Duty

Duty

Hardback W H Allen

By (author) Robert Gates

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  • Publisher: W H Allen
  • Format: Hardback | 640 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 240mm x 50mm | 989g
  • Publication date: 14 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0753555530
  • ISBN 13: 9780753555538
  • Illustrations note: illustrations (colour)
  • Sales rank: 150,368

Product description

'As I look back, there is a parallel theme to my years at war: love. By that I mean the love - there is no other word for it - I came to feel for the troops, and the overwhelming sense of personal responsibility I developed for them. So much so that it would shape some of my most significant decisions and positions.' 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. Robert Gates was US Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011 serving under both George Bush and Barack Obama. Before that he was Director of the CIA. This is his candid and revealing account of US military engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Gates oversaw the controversial 'surge' of US troops in both countries. As well as this, he also provides commentary on the situations in Syria, Iran, Israel and North Korea and details behind the scenes meetings with Bush, Cheney, Rice, Obama and other major political figures. Mr. Gates is the only Secretary of Defense to serve under both a Republican and a Democratic president, and in Duty he provides an unsparing, full accounting of his tenure.

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Author information

Prior to his role as the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates served for over a quarter century in the Central Intelligence Agency, and under President George H. W. Bush he was Director of the C.I.A. from 1991 to 1993. On Gates's last day in office in 2011, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.

Review quote

"Probably one of the best Washington memoirs ever...Historians and policy wonks will bask in the revelations Gates provides on major decisions from late 2006 to 2011, the span of his time at the Pentagon...Gates is doing far more than just scoring points in this revealing volume. The key to reading it is understanding that he was profoundly affected by his role in sending American soldiers overseas to fight and be killed or maimed." --Thomas E. Ricks, "The New York Times Book Review" "Touching, heartfelt...fascinating...Gates takes the reader inside the war-room deliberations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and delivers unsentimental assessments of each man's temperament, intellect and management style...No civilian in Washington was closer to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than Gates. As Washington and the rest of the country were growing bored with the grinding conflicts, he seemed to feel their burden more acutely." --Greg Jaffe, "The Washington Post"" " "Forthright, impassioned...highly revealing about decision making in both the Obama and Bush White Houses...[Gates'] writing is informed not only by a keen sense of historical context, but also by a longtime Washington veteran's understanding of how the levers of government work or fail to work. Unlike many careful Washington memoirists, Gates speaks his mind on a host of issues...[he] gives us his shrewd take on a range of foreign policy matters, an understanding of his mission to reform the incoherent spending and procurement policies of the Pentagon, and a tactile sense of what it was like to be defense secretary during two wars." --Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times" "A refreshingly honest memoir and a moving one."--Jack Keane, "The Wall Street Journal""A compelling memoir and a serious history...A fascinating, briskly honest account [of a] journey through the cutthroat corridors of Washington and world politics, with shrewd, sometimes eye-p