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Summary

Over the course of a lifetime of service to his country, Colin Powell became a national hero, a beacon of wise leadership, and, according to polls, "the most trusted man in America". From his humble origins as the son of Jamaican immigrants, to the highest levels of government in four administrations, he helped guide the nation through some of its most heart-wrenching hours. Now, in the first full biography of one of the most admired men of our time, award-winning Washington Post journalist Karen DeYoung takes us from Powell's Bronx childhood and meteoric rise through the military ranks to his formative roles in Washington's corridors of power and his controversial tenure as secretary of state.

With dramatic new information about the inner workings of an administration locked in ideological combat, DeYoung makes clearer than ever before the decision-making process that took the nation to war and addresses the still-unanswered questions about Powell's departure from his post shortly after the 2004 election. Drawing on interviews with U.S. and foreign sources, as well as with Powell himself, and with unprecedented access to his personal and professional papers, Soldier is a revelatory portrait of an American icon, a man at once heroic and all-too-humanly fallible.

Photograph ©Timothy Greenfield-Sanders/Corbis Outine

©2006 Karen Deyoung (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

Critic reviews

"DeYoung paints a favorable but balanced portrait of Powell, and she avoids using him as an instrument for Bush-bashing. Powell emerges from her account as a person who grew to meet his wider responsibilities." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-09-18

Great Book

This was a great book. You can get some good leadership knowledge listening to this.

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  • Kelvin K.
  • 07-05-17

loved it!

Colin Powell's Biography "Soldier" by Karen DeYoung is no doubt a page turner. I gained a ton of inspiration, insight on national security, and perspective on his school of thought. Moreover, by glimpsing the formative years of his time as an Army officer, I was able to understand his reasoning as the architect of Operation Desert Storm and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff under George HW Bush and Bill Clinton. Finally, I gained a clearer understanding on the struggle in the decision to invade Iraq (jaw dropper). (There's so much substance in this book that a Facebook post won't do it justice.)

By the end of Colin Powell's as George Bush's Secretary of State, Powell was ready to hang his hat. He didn't believe that becoming the president was a part of his destiny and wasn't pressured into doing so. He left the Washington with this disposition:

"I want to be remembered as a good public servant... someone who truly believed in his country, loved it and served to the best of his ability. As long as I'm remembered as somebody who served, that's good enough for me." -CP