Memoirs of A Secretary at War
Gates, Robert Michael (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Item Details

The former Secretary of Defense offers a candid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Authors: Gates, Robert Michael, 1943-
Title: Duty
memoirs of a Secretary at war
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2014.
Characteristics: x, 618 pages :,color illustrations ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Notes: Includes index.
Contents: Summoned to duty
Iraq, Iraq and Iraq
Mending fences, finding allies
Waging war on the Pentagon
Beyond Iraq: a complicated world
Good war, bad war
One damn thing after another
New term, new agenda, old secretary
Afghanistan: a house divided
Difficult foes, difficult friends
Meanwhile, back in Washington
War, war...and revolution
At war to the last day
Summary: The former Secretary of Defense offers a candid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Local Note: 1 6 7 8 15 17 18 27 29 35 37 53 56 57 62 64 65 67 68 69 70 73 74 76 79 80 81 97 109 112 113 118 122 127 133 138 143 148 149 150 151 152 159 160 167 172 173 175 176 182 188 193 198 203 210 211 216 222 224 226 228 231 232 234 235 236 242 243 245 250 258 262 263 264 268 270 276 278
ISBN: 9780804148658
Statement of Responsibility: Robert M. Gates
Subject Headings: United States Politics and government 2009- United States Politics and government 2001-2009. Civil-military relations United States History 21st century. United States Military policy Decision making. War on Terrorism, 2001-2009 Personal narratives, American. Afghan War, 2001- Personal narratives, American. Iraq War, 2003-2011 Personal narratives. Cabinet officers United States Biography. United States. Department of Defense Officials and employees Biography. Gates, Robert Michael, 1943-
Topical Term: Civil-military relations
War on Terrorism, 2001-2009
Afghan War, 2001-
Iraq War, 2003-2011
Cabinet officers
LCCN: 2013026348
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May 14, 2014
  • Memawrayne rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book proves the adage "too many cooks" or "too many chiefs" All have agendas and it is a wonder that anything gets done for the men and women who are actually putting their lives and well-being on the line. Excellent insight into this department in our government.

Mar 20, 2014
  • Ham625 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A rewarding book by a person chosen by two presidents to serve as his Defense Secretary. There is much to learn from his experiences particularly his "reflections."

I have some real problems with the " Author Notes " section: Gates wasn't first in the USAF, then recruited by the CIA, he was first at the DoD and CIA, and advised to do a stint as a military officer for career reasons. He appears to be groomed from even before college (at the high school level) for his career, perhaps because his uncle was the Defense Secretary under Eisenhower? He was acting CIA director under Bush #1, and only ACTING as a historic event occurred: several thousand CIA analysts went public castigating Gates' record for " politicizing " (fictionalizing) the intel reports. A relative of Gates related to me that Gates career w/CIA began as a second-story man, or professional burglar, but I've never been able to verify this. (This is the guy who boiled cats during high school, ostensibly for science projects?)

Feb 17, 2014
  • Bill_R rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Well worth reading regardless of where you are on the political spectrum for what it was like to run two wars for two presidents from inside the sausage factory that is Washington DC. Gates details what it takes to get things done through a huge organization with 3 million employees. The book is far more balanced and respectful than the early ‘buzz’, and his last chapter of reflections is valuable on the reasons why DC is less functional than the troops under fire deserve.

Feb 01, 2014
  • johncruse rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Seems anti-Semitic , but perhaps simply fails to understand the history and present situation in the Middle East.


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app11 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30