Correction: What I tried reading: No Higher Honor.
I have a friend who is a voracious reader. She updates her GoodReads list the same way most of us update our Facebook profiles. A few months ago, I got an email from GoodReads letting me know that she had just posted this to her "read" folder. And I thought, "Yeah! I should read that! I have always liked good ole Condi, especially after she was on Meet the Press last winter with the author of The Blind Side." And so I borrowed it from the library for a week.
That was my first mistake.
This is a 750 page book, y'all. Neal is listening to it on Audible.com and he commuted 30 minutes each way for an entire week, then to Ft. Knox, KY and back and is still listening to it. When I complained that the book was better at putting me to sleep than most of my college physics textbooks, he mentioned that listening to it (in her voice) is much easier than actually reading it. And reading it in a week? No way.
I will just have to trust him on that because me and Condi? We're done.
Here was are my take-aways from the first 250 pages:
1. The W. Bush administration was one foreign affairs calamity after another.
2. If Rice could have run over and then backed over Rumsfeld about 9 times without getting any jail time, she would have.
3. She probably would have done the same to Cheney.
4. She willingly admits the really obvious mistakes of the administration.
5. The only reason I made it as far as I did is because Neal told me to stop fixating on the details of each encounter and look for the gist of the story. Although the gist was normally just as boring as the details.
6. NO ONE in the administration predicted the shit storm that would follow the "axis of evil" speech.
7. Israel and Palastine are just never going to get along. Period.
8. Apparently, we were supposed to go to war with Afghanistan (which is where Al-Qaida was hanging out after 9/11) but somehow ended up in Iraq instead.
9. North Korea is creepy.
10. W. did a lot of business from his Texas ranch.
If you are either a) a foreign affairs nerd or b) in love with Condoleeza Rice or c) retired, this may be the book for you. She recounts each detail of her time with the Bush administration in painstaking clarity, perhaps to "clear the record" or perhaps to document for history. Either way, I need more anecdotes if I'm going to make it through 750 pages. I barely survived Gone with the Wind and that involved a war, men in uniform, and lots of beautiful dresses. Condi doesn't have any of that. Well, she's got the war part, but men in robes is just not the same.