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

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,077 ratings  ·  150 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 2005)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,077 ratings  ·  150 reviews


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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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Cheryl
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: girl-power, audio
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
Mary-Ellen
Jun 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
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Emi Yoshida
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
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Simon
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
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Rebecca
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. ...more
Alexandra
Nov 18, 2022 rated it liked it
Wow, what's this? I'm rating a Professor Maddy book 3 stars? Yes.

This book exists in 3 parts - (1) God, Liberty, Country / (2) Crescent, Cross, Star / (3) Final Reflections. Parts 1 and 3 garner my usual Albright 5 stars for their piercing wit, intelligent analysis, and sharp-tongued dose of reality. Part 2 is meandering, loses the plot, and is a bit difficult to read - its very current to the time it was written (2006) but a lot of it has aged extremely poorly, and reading it in 2022 is like p
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Margie
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
Deb W
Jun 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently finished listening to the most recent book by Ms Albright, and was so impressed by it that I decided to read/listen to her previous works in my library holdings. This is the earliest. It wasn't as easy for me to follow, which I attribute to the breadth and depth of a topic that is so familiar to her, but not to me. What I did gleen from it is still phenomenal, and I suspect I would get even more from it if I read it.

I am now a huge fan of this woman's body of work, her verve, her dept
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Angela
Jul 12, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a good book to read as context for diplomacy and religion in the second half of the 20th century/first half of the 21st, but the conscientious reader will bear in mind that it was published before:

- the Obama administration
- the Arab Spring uprisings
- the capture and killings of Hussein and bin Laden
- the Trump administration and it’s attendant global political polarization
- the COVID-19 pandemic
- the January 6, 2021 insurrection in Washington DC
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.
Lorna
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. ...more
Dania
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. ...more
Kamda
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!
Pre-Obama
Pre-Hillary
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!
...more
Nancy
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
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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.
Hussain Rumi
Jun 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I love her
Dave J
Sep 26, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost interest after reading 1/4 of the book.
Duaa Maani
16 years later, this book still makes sense
Debbie
Jun 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is a bit dated (2006) but highly intelligent review of the history of religious faith and it’s impact on international relations.
Jennifer Schmidt
Oct 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
Audiobook. Exceptionally good especially narrated by author
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
Gremrien
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
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K
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
Nihal
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
...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.

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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”
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