Memoirs of A Secretary at War

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
ISBN: 9780804148658
Branch Call Number: eAUDIO OVERDRI
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
Alternative Title: Memoirs of a Secretary at war


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Oct 05, 2016

Granted that a book written about oneself is going to have an element of self-serving, I found Gates' account of his four years as Secretary of Defense under, first, Bush 43 and then Obama, interesting and insightful. I enjoyed listening to it because the actor who read it sounded a lot like I remember Gates sounding.

Sep 11, 2014

Calling Gates, a man so reviled at the Central Intelligence Agency by the career types there that they, for the first known time, publicly lobbied against his appointment to be director of the CIA during George H.W. Bush's presidency, a statesman is quite a stretch? Gates appears to have been groomed from a young age for the CIA, and it was after his stint there or at the DoD, that it was recommended he enter the USAF for the minimum required time, then join the CIA [around that period, many military WWII veterans were in the CIA and they would shift back and forth from the CIA to military and back to the CIA, ostensibly for covert ops purposes]. Perhaps this grooming was because Gates' uncle was one of Eisenhower's defense secretaries? Keeping it in the family? I would be highly skeptical of anything Gates says in this book. [And please ignore his teen years when he boiled cats, it was for his Boy Scout badges?]

Jan 18, 2014

Other than fictionalizing the CIA's intelligence, and boiling cats alive while a teenager, what were Gates' actual accomplishments and why was he chosen to be groomed at a young age for the intelligence establishment (was it because his uncle was a secretary of defense)?


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