This enhanced Sentinel Penguin Enriched e-book edition of "Known
and Unknown" offers an unprecedented reading experience for a
memoir by a major public figure. For web-connected readers, it
features more than 500 links to never-before-available original
documents from Donald Rumsfeld's extensive personal archive. It
includes State Department cables, correspondence, and memoranda on
topics such as Vietnam, Watergate, the days following 9/11, the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more.
Few Americans have spent more time near the center of power than
Donald Rumsfeld. Now he has written an unflinching memoir of his
half-century career, sharing previously undisclosed details that
will fascinate readers and force historians to rethink many
Starting from a middle-class childhood in Illinois, Rumsfeld had
a rapid rise that won him early acclaim. He shows us what it was
like growing up during the Great Depression and World War II, going
to Princeton on scholarships, serving as a naval aviator, then
getting his first political job on Capitol Hill during the
Eisenhower administration. He recalls how he won a seat in the
House of Representatives at age thirty and what he experienced as a
Republican in Congress during the Kennedy and Johnson years.
We also follow him back to the executive branch as he took on
key cabinet positions in the Nixon and Ford administrations,
including his service as the youngest ever secretary of defense,
just after the trauma of Vietnam. And we learn about the challenges
he later faced as a CEO in the private sector and during his
special assignments for President Reagan, including a face-to-face
meeting with Saddam Hussein in 1983.
All of that would have been enough material for a fascinating
book. But as 2001 began, Rumsfeld's greatest challenges lay ahead
of him. At age sixty-eight he returned to the Pentagon as President
Bush's secretary of defense, with a mandate to transform the
military for a new century. Just nine months later he would
confront the worst acts of terrorism in American history, followed
by unexpected wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he would be on the
firing line for many controversies, from the revelations of abuse
at Abu Ghraib prison to allegations of torture at Guantanamo
"Known and Unknown" reveals what happened behind the scenes
during the critical moments of the Bush years, as the President's
inner circle debated how best to defend our country. It is based
not only on Rumsfeld's memory but also on hundreds of previously
unreleased documents from throughout his career. It also features
his blunt, firsthand opinions about some of the world's best-known
figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Elvis Presley, from Henry
Kissinger to Colin Powell, and about each American president from
Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
In a famous press briefing, Rumsfeld once remarked that there
are also unknown unknowns . . . things we do not know we don't
know." His book makes us realize just how much we didn't know.
Donald Rumsfeld is donating his proceeds from the sales of
"Known and Unknown" to the military charities supported by the
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