Rumsfeld by Midge Decter
A Personal Portrait

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



The making of
an American icon

The sudden rise of Donald Rumsfeld to political stardom has been one of the most unexpected developments of the last few years. When he was appointed secretary of defense, no one foresaw that he would become the most prominent and influential member of President George W. Bush's cabinet. But as the main architect of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rumsfeld moved into a central position as a policymaker. And through his televised briefings, he also moved into the spotlight, where he won the almost worshipful admiration of millions of Americans by the extraordinary directness, agility, and confident poise he showed in handling the press.

Drawing on her long acquaintance with Rumsfeld, a wealth of documents, and interviews with him and his family, friends, and colleagues, Midge Decter provides riveting accounts of the many milestones marking the journey Rumsfeld made from the suburbs of Chicago to the Pentagon. There is the insurgent young congressman; the head of the Office of Economic Opportunity; the ambassador to NATO; the White House chief of staff; the youngest ever secretary of defense; the successful corporate executive; and, finally, the spectacular second tour of duty as secretary of defense under Bush.

As this remarkable story unfolds, Decter brings her knowledge of American culture to bear on the question of why so many Americans have responded so fervently to Rumsfeld. In answering, she points to the values of the Midwest in which he was born and bred and the powerful appeal they still exert in spite of how old-fashioned they seem in certain circles.

Decter's fascinating account of the life and career of Donald Rumsfeld, lavishly illustrated with photographs from the private collection of the Rumsfeld family, is, then, essential reading for anyone who wishes to become better acquainted with a key figure in public life -- a figure whose rise to stardom sheds new light on the current condition of the American people.


About Midge Decter

See more books from this Author
Midge Decter is an author and editor whose essays and reviews have appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic, National Review, The New Republic, and The Weekly Standard. A regular contributor to Commentary, she is also the author of several books, the most recent being An Old Wife's Tale. She is a member of the board of the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Security Policy, First Things magazine of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, and the Clare Boothe Luce Fund, and she lectures widely on a variety of subjects, from the family to foreign policy. She lives in New York City with her husband, author Norman Podhoretz.
Published January 1, 2003 by Harper Collins, Inc.. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rumsfeld

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

With his dry wit and deliberate demeanor, Bush defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld became a television personality through his daily press briefings following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

| Read Full Review of Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait

National Review Online

Your E-mail * The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Nov 26 2003 | Read Full Review of Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait

National Review Online

Lopez: In 1963, as a young congressman, Rumsfeld, you write, “criticized the State Department for the way it had recently been engaging in friendly relations with the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev and Hungary’s Janos Kadar.” Does Rumsfeld hostility toward Foggy Bottom have a long history?

Oct 30 2003 | Read Full Review of Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait

Reader Rating for Rumsfeld

An aggregated and normalized score based on 23 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review