Monday, January 12, 2009

Understanding International Conflicts or All Too Human

Understanding International Conflicts

Author: Joseph S Ny

Part of the “Longman Classics in Political Science” series, Nye's best-selling text has been completely updated with new discussions about Middle East politics, including the  Israel-Palestine dispute and the Iraq war, terrorism in general and radical Islamic terrorism in particular, the global politics of oil, and much more. Replete with illustrative examples and written in a lively, engaging manner, this is a brief, inexpensive book that students will buy and actually enjoy reading. It deftly balances theory and history to help students develop a well-rounded, informed framework for analyzing the international issues confronting us at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Read also Direction de Propriété

All Too Human: A Political Education

Author: George Stephanopoulos

"So this is it. This is how the big guys talk to each other. I'd been behind my share of closed doors on Capitol Hill, but this was different -- more self-conscious, almost cinematic, as if everyone was aware of playing a part in a drama that was being written as they spoke. This was the classic smoke-filled room, minus the smoke. I watched and listened and tried to look cool, too dumbstruck to say a sensible word and half-convinced that somebody would look up any minute and say, 'Hey, what are you doing here?"
For four years in the White House and one year of campaigning before that, George Stephanopoulos was rarely more than a few steps from Bill Clinton. As the President's Senior Adviser, he saw it all - the endless arguments, the back hall scheming, the protracted decisions, the last minute flip flops that somehow produced real accomplishments, but also set in motion an almost tragic series of events that placed the fate of the President in the hands of the Senate. Now, with the natural ease of a born storyteller and the sensitive eye for fine detail of a novelist, Stephanopoulos tells an extraordinarily gripping story of human foible and frailty in high places that is destined to be one of the great political memoirs of our times. When Stephanopoulos first met Bill Clinton in September of 1991, he was 30, and like so many others before and since, he was dazzled by the brilliance, charisma, lofty ambitions and astonishing empathy of this remarkably gifted man. Here was the perfect star for an ambitious young man to hitch himself to, yet little did he anticipate what an amazing roller coaster ride it would be - both for the administration and for Stephanopoulos. Throughout the chaos and camaraderie, the breathtaking triumphs and disasters, Stephanopoulos clung to the vision of what a Clinton Presidency could be, even as he began to see the hidden, dark compartments in the man that would bring him and the nation to such grief. In addition to the complex portrait of the President, here are brilliant, nuanced sketches of all the key players, including Al Gore, Dick Morris, and Hillary Clinton, whose combative, litigator instincts were, sadly, behind many of her husband's missteps. Here too is a candid, sometimes merciless, self-portrait of the author, whose drives, vanities, and insecurities, along with everyone else's, peppered the playing field of the biggest game in town. All Too Human is a book for the ages.

New York Magazine - Walter Kirn

[Stephanopoulos] tells his calculated story well, with a novelist's flair for sketching scenes and characters.

New York Observer - Jonathan Alter

Mostly this is welcome confession, and not just because it has the benefit of sounding sincere. The reflective, honest tone makes this book essential for anyone trying to understand life inside big-time politics. It's free of the too-tidy anecdotes that clog most political memoirs. The stories ring real, and they're well rendered.


...Stephanopoulos is admirably blunt....But he lacks skepticism about the class of permanent, pompous Washingtonians he has now joined in all but his address.

The New York Times Book Review - Garry Wills

In his self-flagellating self-promotion — a way of climbing on his knees — Stephanopoulos regrets that his vanity at times made it harder for him to advance his sound views.

The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani

...[C]andid and highly readable....a far cry from the devastating indictments of previous administrations offered by other insiders....fueled less by any score-settling agenda than by an insider's preoccupation with process and a natural storyteller's fondness for vivid characters and anecdotes...

National Review - Dick Morris

...[T]he most gripping tale of a man's successful battle against his conscience since Albert Speer's cliffhanger Inside the Third Reich....[T]he real tragedy of Stephanopoulos' book [:] He is unhappy in his own skin....He should be very proud of his abilities. Instead, he aspires to a sainthood that he will never reach.


This best-selling memoir of Stephanopoulos's experiences in the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections, and as an aide to Clinton in his first term, is a compelling political story. It is an intelligent, emotional examination of an intense experience by a young man, just in his early 30s, who helps put a man in the White House and then is part of the group that shapes and molds policy once there. So much has been written and spoken about these experiences, there is little reason to rehash details in this review. What is important to think about is how Stephanopoulos's personal story will resonate among students. I believe that those who take politics seriously, who hope someday to work in the political system for programs and policies they hold dear, will find these memoirs riveting. Stephanopoulos bares his heart. He isn't some political hack or bureaucrat, he isn't a middle-aged politician—he is a young idealistic man, with an immigrant heritage that molds his character and ideas; he is haunted by fears of rejection and highly critical of mistakes. Although he is intelligent and wise, he is inexperienced. The pressure led him to depression and anxiety; stressed out, he got out five years after he got in—a classic burnt-out case. This could well turn out to be a classic work of political writing, late 20th century. KLIATT Codes: A*—Exceptional book, recommended for advanced students, and adults. 1999, Little Brown/Back Bay, 456p, 21cm, illus, bibliog, 99-13817, $14.95. Ages 17 to adult. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; May 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 3)

Library Journal

National fame came early to Stephanopoulos, who by age 31 was President Clintons first director of communications until he was promoted to the vaguely defined, vulnerable position of senior advisor. He views Clinton as the best politician he has ever known, who could have accomplished much more if he were a better person. First Lady Hillary Clinton is portrayed as fiercely loyal and at times inflexible and ambitious. Ultimately, Stephanopolous fell out of favor for being a traditional liberal in an administration that increasingly believed that the era of big government was dead and also because he was a reputed news leaker, a charge he denies. The strengths of the book are also its weaknesses. An engaging, self-deprecating style, similar to that of Robert Reich, Clintons first secretary of labor (Locked in the Cabinet, LJ 4/1/97), is marred by an overabundance of italicized comments representing rejoinders that could have been used with devastating effect in confrontations but werent. A forthright honesty about his own faults dissolves into self-pity during an extended section on his fights with his major political foe, Dick Morris, the pollster who was brought on board to improve Clintons image but departed when his telephone antics with a prostitute were discovered. Stephanopoulos resigned at the end of the first term and recently condemned the Lewinsky affair as Clintons abandonment of presidential policies and more than a few trusted advisors in order to save himself. Overall, a fascinating if controversial insiders account of life inside the Clinton pressure cooker administration during its early years. A required purchase for public libraries.Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA

The New Republic - Katha Pollitt

Stephanopoulos's account of White House misadventures is just as self-serving as [Monica's Story], but his book, while much better written, is a little harder to take....[D]id Stephanopoulos betray the President by writing this book? There is certainly something distasteful about the whole project.

Commentary - Gabriel Schoenfeld

The book may not tell us anything wholly new about the Clinton presidency, but it does...[add] authoritative emphases that could come only from one who saw it up close....For...what [it reveals] of the abysses to which the American political class has sunk, we owe a small measure of debt to George Stephanopoulos's...confessions.

People Magazine - Alex Tresniowski

...[A]s a knowing, slightly cynical treatise on modern politics, All Too Human really hums....a classic morality tale.

The Christian Science Monitor - James N. Thurman

No doubt anecdotally significant to historians, the book for present-day news junkies will be interesting reading....[C]onveys a lukewarm scolding to a gifted and idealistic President whom Stephanopoulos believes wasted a golden opportunity.

The American Spectator - Byron York

...[A]t least we now have what all those subpoenas couldn't unearth: George Stephanopoulos's memories of life with Bill Clinton. Whether we have the real story is another question altogether...."[W]hen I worked for Clinton I had been willing to suspend my disbelief about some of his more suspect denials," [he writes]. Perhaps the most astonishing that Stephanopoulos apparently expects us to believe that.

Table of Contents:
Prologue..... 3
Chapter 1: Background Check..... 7
Chapter 2: Becoming a True Believer..... 25
Chapter 3: Hearing Hoofbeats..... 5 1
Chapter 4: Higher Up, Deeper In..... 81
Chapter 5: Opening Day..... 108
Chapter 6: Bungee Jumping Without a Rope..... 121
Chapter 7: Close Encounters..... 153
Chapter 8: Doing the Job..... l89
Chapter 9: Hoofbeats RedUX..... 225
Chapter 10: The Weekend I Was Haldeman..... 244
Chapter 11: The Longest Summer..... 275
Chapter 12: Crash..... 303
Chapter 13: My Dinner with Dick..... 328
Chapter 14: A Tale of Two Speeches..... 342
Chapter 15: Entente Cordiale..... 376
Chapter 16: Getting Out..... 409
Epilogue - On My Own..... 429
Note on Sourcing..... 445
Acknowledgments..... 447
Index..... 449

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