Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life

Donald Rumsfeld. HarperCollins/Broadside, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-227285-0
To anyone who has followed Rumsfeld's long corporate and political career—he first ran for the U.S. House in 1962, at age 29—it's not surprising that he begins a book on leadership with a nod to his humble beginnings. But that's pretty much where the humility ends. An inveterate namedropper, Rumsfeld has some impressive anecdotes to share from a lifetime of meetings with figures like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, and Henry Kissinger. However, to anyone not nearing pensioner age many of Rumsfeld's stories (about Alf Landon or even Chuck Percy) will feel like ancient history. Clearly, Rumsfeld knows his fields—he served under four U.S. presidents and was CEO of two Fortune 500 companies—but much of his advice is mundane or obscure. And when Rumsfeld starts flying the flag or sharing melodramatic anecdotes to prove his patriotism, he sounds more like an old man left to ruminate in the corner rather than an accomplished statesman. Readers interested in Rumsfeld's wisdom might start at the end with his "Rules"—heavily drawn from a diverse cast of characters including Peter Drucker, Machiavelli, and Abraham Lincoln—and decide if it's worth going back (May)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-7432-2692-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-229245-2
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-227287-4
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-06-227286-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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