Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

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The New York Times–bestselling autobiography of a legendary political and military leader
 
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 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 reflection of 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 decency and 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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About the author

Leon Panetta served as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011 and as secretary of defense from 2011 to 2013. An Italian American Democrat, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993, the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1994, and President Clinton’s chief of staff from 1994 to 1997. He is the founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and has served as professor of public policy at his alma mater, Santa Clara University.

Jim Newton is editor at large of the Los Angeles Times and the author of two critically acclaimed biographies.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Oct 7, 2014
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Pages
512
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ISBN
9780698152748
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / United States / 21st Century
Political Science / Security (National & International)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A rare inside look at the Secret Service from an agent who provided protection worldwide for President George H. W. Bush, President William Clinton, and President George W. Bush

Dan Emmett was just eight years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The events surrounding the President's death shaped the course of young Emmett's life as he set a goal of becoming a US Secret Service agent—one of a special group of people willing to trade their lives for that of the President, if necessary.

Within Arm's Length is a revealing and compelling inside look at the Secret Service and the elite Presidential Protective Division (PPD). With stories from some of the author's more high-profile assignments in his twenty-one years of service, where he provided arm's length protection worldwide for Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush, both as a member of the PPD and the Counter Assault Team, Dan Emmett describes the professional, physical and emotional challenges faced by Secret Service agents. Included are never before discussed topics such as the complicated relationship between presidents, first ladies and their agents, the inner workings of Secret Service protective operations as well as the seldom-mentioned challenges of the complex Secret Service cultural issues faced by an agent's family. Within Arm's Length also shares firsthand details about conducting presidential advances, dealing with the media, driving the President in a bullet-proof limousine, running alongside him through the streets of Washington, and flying with him on Air Force One.

Within Arm's Length is the essential book on the United States Secret Service. This revealing and compelling inside look at the Presidential Protective Division, along with spellbinding stories from the author's career, gives the reader an unprecedented look in to the life and career of an agent in America's most elite law enforcement agency.

FOREWORD BY SHARMILA TAGORE The first-ever biography of the enigmatic Rajesh Khanna, the original 'superstar' If ever a life was meant to be a book, few could stake a stronger claim. Like a shooting star doomed to darkness after a glorious run, Rajesh Khanna spent the better half of his career in the shadow of his own stardom. Yet, forty years after his last monstrous hit, Khanna continues to be the yardstick by which every single Bollywood star is measured. At a time when film stars were truly larger than life, Khanna was even more: the one for whom the term 'superstar' was coined. Born Jatin Khanna to middle-class parents, the actor was adopted by rich relatives who brought him up like a prince. By the time he won the Filmfare-United Producers Combine Talent Hunt, he was already famous for being the struggler who drove an imported sports car. With seventeen blockbuster hits in succession and mass adulation rarely seen before or since, the world was at Khanna's feet. Everything he touched turned to gold. The hysteria he generated - women writing him letters in blood, marrying his photograph and donning white when he married Dimple Kapadia, people bringing sick children for his 'healing' touch after Haathi Mere Saathi - was unparalleled. Then, in a matter of months, it all changed. Khanna's career hit a downward spiral as spectacular as his meteoric rise just three years after Aradhana (1969) and never really recovered. Dark Star looks at the phenomenon of an actor who redefined the 'film star'. Gautam Chintamani's engaging narrative tries to make sense of what it was that made Rajesh Khanna and what accounted for his extraordinary fall. A singular account of a wondrous life.
“Newton's contribution is as cogent an inventory of Eisenhower's White House years as I've ever read. He blends masterful writing with historic detail and provides the value-added of Ike as the man and the leader.”
—Chuck Hagel, Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University; U.S. Senator (1997–2009)

Newly discovered and declassified documents make for a surprising and revealing portrait of the president we thought we knew.

America’s thirty-fourth president was belittled by his critics as the babysitter-in-chief. This new look reveals how wrong they were. Dwight Eisenhower was bequeathed the atomic bomb and refused to use it. He ground down Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism until both became, as he said, "McCarthywasm." He stimulated the economy to lift it from recession, built an interstate highway system, turned an $8 billion deficit in 1953 into a $500 million surplus in 1960. (Ike was the last President until Bill Clinton to leave his country in the black.)

The President Eisenhower of popular imagination is a benign figure, armed with a putter, a winning smile, and little else. The Eisenhower of veteran journalist Jim Newton's rendering is shrewd, sentimental, and tempestuous. He mourned the death of his first son and doted on his grandchildren but could, one aide recalled, "peel the varnish off a desk" with his temper. Mocked as shallow and inarticulate, he was in fact a meticulous manager. Admired as a general, he was a champion of peace. In Korea and Vietnam, in Quemoy and Berlin, his generals urged him to wage nuclear war. Time and again he considered the idea and rejected it. And it was Eisenhower who appointed the liberal justices Earl Warren and William Brennan and who then called in the military to enforce desegregation in the schools.

Rare interviews, newly discovered records, and fresh insights undergird this gripping and timely narrative.

JIM NEWTON is a veteran journalist who began his career as clerk to James Reston at the New York Times. Since then, he has worked as a reporter at the Atlanta Constitution and as a reporter, bureau chief and editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he presently is the editor-at-large and author of a weekly column. He also is an educator and author, whose acclaimed biography of Chief Justice Earl Warren, Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made, was published in 2006. He lives in Pasadena, CA.


From the Hardcover edition.
An unprecedented high-level master narrative of America's intelligence wars, demonstrating in a time of new threats that espionage and the search for facts are essential to our democracy
 
For General Michael Hayden, playing to the edge means playing so close to the line that you get chalk dust on your cleats. Otherwise, by playing back, you may protect yourself, but you will be less successful in protecting America. "Play to the edge" was Hayden's guiding principle when he ran the National Security Agency, and it remained so when he ran CIA.  In his view, many shortsighted and uninformed people are quick to criticize, and this book will give them much to chew on but little easy comfort; it is an unapologetic insider's look told from the perspective of the people who faced awesome responsibilities head on, in the moment.
 
How did American intelligence respond to terrorism, a major war and the most sweeping technological revolution in the last 500 years?  What was NSA before 9/11 and how did it change in its aftermath?  Why did NSA begin the controversial terrorist surveillance program that included the acquisition of domestic phone records? What else was set in motion during this period that formed the backdrop for the infamous Snowden revelations in 2013?  
 
As Director of CIA in the last three years of the Bush administration, Hayden had to deal with the rendition, detention and interrogation program as bequeathed to him by his predecessors. He also had to ramp up the agency to support its role in the targeted killing program that began to dramatically increase in July 2008. This was a time of great crisis at CIA, and some agency veterans have credited Hayden with actually saving the agency. He himself won't go that far, but he freely acknowledges that CIA helped turn the American security establishment into the most effective killing machine in the history of armed conflict.
 
For 10 years, then, General Michael Hayden was a participant in some of the most telling events in the annals of American national security. General Hayden's goals are in writing this book are simple and unwavering: No apologies. No excuses. Just what happened. And why. As he writes, "There is a story here that deserves to be told, without varnish and without spin. My view is my view, and others will certainly have different perspectives, but this view deserves to be told to create as complete a history as possible of these turbulent times. I bear no grudges, or at least not many, but I do want this to be a straightforward and readable history for that slice of the American population who depend on and appreciate intelligence, but who do not have the time to master its many obscure characteristics."
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