Worthy Fights : A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

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9780143127802: Worthy Fights : A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

It could be said that Leon Panetta has had two of the most consequential careers of any American public servant in the past fifty years. His first career, beginning as an army intelligence officer and including a distinguished run as one of Congress' most powerful and respected members, lasted thirty-five years and culminated in his transformational role as Clinton s budget czar and White House chief of staff. He then retired to establish the Panetta Institute with his wife of fifty years, Sylvia; to serve on the Iraq Study Group; and to protect his beloved California coastline. But in 2009, he accepted what many said was a thankless task: returning to public office as the director of the CIA, taking it from a state of turmoil after the Bush-era torture debates and moving it back to the vital center of America s war against Al Qaeda, including the campaign that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden. And then, in the wake of bin Laden's death, Panetta became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices.

Like his career, Worthy Fights is a reflection of Panetta's values. It is imbued with the frank, grounded, and often quite funny spirit of a man who never lost touch with where he came from: his family's walnut farm in beautiful Carmel Valley, California. It is also a testament to a lost kind of political leadership, which favors progress and duty to country over partisanship. Panetta is a Democrat who pushed for balanced budgets while also expanding care for the elderly and sick; a devout Catholic who opposes the death penalty but had to weigh every drone strike from 2009 through 2011. Throughout his career, Panetta's polestar has been his belief that a public servant s real choice is between leadership or crisis. Troubles always come about through no fault of one s own, but most can be prevented with courage and foresight.

As always, Panetta calls them as he sees them in Worthy Fights. Suffused with its author s decency and stubborn common sense, the book is an epic American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the great figures and events of our time.

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Leon Panetta has had two of the most consequential careers of any American public servant in the past fifty years. His first, beginning as an army intelligence officer and including a run as one of Congress's most powerful and respected members, lasted 35 years and culminated in his role as Clinton's budget czar and White House chief of staff. He then """"retired"""" to establish the Panetta Institute,to serve on the Iraq Study Group; and to protect the California coast. In 2009 he accepted what many said was a thankless task: returning to public office as the director of the CIA.

Review:

'The US president's lack of leadership on withdrawal from Iraq left the country to slide into sectarian chaos, writes his former defence secretary Leon Panetta.' An extract from Leon Panetta's memoir appeared in The Sunday Times

'Writing kiss-and-tell memoirs is as old as the US republic. But few presidents have had to suffer as much from them while still in office as Barack Obama. The publication of Worthy Fights by Leon Panetta, Mr Obama's former Pentagon chief and head of the Central Intelligence Agency, marks the fifth such book by a senior official in Mr Obama's administration. Because it is written by a traditionally loyal and highly disciplined elder statesman, it will count as among the more damaging.' - Financial Times

'Leon Panetta says Obama administration brushed aside push for troops to stay behind in Iraq because it was 'eager to rid itself of' the war.' --- Daily Mail

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 213 x 137 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The New York Times bestselling autobiography of a legendary political and military leader It could be said that Leon Panetta has had two ofthe most consequential careers of any Americanpublic servant in the past fifty years. His first career, beginning as an Army intelligence officer and including a distinguished run as one of the most powerful and respected members of Congress, lasted thirty-five years and culminated in his transformational role as budget czar and White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration. But after a brief retirement, he returned to public service in 2009 as the CIA director who led the intelligence war that killed Osama Bin Laden and then became the U.S. secretary of defense, inheriting two troubled wars in a time of austerity and painful choices. Like his career, Worthy Fights is a reflectionof Panetta s values. It is also a testament to a lost kind of political leadership that favors progress and duty to country over partisanship. Leon Panetta calls them as he sees them in Worthy Fights. Suffused with its author s decencyand common sense, the book is an inspiring American success story, a great political memoir, and a revelatory view onto many of the defining figures and events of our time. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780143127802

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