesn't call Bush "pres", ...more
Reading this personal journal is a daunting task. It took Condoleeza Rice no less than 741 pages, (including the epilogue, notes on sources and acknowledgments), to chronicle her eight years inside the George W. Bush White House and State Department. What makes her story unique is Rice was one of three women, including Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton, to hold the office of Secretary of State. In fact, as Rice points out in this autobiography, when Clinton’s term is over, it will have been ...more
I love Ms Rice. She is eloquent, diplomatic, talented and charming. She gives a detailed perspective of her time in the white house devoting only a short amount in this book to her personal growing up years.

Ms Rice gives to us an important and revealing interpretation of the events of 9/11 to the end of George Bush's presidency. Her insights into the terrorist tragedy and the effects this event had on her and the decisions the President and congress made. What they knew then and decisions based
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.
Honza Prchal
Again, I read this on audiobook, and Secretary (that outranks professor, the title to which she had always aspired) Rice's voice is amazingly easy on my ears.
I was really quite surprised by a number of the details therein. It is very clear how close she was to the Powells, especially Colin's long-suffering wife, and it is amazing how my picture of him changed based on her description. Especially knowing, as she did not when she wrote the book, of his extramarital transgressions, it doesn't paint
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this memoir. My expectations were low because of the cast of characters. However, like any well told story, Condoleezza does an excellent job at helping see the characters from a different vantage point. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand what leadership looks like without position authority.
Although this book was excellent and incredibly detail oriented, it was almost too wordy and descriptive. Because there was so much information, I needed to read the book very slowly as to not have my head explode. Another reviewer called this book dense. That to me is an understatement. Like all Condi books, though, it is was well written and engrossing!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir
  • Known and Unknown: A Memoir
  • Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight
  • International Relations
  • An American Life
  • Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace
  • Chienne de Guerre: A Woman Reporter Behind the Lines of the War in Chechnya
  • This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House
  • The Downing Street Years
  • The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family
  • A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption & Death in Putin's Russia
  • The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations
  • Reagan, in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America
  • Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box
  • George F. Kennan: An American Life
  • Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day
  • Never the Hope Itself: Love and Ghosts in Latin America and Haiti
  • Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy
Condoleezza Rice is the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of President George W. Bush to hold the office. Rice is the first black woman, second African American (after her predecessor Colin Powell, who served from 2001 to 2005), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright, who served from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration) to serve as Secretary ...more
More about Condoleezza Rice...
Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me A Safer and Better World The Soviet Union And The Czechoslovak Army, 1948 1983: Uncertain Allegiance Iraq in U. S. Foreign Policy: Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U. S. Senate, by the Honorable Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State

Share This Book

“somewhat vague) new relationship between the United States” 1 likes
“John Lewis Gaddis had come to visit shortly before the election and over lunch said something that resonated with me. “Never forget how really dependent the world is on America. And they know it.” 0 likes
More quotes…