Secretary (Ghattas) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Kim Ghattas has written a terrific book—not just our first intimate portrait of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but also a riveting personal story about what it's like to be a journalist, and a Lebanese woman at that, living in the Clinton bubble. Ghattas is very smart about the nuances of American policy and the patient intelligence that is required for creative diplomacy, and she has made it all come alive in compelling, page-turning fashion.
Joe Kline (Time magaizne columnist)


The Secretary is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how Hillary Clinton became one of the hardest working and most active secretaries of state in modern American history. Ghattas movingly interweaves Clinton's story with her own as a Lebanese woman. It's hard to read this vivid account and not wonder how Hillary would perform in the Oval Office.
David Ignatius (Washington Post columnist)


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton becomes the face of a superpower in this captivating profile. Ghattas, State Department correspondent for the BBC, jetted around the globe with Clinton as she refereed Israeli-Palestinian quarrels, wrangled with Chinese officialdom, smoothed ruffled diplomatic feathers after Wikileaks publicized catty American cables, and strategized over the Arab Spring upheavals. In Ghattas’s vivid portrait, Clinton emerges as a charismatic, tireless woman, magnetic during her trademark town hall meetings with ordinary citizens (cries of “We love you, Hillary” trail her everywhere), candid and forthright in private conversation, but always agonizing over anodyne public statements that will be obsessively parsed for policy shifts. But as the author floats along in Clinton’s exciting, exhausting bubble of pre-eminence, she also examines America’s ongoing centrality in world affairs: while they resent American power, in every country people she encounters expect the United States to magically settle their crises and conflicts. Attuned to that mindset since her childhood in war-torn Lebanon, Ghattas receives in her travels with Clinton an eye-opening education in the complexity and limitations of U.S. foreign policy making. Her perceptive reportage on Clinton’s personal leadership grounds a shrewd analysis of America’s role as the still-indispensable nation. (8-page b&w photo insert.)
Publishers Weekly


[An] engaging look at U.S. diplomacy under Hillary Clinton.... Ghattas presents a close-up look at the touchiest of diplomatic issues in the first Obama administration, from the Arab Spring uprisings to WikiLeaks...a rich portrait of the different perspectives on U.S. power and influence around the world as well as her own personal experiences and ambivalence about the U.S. —Vanessa Bush
Booklist


An intimate, admiring look at the four-year global travails of the secretary of state from a member of her traveling press corps. A Beirut-born BBC journalist assigned to the U.S. State Department in 2008, Ghattas has closely observed Clinton in her busy, high-profile position as secretary over the last four years. Here, she records her key role in the reshaping of American foreign policy. Ghattas' work is invaluable in revealing the effort behind the headlines.... Ghattas, as a Lebanese woman who keenly felt the American betrayal of her country during the long civil war of 1975 to 1990, comes to a sense of forgiveness and understanding of American might. A personal look at the Secretary's diplomacy via a flexible, pragmatic approach rather than ideology.
Kirkus Reviews




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