Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


OLS Field Name OLS Field Data
Main Title Duty : memoirs of a Secretary at war /
Author Gates, Robert Michael,
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf,
Year Published 2014
OCLC Number 857234147
ISBN 9780307959478 (hardcover); 0307959473 (hardcover); 0307959481 (ebook); 9780307959485 (ebook); 0804148643 (compact disk); 9780804148641 (compact disk); 0804148651 (audiobook download); 9780804148658 (audiobook download)
Subjects Cabinet officers--United States--Biography. ; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Personal narratives. ; Afghan War, 2001---Personal narratives, American. ; War on Terrorism, 2001-2009--Personal narratives, American. ; United States--Military policy--Decision making. ; Civil-military relations--United States--History--21st century. ; United States--Politics and government--2001-2009. ; United States--Politics and government--2009-
Additional Subjects Gates, Robert Michael,--1943- ; United States.--Department of Defense--Officials and employees--Biography.
Internet Access
Description Access URL
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
EJAM  E897.4.G37A3 2014 Region 3 Library/Philadelphia, PA 06/02/2014
Collation x, 618 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes index.
Contents Notes
Summoned to duty -- Iraq, Iraq and Iraq -- Mending fences, finding allies -- Waging war on the Pentagon -- Beyond Iraq: a complicated world -- Good war, bad war -- One damn thing after another -- Transition -- New term, new agenda, old secretary -- Afghanistan: a house divided -- Difficult foes, difficult friends -- Meanwhile, back in Washington -- War, war...and revolution -- At war to the last day -- Reflections. From the former secretary of defense, a candid account of his experience serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Before Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House in 2006, he thought he'd left Washington politics behind: after working for six presidents in both e CIA and the National Security Council, he was happy in his role 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. Now, in this unsparing memoir, meticulously fair in its assessments, he takes us behind the scenes of his nearly five years as a secretary at war: the battles with Congress, the two presidents he served, the military itself, and the vast Pentagon bureaucracy;l his efforts to help Bush turn the tide in Iraq; his role as a guiding, and often dissenting, voice for Obama; the ardent devotion to and love fro American soldiers--his "heroes"--he developed on the job. In relating his personal journey as secretary, Gates draws us into the innermost sanctums of government and military power during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, illuminating iconic figures, vital negotiations, and critical situations in revealing, intimate detail. Offering unvarnished appraisals of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Presidents Bush and Obama, among other key players, Gates exposes the full spectrum of behind-closed-doors politicking within both the Bush and Obama administrations. He discusses the great controversies of his tenure--surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan, how to deal with Iran and Syria, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Guantanamo Bay, WikiLeaks--as they played out behind the television cameras. He brings to life the Situation Room during the Bin Laden raid. And, searingly, he shows how congressional debate and action or inaction on everything from equipment budgeting to troop withdrawals was often motivated, to his increasing despair and anger, more by party politics and media impact than by members' desires to protect our soldiers and ensure their success. However embroiled he became in the trials of Washington, Gates makes clear that his heart was always in the most important theater of his tenure as secretary: the front lines. We journey with him to both war zones as he meets with active-duty troops and their commanders, awed by their courage, and also witness him greet coffin after flag-draped coffin returned to U.S. soil, heartbreakingly aware that he signed every deployment order. In frank and poignant vignettes, Gates conveys the human cost of war, and his admiration for those brave enough to undertake when necessary.