The Secretary by Kim Ghattas
A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

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...Ghattas describes in absorbing detail how the experience profoundly transformed her “take” on how American power is really exercised, globally, in the 21st century.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

The first inside account to be published about Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state, anchored by Ghattas's own perspective and her quest to understand America's place in the world

In November 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed to work for her former rival. As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she set out to repair America's image around the world—and her own. For the following four years, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage, and she weaves a fast-paced, gripping account of life on the road with Clinton in The Secretary.

With the perspective of one who is both an insider and an outsider, Ghattas draws on extensive interviews with Clinton, administration officials, and players in Washington as well as overseas, to paint an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most powerful global politicians. Filled with fresh insights, The Secretary provides a captivating analysis of Clinton's brand of diplomacy and the Obama administration's efforts to redefine American power in the twenty-first century.

Populated with a cast of real-life characters, The Secretary tells the story of Clinton's transformation from popular but polarizing politician to America's envoy to the world in compelling detail and with all the tension of high stakes diplomacy. From her evolving relationship with President Obama to the drama of WikiLeaks and the turmoil of the Arab Spring, we see Clinton cheerfully boarding her plane at 3 a.m. after no sleep, reading the riot act to the Chinese, and going through her diplomatic checklist before signing on to war in Libya—all the while trying to restore American leadership in a rapidly changing world.
Viewed through Ghattas's vantage point as a half-Dutch, half-Lebanese citizen who grew up in the crossfire of the Lebanese civil war, The Secretary is also the author's own journey as she seeks to answer the questions that haunted her childhood. How powerful is America really? And, if it is in decline, who or what will replace it and what will it mean for America and the world?

 

About Kim Ghattas

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Kim Ghattas has been the BBC's State Department radio and TV correspondent since 2008 and travels regularly with the secretary of state. She was previously a Middle East correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, based in Beirut. Ghattas was part of an Emmy Award-winning BBC team covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict of 2006. Her work has also been published in Time magazine, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post and she appears regularly as a guest on NPR radio shows. She was born in Beirut and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
 
Published March 5, 2013 by Times Books. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 24 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Secretary
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by SOHRAB AHMARI on Mar 06 2013

The material has world-historical heft, yet the treatment rarely carries weight. Ms. Ghattas clearly enjoys the access that her job entails and deems no detail of life in the State Department press corps too insignificant to share.

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Phyllis Hanlon on Mar 05 2013

Author Kim Ghattas relates an exhausting, exhilarating, and educational journey covering four years, 300,000 miles...and an insider’s view of the United States political system.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Robert Collison on May 30 2013

...Ghattas describes in absorbing detail how the experience profoundly transformed her “take” on how American power is really exercised, globally, in the 21st century.

Read Full Review of The Secretary: A Journey with... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

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