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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

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,012 ratings  ·  141 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
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published October 2005)
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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
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, girl-power
I picked up this audiobook at the library used book store because I am a big Madeleine Albright fan and I was looking for a new audiobook. I found the subject very fascinating and a good examination of some of the problems facing the world today, even though it is about 10 years old. Many of the issues she discussed in terms of what is happening with Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the surge in "conservative" or "radical" Islam (or those who claim to represent that religion) were quite prescient and I wonde ...more
Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 someo
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Emi Bevacqua
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jun 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: colbert
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
Jan 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Margaret Kenney
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
I started reading this book after finishing Prague Winter. I loved reading Prague Winter and was very curious about her treatment of the topic of religion even though the book was written in 2006 and in a very different political climate. Clearly, as a former Secretary of State, a renowned professor and the 20th ambassador to the United Nations she can write with authority on many matters of state. I borrowed two copies from my library - one in audio form and one in written form so I could actua ...more
Terry Earley
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Although somewhat dated, Albright is a delightful, and thoughtful author.

She points out that religion is central to world politics and culture whether we want it to be or not. Our values should drive our decisions. Including many examples, though from over 10 years ago, it is still an important read today.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
While I didn't agree with everything she believes in this was a good book. It made me realize I have paid more attention than I thought I had to the news since 9/11. It is important to understand the culture and faith of people and countries we are trying to negotiate, cooperate and have relationships with. Some good takeaways and an excellent source of recent history.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Could not form an opinion on the impact of the Almighty on her personally. It seemed a little shy. The ironic thing is that, from a political point of view, I agree with her on the Bush administration but I guess that is a cheap shot. Who doesn't agree looking back?! But even then, her description of Saudi is very shallow and uneducated. I did not expect a well rounded politician like herself.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Madeleine Albright is a true role model. This book was a great explanation of the inpact of religion on politics. If you don’t understand the connection between islam and the way gowerments of countries with the majority of muslims acts, start with reading this book.
Robert Bob
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a nice & polite 2006 view!
Jews/ Christians/ Muslims are similarly linked in her essays!
NOTE: Madeleine Albright gave speech in 2004 to YALE Divinity School on religion & American foreign policy!
She's college-professor- level-smart!
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book showing the competing policies of our government with the policies of government and religion of the Arab world. Albright digs into background and discusses how the power of the Bush administration hurt the careful, methodical policies, planning and choices of the US.
Leon Olivier, Jr
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and a worthwhile read. Secretary Albright is an intelligent and insightful author. She makes an observation that seems like common sense but remains elusive in our in our world that discounts religion for the secular. While much information is dated it is a good read.
Megan (Glitter and Plato)
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I learned a lot from this book...specifically about the United States' relationship with Muslim-predominate countries in the Middle East and Africa prior to 9/11 and how 9/11 changed that.
Nancy Shaffer
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seeing her at a restaurant recently in NYC, reminded me of this book on my shelf to read. Enlightening, informative, and more importantly taught several misconceptions of terrorism.
Jan Kroken
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not a bad book, good overview of modern history in the US relations to other countries. However, it is not deep and does not contain significant amounts of inside information.
Naqvi Hussain
Jun 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I love her
Gordon Kwok
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading this book was way overdue for me. Ms. Albright is a national treasure and I am always impressed by how she thinks and articulates her views on the world. The overall theme of the book is that religion and morality underpin a lot of how people around the world think and it is foolish to pretend that it isn't the case. She recommends that diplomats learn to understand the role and pull of religion in the areas where they are stationed. In conclusion, I would recommend this book or any of h ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This book may be considered a collection of essays reflecting about various aspects of the international politics of the U.S. related to religion in some way. There are also some personal memoirs of Madeleine Albright, both from her personal life and her personal experiences during her work in the American government, but the book is mostly about larger things, i.e. history and politics overall.

Of course, the center of attention here is the Middle East and Islamic fundamentalism. Albright tries
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics-history
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
Jan 05, 2013 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
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
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
I have a lot of respect for Secretary Albright, but this book did not impress me like I hoped it would. From the audio perspective, I felt her narration was monotonous and unengaging. For such a usually vibrant speaker, I found it hard to pay attention. Her thoughts were well organized and clearly presented, but I think I took them up too late (that is, nine years after publication). None of her ideas struck me as new or even intriguing, and much of what she discussed in later parts of the book ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Apr 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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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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.

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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 hear”
More quotes…