Thursday, May 19, 2011

Known and Unknown

Right. I found no surprises on the more than 800 pages of Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir, Known and Unknown. As I expected, he presents his perspective on his life and the key decisions he made or recommended while in public service for a major part of his working life. He footnotes many of his points, and seems to be using this book (and the website) to provide a reservoir of documentation that shows how often he was right in what he did or recommended. It also comes as no surprise that he states that his brusque comments were often misunderstood or misperceived. His major regret was not resigning after the Abu Ghraib incident. Even that regret is not his fault: it was the fault of President Bush who refused to accept his multiple resignations. Rumsfeld uses the passive voice so often that I had to put the book down after each chapter and take a breather. Another expectation well met is that he speaks his mind about those players with whom he disagreed, and puts them in their place, with footnotes. Readers who like politics will find this book rewarding, whether one has been for or against Rumsfeld, his policies and his actions. Most readers will bore easily, and those opposed to his politics will face elevated blood pressure while reading most chapters.

Rating: Two-star (Mildly Recommended)
Click here to purchase Known and Unknown from

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