Known and Unknown: A Memoir
Read by TBA
Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches.
With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on ...more
I'm a sucker for a good memoir. It doesn't matter if you agree with Donald Rumsfeld or approve of everything he's ever done: he's an engagingly lucid writer who has lived through (and influenced) some seriously major historic events. Reading this book was like having a good sit-down with your aged grandfather, except this particular aged grandfather has held an impressive smattering of government positions over the years including serving as Secretary of ...more
It is a memoir of the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his view of things. At times it's a little tedious as he quotes directly from his various memos... almost as if he is trying to cover his... well.. his bases, and if he were younger, I would object, but he is both the oldest Secretary of Defense and simultaneously the youngest ...more
I was also pleased to find that while I disagree with much of Rumsfeld's politics, I was able to enjoy this book. The author really seems to be trying to give an honest airing of the past, with ...more
I've been in Taiwan since 1999 and although I happened to be in the USA on 9/11/2001, much of my understanding of aftermath of that attack has come from reading transcrip ...more
The book is somewhat strange. I think that a lot of adults on either side of the Atlantic have opinions about Rumsfeld. Were you to ask them, they'd probably describe him as some sort of Machiavellian Wizard o ...more
Rumsfeld, like McNamara, is an extremely thoughtful person that is able analyze an issue at its roots, challenge the assumptions, as well as perceive the possible eventualities. However, he isn't smug about it, and acknowledges what ...more
Rumsfeld's career was totall ...more
I've now read the Gates, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, and Rice bios - And I come down on the side of Rumsfeld in that an amalgamated approach to foreign policy was a leading factor to what appears to ...more
Rumsfeld's careers were in public service and private business. As he went through life he kept a list of maxims, some original and some quotes from others.
"Washington, D.C. is sixty square miles surr ...more
Audible book. Excellent read. Of course, one needs to keep in mind that biographies are biased and leave the whole story out and autobiographies are often outright lies. Rumsfeld narrates his own book, does a superb job, and his views on many major events and his relationships with powerful people is highly interesting, captivating and is a look at history of the last 50 years as he presents it. It's a look behind the white (house) curtain. He can certainly not be as humble as he presents himse ...more
"I would heartily recommend it. I don't think anybody could go buy a book written by anybody who has been more intimately involved, closer to power, for as many years, has been through as much, has known all of the power players as you have. It is amazing."
-Rush Limbaugh (interview transcript)/2/8/2001
"Readers might be appreciative to find themselves in possession of a serious memoir, more in keeping with the older Washington tradition of Dean Acheson or Henry Kissinger. As might the h...more
Mr. Rumsfeld comes across as scrupulous and balanced. Though he does indulge in a bit of score settling with some of his co-workers in various administrations, including vis a vis ...more
As a witness to history and one of its foremost contemporary decision-makers, he recounts his experiences with a certain glee. But one might hope his decisions were ...more
Not a lot of score-settling, but clear (generally respectful) accounts of disagreements, often drawing for detail on his lifelong habit of writing memos to others but also to himself.