Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box
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Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  650 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Part illustrated memoir, part social history, "Read My Pins" provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Her collection is both international and democratic--dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms. Included are the antique eagle purchased to celebrate Albright's appointment as secretary of state, th...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Harper
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Alice
This book is such a great read. Interesting that I say this, considering that it is 161 pages of mostly pictures. Call me of the magazine-reading whiz-bang generation, but I appreciated that I could meander through the pictures and stories from cover to cover within the span of a couple of hours (because: meandering reader. *You* on the other hand can probably finish it in under an hour, speedy). Nevertheless, I finished reading it with a profound desire to read more of her books and contemplate...more
Lyn Elliott
A gem of a book (bad pun deliberate). I loved looking at the beautiful pins - brooches in my part of the world - and was fascinated by the brief snippets on the symbolism of jewellery in many cultures and Albright's own symbolic use of her pins in diplomatic life.
I bought it on kindle and read it on an iPad. The all important images disappear from the kindle version and though they are all there in the kindle app for iPad, their resolution is very low and they don't stand being expanded. If you...more
Anna
I loved this book. Note to self: get job where pins on suit jacket would not be freakishly out of place. Proceed to wear pins.
Linda
During the years I've worked in media, I've been in highly visible mode and in standard business wear for much of it. Most times a necklace didn't work but almost always pins/brooches spiffed up a jacket,blazer or coat and didn't get in the way of microphones or any of the other detritus of the job. I never realized how much they added to the look until I saw some family I hadn't seen in awhile who all commented on the fact that I seemed to have an endless collection of jackets and pins. I don't...more
Abbe
Product Description

Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H. W. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips." I began urging colleagues and reporters to "Read my pins."

It would never have happened if not for Saddam Hussein. When U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized the dictator, his poet in residence responded by calling her "an unparalleled serpent." Shortly therea

...more
Tarah
This was worth a look-through- and really is more like a 3.5 star rating. The photography of the pins themselves (now showing as a collection about to tour the US) are exquisite, and the brief stories of diplomatic moments with/of individual pins is really interesting. The bits about her personal connection to pins and some sweeping historical connections, not so much. Really, if this were a picture book with captions, it would have been a 4 or 5 for me, but biographical/historical overtones mud...more
BJ Rose
This was a Christmas gift and I wasn't sure I'd care for it (I'm not a great fan of autobiographies), but this was a very different approach and gave a new slant on what I saw or thought I saw in the years that Madeleine Albright was U.N. ambassador and U.S. Secretary of State.

After an Iraqi poet called Albright a 'slithering snake', or something to that effect, she wore a snake brooch to the next U.N. session where she spoke about Saddam's actions, and the press picked up on the connection. Af...more
Laura Leonard
A fun, quirky book that I would not have chosen, but it was handed to me as a return.

This book provides a real sense of Madeleine Albright's character and sense of humor without reading her entire memoir (which I plan on doing). The idea that she used pins, mostly costume jewelery, to reflect her mood and set a tone in diplomatic meetings is intriquging. I love that she wore bumblebee pins to show that she was angry and would "sting" if necessary during talks with Palestinian leaders. If she spo...more
Deidra
A quick read and looksy at part of Madeleine Albright's brooch collection. I learned a bit more about her (making me wanting to read her autobiography) and had some good reminders of world events that happened between my grade school and junior high days. All in all, worth the short time it takes to peruse.
Maryann
Wonderful romp through beautiful pins and Albright's life. She makes me smile.
Judi
A jewelry lover's delight, with a touch of world history.
Helynne
As one who loves pins myself (I have dozens, and I rarely wear a jacket, turtleneck or scarf without one), I was fascinated not only with the many, many baubles that the former secretary of state has collected over the years, but also how each one symbolizes something of her mood, spirit, hopes, dreams, goals, family, and heritage when she wears it. This book contains many colored pictures of the beautiful collection of pins that Dr. Albright has amassed since childhood, but especially those th...more
Joseph Harris

Before long, and without intending it, I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal. Former president George H. W. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips." I began urging colleagues and reporters to "Read my pins." It would never have happened if not for Saddam Hussein. When U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized the dictator, his poet in residence responded by calling her "an unparalleled serpent." Shortly thereafter, while preparing

...more
Aaron
I have always been a big fan of Madeleine Albright. I think she is a very smart and talented person, but she is also really down to earth and funny. I had really enjoyed her autobiography (Madam Secretary) when it came out a few years ago.

One of the things Albright was well-known for was her elaborate pins. She took great care in choosing her pins for official functions in order to send a message. They might be related to the geographic location she was visiting or the type of impression she was...more
Libby
This was a truly enjoyable book for me. I think Ms. Albright is one super-cool lady, and I also believe that she who has the most glittery baubles wins big. I had sort of vaguely known that she collected pins, but her description of her use of her sparklies as diplomatic tools was witty and subtle at the same time. She has been collecting her pins for most of her adult life, and as she says, once people know you collect something, they tend to give you that kind of thing. Between the gifts and h...more
Melissa
Like Madeleine Albright, I love wearing pins. I'm not always very good at the schmoozing and small talk that I often need to do for my job, so in business settings I'll sometimes wear a pin as a conversation starter. I'm guessing Madeleine Albright doesn't have that problem. What she might have difficulty with is deciding which pin to wear, because according to this book, her choices are limitless as she has hundreds to choose from.

My Betty is a bit of a girly-girl, to say the least, and I borr...more
Colin Birge
Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State and UN Ambassador, wears pins for nearly every occasion. Many pins. Unique pins. They aren't always costly. Indeed, she cheerfully admits, many of them are costume jewelry. As a diplomat, however, the pins both defined her persona and occasionally served as subtle (or not so subtle) diplomatic messages.

Ostensibly this book is a companion to a recent art exhibition of Albright's pins. It's almost a light autobiography as well: in addition to the stunni...more
Heather Foster
I enjoyed reading this book, especially the stories about her time as SOS. I love Madeleine Albright and her story. This introduced me to her writing style and I enjoyed her style enough that I would consider reading Madam Secretary.
Lauren
The writing itself left quite a bit to be desired (I blame this on the many experts who needed to have a say: the jewelers, museum curators, and many, many editors)... but the stories and history behind the pins and many of her meetings was very enjoyable and enlightening. Part of my vast appreciation of this book is indebted to my mother's personal collection of costume jewelry-- she, also, has no interest in expensive pieces, but likes the character and fun of the cheaper pieces. My mother has...more
Sandy
Who knew that someone like this made more than a fashion statement with her choice of jewelry? I wonder what she would make of my inherited sterling silver filigree ax pin! An interesting read.
Louise Silk
I got this book by mistake- thinking it was Albright's new autobiogrpahy or I never would have thought I would find someone's jewelry interesting, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it including the story of how she got started with the pins and how she used them to depict her mood as the Secretary of State.

The pins lead to interesting stories about her experiences and it's great fun to see them clearly in the photographs and also as she is wearing them.

The narrative reflects a warm and...more
Diana Petty-stone
A beautiful book of gorgeous pins and brooches and interesting stories by the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright..
Lorin Kleinman
This gorgeous and sumptuously illustrated book both depicts a large assortment of Albright's pins, and gives a brief and fascinating history of her life through the lens of her pins. Amusingly, Albright used the pins she wore to send subtle--or sometimes not so subtle--diplomatic messages. After the Russian government was found to be bugging her office, for instance, she wore a giant bug pin to meet the Russian foreign minister. "One might scoff and say that my pins didn't exactly shake the worl...more
Eugene Luo
An interesting read on politics and diplomacy by symbolism, and Albright's fascinating collection of pins.
Sharakael
I'll admit that I got this book more because of my interest in jewellery, rather than in politics. And in that aspect... it was so-so. I wished it would showcased even more of the pins, with extended explanation of its history and how it came about to be chosen as the one to be worn for the occasion. Basically, I want the "story" to go along with the pin, and the ones that were there... were not enough, for me. I simply wanted more.

Interestingly, the book got me taking more interest in accessor...more
Sherri
Beautiful pins, great stories, and quite an interesting way to remember political connections!
Casey
I did not imagine upon beginning this book that I would see the word sparkly. Note to any future readers: this book is actually about PINS, yes there are tid bits of personal story and minor samplings of her life as a diplomat. But her pins are actually the story. Entire pages in the middle of text are dedicated to showing them and she spend the majority of the rest of the book describing them or where she got them. Interesting but not what I was hoping for when I wanted to read a book on one of...more
Sara
Photographs are the centerpiece of this coffee table-style book by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. I'm not very interested in or knowledgeable about jewelry, but it was easy to admire these pieces along with the commentary and intentions with which Albright presented them.

What I appreciated the most though, was the simplicity of Albright's tactic - wearing a pin that embodied the message she wanted to express that day - while performing one of the most difficult, complicated and nu...more
Elizabeth
This is WONDERFUL!

Albright was a true diplomat and this illustrated memoir does a fantastic job of highlighting her pride in America, while at the same time featuring her role in global politics. Follow along as she meets with international politicans who are charmed by her pins and their significance.

Some of my favorite pins: Breaking the Glass Ceiling (!!!), Foxy Lady, Large Zebra, Flower With Four Bees, Safety-Pin American flag, Katie's Heart, and Shaman Bear.

But again, "Read My Pins" is M...more
Pam
I wanted this book and ask for and received it as a Christmas Gift. I have enjoyed it so much!! The pictures are so good, it could be a beautiful Coffee Table Book.

Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box provides a real sense of Madeleine Albright's character and sense of humor without reading her entire memoir, which I plan on doing. I love pins - they are usually the only costume jewelery I wear. The idea that she used pins, mostly costume jewelery, to reflect her mood and set a tone...more
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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 The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs Memo to the President Elect LP: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers

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