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Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,576 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice--National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations--delivers an inspiring account of a life in service to family and country.

Although you may think you know Susan Rice--whose name became synonymous with Ben
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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Elyse  Walters
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook... Read by Susan Rice

This was an absolutely terrific audiobook.
I enjoyed listening to Susan Rice read her autobiography from beginning to end.

Kudos to the person who wrote the blurb. It’s perfect!!

“Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Rice connects the personal and professional”

Susan did not shy away from sharing how painful aspects of her family life were... or her own failures.
A few times - I thought- “wow, I hope being ‘too’ hon
Susan Rice was the Ambassador to the United Nations during Obama’s first term. She was the National Security Advisor during the second term. Prior to that she was a career State Department diplomat in charge of part of Africa.

The book is well written and researched. This is Rice’s memoir of her life to-date. She tells of the problems of being an African-American female attempting to excel in a white man’s world. Rice attended Stanford University. She won a Rhodes Scholarship and graduated from O
Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For was an interesting and well-written memoir by Susan Rice. As the title suggests, Susan Rice is not afraid of kicking up a little dust; a trait she often attributes to her mother's Jamaican roots. Although she worked for the Clinton administration rising rapidly and becoming one of the youngest assistant secretaries of state, it was as Barack Obama's National Security Advisor and as United States Ambassador to the United Nations, that she was ...more
I started this book in October, but I put it aside because it wasn't the right time to read it. Too much was going on and I couldn't give the book focus the way I wanted to. Fast forward to January and I decided to make the intelligent decision to download the audiobook and give it a listen. This format worked much better.

I have loved politics and history for a very long time. My dream would be to work in the White House or be a US Senator, but in listening to Susan Rice I remembered I'm not nea
I'm going to rave about this book, but I'll get my one complaint out first. I think it could have been edited better, because there were a lot of details at certain points that I thought could have been cut out. The audiobook was SO LONG, and eventually I had to listen to it at a faster speed than I normally would to get through it--and it still took me over a month to listen to it. I rated this 4 stars at first, but after I realized how many good things I have to say about it, I'm bumping it up ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read many autobiographies through the years. There were some that I truly enjoyed reading, and in all honesty, I will admit there were a few that I just could not get into and never finished reading. However, I have never read one that completely captured my attention throughout the entire autobiography that pulled me in from the opening prologue and held my attention to the point that I read the entire book in one sitting. That all changed when I read Tough Love: My Story of th ...more
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have always admired Susan Rice because when she faced fierce undeserved attacks from the right, she responded with cool facts and reason. I picked this book before the vice presidential pick was made and I was hoping she would be our next vice president. I am glad Kamala Harris got the opportunity but Susan Rice would have been great too.
This memoir is lengthy and in depth. I enjoyed her story which is a tale of education and drive. It is also about being a tough capable woman in a man's worl
Indra Nooyi
In her book, “Tough Love”, Susan Rice reminds us that through even the greatest personal and professional challenges, the lessons that our families impart on us are often the things we come back to again and again to guide us. Susan has shown a relentless dedication to the pursuit of service throughout her career – something that we can all work to replicate in our own endeavors.
W. Whalin
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Well-Crafted Memoir

I knew about Susan Rice from her public roles as UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor for President Obama. I knew little else until listening to TOUGH LOVE from beginning to end. Listeners will learn about her childhood, her education at Oxford, her work in politics and much more. I found TOUGH LOVE fascinating and well-done and worthwhile listening.

Rice is transparent about her family and other relationships. For example, you learn why she selected her Secret Servic
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gerry by: Free Library Author Events & Phila Speaker Series
For me, the most enjoyable parts of this memoir were the personal recollections about her upbringing and her family. The bulk of the memoir, of course, focused on Rice's work during the Obama administration, as US Ambassador to the United Nations and then as National Security Advisor. The biggest take-away is a realization of the extreme complexity of decision-making for any President, especially in the area of foreign policy, as well as the unfortunate ease with which any decision can be miscon ...more
Cristie Underwood
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read many biographies and memoirs about powerful women, but this one really grabbed my attention. Susan Rice is known for appearing on Sunday shows about Benghazi, but this book thoughtfully and powerfully allows the reader to go on the journey with her to that point in history. She is honest and straightforward when explaining why she made the choices she had to. I found this to be a brilliant read and am hoping we hear more from Susan Rice in the future.
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Smart, informative, incisive, with a kernel of hope and a bittersweet view back to a different time in American diplomacy and international relations.
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-read
Stanford grad. Oxford Ph.D. Rhodes Scholar. UN Ambassador. National Security Advisor. Dr. Susan Rice's C.V. tells you she is accomplished, but her call sign, POINT GUARD, tells you she is a badass. At 5'3, Dr. Rice is not the person you expect to see on the basketball floor, or in sensitive, international negotiations. I'm sure many have, and continue to, underestimate her at their peril. Her memoir, Tough Love challenges many of the labels that others have assigned to her, and allows Dr. Rice ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bright, outspoken lady. The book needed a good editor. Way too much extraneous information.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: required-reading
This lady right here.... I can't even. Discovered her in college when I was scouting international organizations I wanted to work for, and found she was the US Ambassador to the UN, and that slice of reality gave me hope. Now reading her book, sis *WAITED* decades later to address and officially clear up all misrepresentation over the years, and the petty princess in me happily read this book for it.

Besides that, I enjoyed looking in that sphere from the other side to understand how things tran
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it

In Tough Love Susan Rice gives a detailed account of her years in Washington as UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor.

We get a behind the scenes look at our national security and global affairs involving our relationships with Cuba, Sudan, Iraq, China, & other countries. It was also interesting to hear her correct prediction about what would happen with Iran considering recent events. She also touches on the Russian hacking that took place during the 2016 election.

I found this memoir to b
Avolyn Fisher
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
First I'd like to say that I have a deep respect and admiration for Susan Rice. She was actually the candidate I was hoping for, that would be selected as Biden's VP choice. Ultimately I felt Biden opted for Kamala because he had to counter the attack ads around him being soft on crime and being anti-police. I know that any job involving foreign service and international diplomacy is as complex as they come and I've long had a passion for this line of work and I've already read Fascism: A Warnin ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foreign-policy
I really enjoyed Tough Love. It is a book worth reading for so many reasons right now. I read bits every night before going to sleep. It was a treat to do so given all the reading I have been doing in law school. I agree with Ambassador Rice, "Today, our domestic political divisions constitute the greatest threat to our national security. Healing them is critical to the survival of our democracy and the preservation of America's global leadership." It is a well-written and honest memoir. I am gr ...more
Johnny Williams
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a really good book. First get over the fact that Susan Rice is not a renowned author. This is more like a Diary/memoir . I recommend you buy the audio book because Susan reads it herself and hearing her you can feel when she is excited about something or sad or angry,

Susan holds nothing back. She goes into her complicated childhood … the ups and downs with ther relationship with her mother and her father. She shares her love with her husband another complicated relationship.

The inside
Martina Clark
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous and humbling. Susan Rice shares personal glimpses into her most extraordinary life. I thoroughly enjoyed “Tough Love” and felt like I got a mini course in ethics, national security, and civics. Her contributions to our country are amazing, as is she.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found the book deeply disappointing. Besides the fact that the book needed a better editor: it is way too long. There is a real lack of any thoughtful or considered self-reflection. And too much humble bragging on herself. I wanted to love this book and hoped to learn something interesting about how certain internal policies were made. This didn’t happen.
John P. Davidson
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An engaging, well written autobiography that is detailed throughout, frequently amusing, and brutally honest. I would definitely recommend it.
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tough apparently means profane.
Books by Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Rachel Maddow and Madeleine Albright give readers a view of what happened during the 20th century in war, energy and petroleum industry people among nations affecting our current political situations in a data driven world of international business affairs.

Read them if you care to know.
Mary Sisney
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before an insane white supremacist occupied the White House, I never would have read this book because I've never been as interested in politics, especially foreign policy. Rice's detailed discussion of how she and first the Clinton and then Obama administrations dealt with foreign crises was both fascinating and frightening. Whether describing successful actions like solving the Ebola problem quickly, renewing ties with Cuba, or completing the nuclear agreement with Iran or discussing less succ ...more
I'm half way through Rice's book. At this point, I'd say this book would best be called Rice's memoirs--memoir with the S, like the books written by presidents and important men in earlier centuries. The material is detailed, describing in depth her childhood, schooling, and rise to public office. At first, I felt bogged down by the detail, but as I reach the halfway mark, I realize how much I appreciate her incredible historical documentation of the genocides in Africa, the Arab Spring, Benghaz ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love Rice's rough and ready voice. She's a pragmatist and she pulls no punches in this book. The one thing I wondered about consistently in this memoir though is that she always comes across as having called the politics right; which made me say, really? But, if you are enjoying all the Obama-er memoirs, this is a good one. It's a bit irreverent, and direct, which I liked, and Rice's story of growing up, being a women and a person of color in the high paced and intense national security realm ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have admired Dr Rice a long time, so I was very interested in reading this. The lady does not disappoint. Starting from her birth to extremely high-achieving parents who expected no less than her very best efforts (her mum actually sounded a lot like mine), to her service to her country as Obama's UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor, she offers a detailed recounting of events.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes "in the middle of things" information. It helped me better understand w
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I basically read this book because I thought Susan Rice may end up with a job in President Joe Biden's administration. I recently read Ben Rhodes's The World As It Is book and the two books sort of go together as they both worked on foreign policy in Obama's administration. I enjoyed the book, learned a few things and found it very readable. I am glad I took the time to read it. ...more
Colette Kern
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A clear American voice for troubled times.

Rice's memoir is readable and broad, spanning the personal and detailing complex foreign policy. Forthright, strong, yet humble. Highly recommend.
Carol Baker Dill
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
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Ambassador Susan E. Rice is currently Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the School of International Service at American University, a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She serves on the board of Netflix and the John F. Kennedy Center for t ...more

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