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

Full Synopsis
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?

"A personal look at the Secretary's diplomacy via a flexible, pragmatic approach rather than ideology." ---Kirkus

"[Ghattas's] perceptive reportage on Clinton's personal leadership grounds a shrewd analysis of America's role as the still-indispensable nation." ---Publishers Weekly

"It's hard to read this vivid account and not wonder how Hillary would perform in the Oval Office." ---David Ignatius, author of Bloodmoney

"[Ghattas] brings those unique perspectives to this engaging look at U.S. diplomacy under Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and presidential candidate." ---Booklist Starred Review

"The Secretary reaches beyond the static events and crises that have beset Clinton, examining broader issues about America's place in the world, and the true extent of its power." ---The Midwest Book Review

"Reading is an excellent choice for this title. . . . As Reading recounts anecdotes about everyone from interns to the secretary herself, her dry tone brings across the humor and irony." ---AudioFile
Booklist Review
Author Interview
Kim Ghattas

The Secretary

A Journey With Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

Author Kim Ghattas

Narrated by Kate Reading

Publication date Mar 29, 2013

Running time 15 hrs

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