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Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War
 
 
Author
Robert M. Gates.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9780307959478
Pages/Publication Date 618/2014
Daedalus Item Code 49213
List Price: $35.00
Sale Price: $24.95
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(One of the New York Times Book Review's Best Books of 2014) From the former Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, this is Robert Gates's warm, vividly told, strikingly candid account of his 2006–2011 service, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates was a soldier's secretary, and gave up his role as president of Texas A&M University to answer what he saw as a call to duty, and professes his total admiration for the members of America's armed forces, whom he had to learn how to send into harm's way. Gates is fair but unsparing in his appraisals of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and both presidents, and takes us behind the scenes as he assesses his battles with Congress, the vast Pentagon bureaucracy, his efforts to help Bush turn the tide in Iraq, and his role as a guiding—often dissenting—voice for Obama.

"Probably one of the best Washington memoirs ever.... Historians and policy wonks will bask in the revelations Gates provides on major decisions from late 2006 to 2011, the span of his time at the Pentagon.... Gates is doing far more than just scoring points in this revealing volume. The key to reading it is understanding that he was profoundly affected by his role in sending American soldiers overseas to fight and be killed or maimed."—NYTBR

 
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