Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st-Century Memoir

Madeleine Albright, with Bill Woodward. Harper, $29.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-280225-5
Former secretary of state Albright (Fascism: A Warning) weaves geopolitics with her own life story in this intelligent and personable memoir. Opening with her departure from the U.S. state department in 2001, Albright writes that she was determined to say “hell, yes” to all opportunities to help promote democracy and empower women. Though she criticizes fellow secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice for their failure to adopt a “logical strategy” to confront terrorism after 9/11, Albright also points out her own mistakes, including an insensitive answer to a 60 Minutes question about UN sanctions on Iraq. In several chapters, she highlights personal connections with women, including family members and old friends. She also describes her relationship with Hillary Clinton and the disappointments of the 2008 Democratic primary and the 2016 election, and promotes building educational opportunities for girls. Other chapters deal with lighter issues, including a Gilmore Girls cameo. Albright ends by lauding the power of the Constitution to protect American democracy and expressing confidence that, at age 82, she’s ready for new projects. She proves to be a capacious storyteller, willing to share personal disappointments, such as the dissolution of her marriage, as well as professional accomplishments. This appealing memoir will charm readers interested in contemporary politics and women’s issues. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/20/2020
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-280228-6
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-06-297931-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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