Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell

Karen DeYoung, Author . Knopf $28.95 (610p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4170-1

Washington Post reporter DeYoung covers Powell's entire career in this nuanced, comprehensively researched first complete biography to bring to life the Jamaican immigrants' son who became chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, secretary of state and a widely supported potential candidate for president. DeYoung presents her subject as above all a soldier, with an ethic of honor and service shaped by his career in the U.S. Army, during which he brought a combination of intellectual force and moral courage to his senior military appointments that distinguished him among his contemporaries. DeYoung, who obtained six in-depth interviews with Powell, explains that he wrestled with whether or not he had the duty to run for president in 2000, but ultimately realized he didn't want the presidency from the "depth of [his] stomach or soul." She correspondingly demonstrates that his continuing commitment to public service drove his ascension to secretary of state—a commitment that was strained to the limit during Powell's four years in office. DeYoung paints a favorable but balanced portrait of Powell, and she avoids using him as an instrument for Bush-bashing. Powell emerges from her account as a person who grew to meet his wider responsibilities. Photos not seen by PW . (Oct. 10)

Reviewed on: 08/14/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-4008-0
Open Ebook - 503 pages - 978-0-307-26593-7
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