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Duty von [Gates, Robert]
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Duty Kindle Edition

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"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


From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 4712 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 642 Seiten
  • Verlag: Virgin Digital (14. Januar 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00FM12LCM
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Screenreader: Unterstützt
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.8 von 5 Sternen 4 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #195.393 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The real unbiased view of the state of the union. Robert gates would be the most outstanding President of the United States of America!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I finished the book, but wished that Mr. Gates proceeds. It is a well-written book from a truly exceptional statesman.
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Gates publie en quelque sorte son journal des années Obama. Ce n'est pas de la littérature, plutôt un cours de Sciences politiques, mais très intéressant.
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Wann kommt das Buch auf Deutsch raus???? Wäre sehr hilfreich. Bin zwar nicht immer mit Gates einer Meinung abet im Großen und Ganzen super.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten) 4.3 von 5 Sternen 2.693 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the few memoirs I may read a second time 7. August 2016
Von Charles L Evans - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As someone who has been associated with the US government (as active duty, a DoD civilian, and as a contractor) for 26 years now, I found this book to be incredibly insightful. I might well read it again. It usually takes me months to read a book this size; I finished this one in just over a week. One aspect that I enjoyed is that while Gates made numerous references to his past, he did not go on and on and on about it. When I read a book like this I do not care about how the author's grandparent's made their way to America. I do not care about where or under what conditions the author grew up. For a book like this I want to be hit in the face immediately with the here-and-now, and that's what Gates did. I think of the entire 600 pages he spent just over TWO pages on this childhood. Some authors spend entire chapters (or multiple chapters) about their years as a child and/or teenager. Some readers like that, and that's fine. For me, I don't care. If I am reading a SECDEF's memoirs I want them to begin at the moment he gets the call from the President and end with the day he resigns. This book is perfect in that regard. The amount of detail is amazing. Gates take you into the Situation Room with him, into the Oval Office, into the countless meetings and gives what I believe to be a balanced assessment of every personality that was in-play during his tenure (from field commanders to POTUS). Just as important, his love for the troops and their well-being is beyond question. Well done, Bob!
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Balanced, but hates politics too much 2. März 2016
Von J&SLeavitt - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I tend to think of memoirs as little more than a platform for public figures to try to glorify themselves or frame their legacies to ensure against the inevitable -- that everyone will forget that you ever existed (applies to most people besides presidents). In "Duty," on the other hand, Robert Gates gives us a pretty solid and fair account of his time in office as Secretary of Defense. He scores several points above the self-seekers out there.

That's not to say that Gates is just trying to get the facts out there; he's got his point of view and he's pushing it at us. The difference, in my view, is that Gates is doing it fairly. He's not above calling BS when he thinks he sees it -- he's especially hard on Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, and virtually the entire White House staff of Obama. But he's not just taking pot shots. He frames his disagreements as just what they were: policy disagreements, and he's gracious in noting that the people behind the disagreements are solid, smart, good people with whom he got along very well on a personal level.

That simple acknowledgement -- that those with whom we may disagree are, at the bottom of it all, pretty decent people -- is all to rare among public figures, and Gates gets my kudos for basing his memoirs on that foundational idea. He thinks pretty little of preening, parochial congresspeople and the way they place personal political gain above the good of the country, but regardless of policy differences he makes sure to note the good people he served with who genuinely had a different view of what's good for America, and Gates makes sure we know he appreciated that in his colleagues.

My biggest gripe with "Duty" is simply that I think Gates abhorred so much that politics could be an element of policymaking that he failed to acknowledge that -- as much as he doesn't like it -- it's a fact of governing. He tended in his memoir to be pretty harsh with those who kept politics on the president's radar, and I found that a little unfair. Presidents have to play politics. It shouldn't govern all, that's true, but by even Gates' own account, neither Bush nor Obama gave abeyance solely to politics. As such, I feel like Gates should have allowed more latitude to political advisers to do their jobs without griping about them all the time.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Gates in His Own Words 19. März 2016
Von Michael Griswold - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Having read Duty Robert Gates memoir from his time as Secretary of Defense during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies. You have to take so much of what political figures say with a grain of salt because they obviously have stakes in making sure they are portrayed in the best possible light with the truth being as they say somewhere in the middle between the angel and the devil.

With that said, I think its really clear that Robert Gates appreciates the military and didn’t appreciate the morass that is/was? Veterans Affairs and the individual branches of the military bureaucracy. He also doesn’t mince words when discussing the two presidential administrations and the difficulties of communicating within the executive bureaucracy. While I thought much of this was pretty typical for any modern presidency, your view may be skewed by your political leanings.

My criticism is that while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are important, far less attention seemed to be given to other areas of conflict. While they are touched upon, it felt like they were dwarfed by the two wars. Absent this small criticism, it is an interesting look inside presidential administrations and decision making of political leaders.
353 von 388 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Review of "Duty" by Robert M. Gates 15. Januar 2014
Von Writing Historian - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
One paragraph from Gates is worth highlighting to encapsulate the book's overall theme - "I did not enjoy being secretary of defense. As soldiers would put it, I had too many rocks in my rucksack: foreign wars, war with Congress, war with my own department, one crisis after another. Above all, I had to send young men and women in harm's way." That quote frames what I believe to be the cathartic reasons that Gates wrote this book. I do not believe that he wrote this book for political reasons.

The first two chapters chronicle those events which I feel set the tone for the rest of the memoir, namely, Gates' uncomfortable introduction to Washington politics in the midst of an unpopular conflict, having replaced an unpopular SecDef, as the Democratic Party in both houses flexes its newly gained clout.

A significant portion of the third chapter is devoted to Iraq. It is also where Gates discusses his observations and opinions of prominent members of the Bush cabinet and military services.

Chapter Four - entitled "Waging War on the Pentagon" - focuses on Gates' struggles to overcome the entrenched bureaucracy within the Pentagon.

Gates talks about Syria, Russia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, China, North Korea, NATO, Eastern Europe, Georgia (Former Soviet Republic), and "of all things, piracy" in Chapter Five. The strongest points of this chapter are Gates' insights into his dealings with the Chinese, Russian and Israel leadership, as well as the somewhat symbiotic relationship between Israel and Iran.

Chapter Six - entitled "Good War, Bad War" - examines the shifting operational/strategic perspective as the war in Iraq seemed to be going much better while the conflict that enjoyed strong bipartisanship support, namely Afghanistan, seemed to be getting much worse. Gates' interaction with Vladimir Putin makes for more interesting reading. You will also find the author's perspective on the relief of the CENTCOM commander, Admiral Fallon, which highlights the fact that while administrations like candor from its military leaders, they don't like to read dissenting viewpoints in the national news.

Chapter 7 is a bit like Chapter 3 (but shorter) in that Gates' once again looks inward when chronicling a series of events that both horrified (flying nuclear weapons around the United States and Dover mortuary issues), annoyed (aerial tanker contract and Congressional reactions to several confirmation hearings) and mildly amused him (Condoleezza Rice's reaction to a briefing on Somali pirates). He also presents his side of events leading to the replacement of the Air Force's senior leadership.

In Chapter 8 ("Transition") Gates discusses how he walked a fine line between the incoming or outgoing administrations. He handles transition well, ably assisted by both the incoming and outgoing team, in a manner I can only describe as masterful.

The title of Chapter 9 (New Team, New Agenda, Old Secretary) hinted at the first signs of stress between Gates and the new team in the White House. He has many words of praise for SecState Hilary Clinton, who instantly gains his respect and trust. This chapter also discusses inadequate aeromedevac in Afghanistan, the need to produce an MRAP variant suitable for that theater, more Wounded Warrior and family initiatives, approving the photographing of the arrival of fallen heroes at Dover, FY 2010 budget pains, Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Iran, problems with USMC parochialism in Afghanistan, and a number of other related topics.

Chapter Ten is where the narrative discloses that relationships are starting to fray. There are also problems between US diplomats and soldiers and the Afghan president. Gates adds considerably to the previous coverage (Bob Woodward's Obama's Wars) through his first-person observations. He also names who he believes to be Woodward's sources within the White House staff in an effort to explain the perspectives found in Woodward's account.

Chapter Eleven (Difficult Friends, Difficult Foes) deals primarily with issues surrounding Iran, Israel, Russia, Vietnam, Bolivia, Pakistan, Korea (North and South), Wikileaks, and China during the 2009 - 2010 timeframe. He also reveals a disquieting session in the White House immediately following the earthquake in Haiti in which mid-level White House staffers question the competence of the SOUTHCOM commanding general because the US military apparently cannot get a tremendous amount of aid to that stricken nation within a reasonable period of time. Ironically, the very scale of US military assistance prompted the French and Brazilians to complain about the United States acting like an occupying power.

Chapter Twelve (Meanwhile, Back in Washington) discusses the disappointments experienced by Gates during this period. He observes that, "After the assurances from the president and Rahm (Emanuel) that they would oppose congressional action before the [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] review was completed, I felt there had been a breach of faith by the White House." Disappointment surfaces again during the FY budget development cycle. The chapter, however, does not concentrate exclusively on these events. Gates also discusses how once again he has to energize the DOD bureaucracy when the services and OSD fail to keep pace with enemy IED developments in Afghanistan.

The first half of Chapter Thirteen (War, War, and Revolution........) seemed, oddly enough, somewhat anti-climactic. It covers the removal of the US Ambassador to Afghanistan - Karl Eikenberry and the relief of General Stanley McChrystal, ISAF commanding general, but in a way that seemed familiar. It was one of the few sections where I did not find myself repeatedly thinking "I didn't know that!" The second half of the chapter, which deals with the revolutions in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. evoked diametrically opposite reactions as I eagerly absorbed a great deal of detailed information about those landmark events. During the discussion prior to our Libyan intervention, you learn that stereotypes are made to be broken as the military chiefs and Gates initially argue against using airpower to assist the Libyan rebels while staffers and advisors with academic or political backgrounds push for the use of military force. Unlike Afghanistan, it does not take long for President Obama to come to a decision.

Chapter Fourteen is where I am going to wind up my chapter summary. It covers the last months of Gates' tenure, focusing on his final trips to Russia (where he had a much better reception than in 2007, although the Russians were concerned about American involvement in aiding the Libyan revolutionaries - which blew back in our faces in Syria where the Russians counseled against our involvement), to China, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The world tour accounts segues into a discussion of military and defense succession covering the changing of the guard within DoD (Panetta replaces Gates), CIA (Petraeus replaces Panetta), ISAF (Allen replaces Petraeus), Afghan ambassador (Crocker replaces Eikenberry) and CJCS (Marty Dempsey replace Mullen). Gates' account of the Bin Laden Raid follows next. After initially coming out against a direct action strike, Gates was persuaded to support the raid. Within an hour after Gates informed Obama of his change of heart, the President approved the operation. The chapter ends with another discussion of bruising budget battles and his final trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

I found the book fascinating, informative, and plausible. That said, I would plead guilty to allowing my having read Donald Rumsfeld's memoir to influence my five star rating for Gates' much more candid account.
3.0 von 5 Sternen This is very good if you are interested in his life and want ... 11. Mai 2017
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Duty is the autobiography of Robert Gates who, during his career was the head of the CIA and National Security Council as well as the President of Texas A&M University. He was selected by George W. Bush and later Barack Obama to be the Secretary of Defense. It entails many of the decisions that he had to make during his life in Washington and also what influenced the decisions he made. This is very good if you are interested in his life and want to know, but as a regular reader it drastically drags out the length of the book, and slows it down. A major regret that he has throughout the book, is that he is sending kids to war that he had handed diplomas to just a little while ago. It is also interesting that he had very few arguments with George W. Bush, but got in many disputes with his advisors on the issues at the time. When Obama came into office, Gates had more issues trying to get the Army to do what he wanted them to do. The disputes added more plot to the book, yet was still dragged out by the amount of details included, which definitely makes the book less captivating. It is interesting reading about what actually happened to Gates, instead of just what the major news networks were saying about what was happening in Washington at the time. In conclusion this book is very informative due to the details that were being used, and getting to know every little thing that was happening at the time in the White House, but to someone like me, who just wants to see his point of view without the details, the book dragged out, which means I would probably give this book 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.
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