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Entries in memoir (6)

Tuesday
Oct042011

‘This Is Herman Cain!’ Cain’s New Memoir Tops Amazon.com

Steve Pope/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Not only is Herman Cain climbing in the polls, his memoir is climbing up the Amazon.com list, landing in the top 10 Best Sellers. Tuesday, Herman Cain’s memoir, This Is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House, hit bookshelves. Kicking off his book tour Monday night on the Sean Hannity Show, Cain will, in the middle of his campaign for the White House, spend two weeks promoting his book.

The book chronicles the pizza CEO’s rise from rags to riches. It details his early life in the segregated South, meeting his wife, Gloria, and his battle with stage 4 liver and colon cancer. He also gives an in-depth view of his many years in business, moving from the Coca-Cola Co. to Pillsbury to Burger King and then to Godfather’s Pizza. Cain isn’t shy about portraying what the first 90 days of a Cain administration would look like.

He recounts his first moment on the national stage, confronting President Clinton during a televised town hall about his proposed health care bill.

“While I was not the first person who tried to point out to the president and members of his administration how his proposed plan would affect jobs and the economy, my ‘four minutes of notoriety’ would serve as a lightning rod, and would become, in the words of Newt Gingrich, one of my worthy opponents of the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2012, ‘the turning point of the debate’.”

He also talks about his motivation to run for office and the birth of his granddaughter as the defining moment that led him to run for president.

“My first grandchild! I didn’t think: How do I give her a good start in life? How do I make sure she gets a good education? The first thought that went through my mind was: What do I do to make this a better world and a better nation?”

Other interesting tidbits -- his Secret Service name would be “Cornbread.”  Apparently, he can’t get enough of the stuff. He also talks about how he measures up against the rest of the GOP field. He’s not particularly worried by his competitors and writes "least of all Ron Paul, whose campaign sends one of its ‘Paulites’ everywhere I show up. Clearly, the intent is to agitate, not to educate.”

Cain is the author of several other books on topics of business and public speaking. This is Herman Cain! was published by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

Former Powell Chief of Staff: Cheney 'Fears Being Tried as a War Criminal'

(WASHINGTON) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, is out Tuesday, and it's full of criticism and attacks on his Bush administration colleagues -- from describing Condoleezza Rice as "tearfully admitting" he was right on the war in Iraq to revealing private conversations with George W. Bush on the eve of the Iraq war.

He reserves much of his ire for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and now Powell and his longtime aide and chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, are attempting to set the record straight, in no uncertain terms. Cheney, Wilkerson told ABC News, "was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration" and "fears being tried as a war criminal."

In his memoir, Cheney claims Powell undermined President Bush. "It was as though he thought the proper way to express his views was by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government," Cheney writes, adding that he encouraged Powell's removal from the administration after the 2004 election, writing Powell's resignation "was for the best."

Powell himself called Cheney's criticism "cheap shots" during an interview this past Sunday on CBS News' Face the Nation.

"What really sort of got my attention was this way in which he characterized it: it's going to 'cause heads to explode,'" Powell said. "That's quite a visual. And in fact, it's the kind of headline I would expect to come out of a gossip columnist, or the kind of headline you might see one of the supermarket tabloids write. It's not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from a former vice president of the United States of America."

Before serving as Powell's chief of staff while Powell was Secretary of State, Wilkerson worked in the first Bush administration as a special assistant to Powell, who was then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Cheney was serving as secretary of defense. He's known Cheney for decades, but says now, "I simply don't recognize Mr. Cheney anymore," calling him a "very vindictive person."

"He's developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as 'exploding heads all over Washington' because that's the way someone who's decided he's not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let's get out in front of everybody, let's act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him," Wilkerson said, alluding to the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested for war crimes.

Cheney told NBC News that his revealing memoir would have "heads exploding all over Washington."

Wilkerson said Powell was "simply not opposed to the war," citing the former secretary of state's now-infamous trip to the United Nations in February 2003 in which he testified that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as proof that he wasn't undermining Bush. Instead, Wilkerson said, he actually criticized Powell for "expressing too much support" for the war and explained that he used his own military experience to advise Powell that the U.S. military wasn't finished with its job in Afghanistan, and the military would be stretched too thin. He said he registered "all manner of objections" to Powell, adding that "some of those probably leaked" but that Powell wasn't objecting to the war.

"From what I've read, Cheney seems to criticize everyone, including President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, [Deputy Secretary of State] Rich Armitage, and a host of others except himself. Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance… all of which are crimes. I don't care whether the president authorized him to do it or not, they are crimes," Wilkerson said. "Cheney was a good secretary of defense in my view. In fact I would put him up amongst the top three in the short history of the position. No longer do I feel that way, and I don't know what happened to Cheney."

Wilkerson added that he was struck that Cheney doesn't seem to admit any mistakes or backtrack on any of the decisions he made during his time in the administration.

"There are plenty of people who have written their memoirs and have had battles to fight in those memoirs who have not been as acidic or acerbic as Cheney is and I can't think of anyone…who have not at least admitted to a mistake here and there or at least given some extenuating circumstances. Cheney doesn't seem capable of that," Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson adds, "Something happened to Dick Cheney and it wasn't just 9/11," which Cheney cites as deeply changing him. Wilkerson said the former vice president always "coveted power" and that Cheney was "fully expecting that he was going to be vice president" when he headed up the search team for Bush.

"I can't speak to the psychosomatic or the genetic problems with heart attacks or whatever, but I can speak to power," Wilkerson said. "He wanted desperately to be president of the United States…he knew the Texas governor was not steeped in anything but baseball, so he knew he was going to be president and I think he got his dream. He was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug252011

Dick Cheney Makes No Friends with Forthcoming Memoir

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir is set to be released next week, but juicy excerpts have already leaked, and from the looks of them, he may sell books, but his former colleagues in the Bush administration might take him off their Christmas card list.

Cheney's memoir, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, is the vice president's version of events in the Bush administration. According to The New York Times, he reveals personal conversations with Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and George Tenet.

There are also details from Sept. 11, 2001, and Cheney writes about his heart problems and his backup plan in case his health problems overwhelmed him. He also writes, for the first time, about the weeks he was unconscious after heart surgery in 2010.

Cheney told NBC News that "there are going to be heads exploding all over Washington" after people read the book. Here's a look at some of the juiciest parts that have been leaked early:

Condoleezza Rice

According to The New York Times, Cheney goes after former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her "naivete" in her efforts to negotiate a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea. The book also details Cheney's view that "he saw no need to apologize" for the controversial words included in Bush's 2003 State of the Union about Iraq's supposed search for uranium in Niger that helped justify the war in Iraq. Cheney's writes that Rice eventually agreed with him, and she "tearfully admitted I had been right."

On Thursday Rice's publisher announced that her memoir about her time in the Bush administration would be released in November. The announcement describes her book as "surprisingly candid in her narrative of administration colleagues, as well as the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt," so there is no doubt her memoir will tell her side of the story and could be quite different from her former colleague's.

Colin Powell

Cheney doesn't sugarcoat how he feels about former Secretary of State Colin Powell, writing that he believes Powell tried to undermine Bush by expressing his worry about the Iraq War in private conversations.

"It was as though he thought the proper way to express his views was by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government," Cheney writes, according to The New York Times.

Cheney adds that he encouraged that Powell be removed from the administration after the 2004 election, writing Powell's resignation "was for the best."

George Tenet

Cheney writes that the former and longest-serving director of the CIA, George Tenet, resigned in 2004 just "when the going got tough." The former vice president calls Tenet's resignation "unfair to the president," according to The New York Times.

Tenet's own book, At the Center of the Storm, was released in 2007, and it harshly criticized Cheney and other members of the Bush administration, writing they pushed the country to war in Iraq.

Sept. 11

The memoir begins with Cheney's memories from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The New York Times writes that the vice president "commanded the government's response from a bunker beneath the White House" because the president was away from Washington.

"My past government experience," he writes, "had prepared me to manage the crisis during those first few hours on 9/11, but I knew that if I went out and spoke to the press, it would undermine the president, and that would be bad for him and for the country. We were at war. Our commander-in-chief needed to be seen as in charge, strong, and resolute -- as George W. Bush was."

Syria

One of the most shocking revelations of the leaked excerpts is that Cheney says he urged Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in June 2007, but his colleagues weren't going for it.

"I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor," Cheney writes, according to The New York Times, "But I was a lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, 'Does anyone here agree with the vice president?' Not a single hand went up around the room."

Cheney's Heart Condition and Backup Plan

Cheney reveals for the first time that because of his history of heart disease, he worried that while in office a heart attack or stroke could leave him unable to fulfill his duties. He wrote a letter of resignation that he kept in a locked safe to use if he became incapacitated.

Cheney told NBC's Jamie Gangel he did it because "there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can't function."

Cheney also writes that after heart surgery in 2010, he was unconscious for weeks. During that time, The New York Times writes, Cheney had a "prolonged, vivid dream that he was living in an Italian villa, pacing the stone paths to get coffee and newspapers."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug242011

Why Dick Cheney Kept a Secret Resignation Letter Locked Away

ABC/Heidi Gutman(WASHINGTON) -- Dick Cheney was ready for a quick exit.

The former vice president had a secret resignation letter drafted, signed and locked away since March 2001 just in case he became incapacitated, he writes in his forthcoming memoir.

Cheney acknowledges the existence of the letter, which he says only he, President George W. Bush and one of Cheney’s aides knew about, in his book, In My Time, which will be published next Tuesday. He kept the letter in a safe but did not reveal the location.

“I did it because I was concerned that -- for a couple of reasons,” Cheney told NBC’s Jamie Gangel in an interview. “One was my own health situation. The possibility that I might have a heart attack or a stroke that would be incapacitating. And, there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can’t function.”

In their interview, Gangel suggested that his memoir was likely to make a lot of people angry.

Cheney agreed: “There are gonna be heads exploding all over Washington,” he said.

In the 576-page book, the former vice president reportedly writes extensively about private discussions he had with President Bush on a variety of issues.

“I didn’t set out to embarrass the president or not embarrass the president,” Cheney said in the NBC interview. “If you look at the book there are many places in it where I say some very fine things about George Bush."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb032011

Donald Rumsfeld's Memoir: No Regrets on Iraq War

Photo Courtesy - Sentinel HC(WASHINGTON) -- Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has no regrets about how the Iraq war was handled, according to leaked portions of his memoir.

The Middle East would be "far more perilous than it is today" with Saddam Hussein in power, Rumsfeld wrote in his new book, Known and Unknown: A Memoir -- slated to be released next week.

While the book's contents have been a tightly guarded secret, some revelations have already leaked out.

The book covers the span of an extraordinary career in Washington and beyond, as Rumsfeld himself recorded in real-time in thousands of pages of documents being released in conjunction with the book.

Elected to Congress from Illinois at age 30, he went on to serve in top posts in the Nixon and Ford administrations -- including Ford's White House chief of staff -- and was the nation's youngest ever as well as oldest ever Defense secretary, tenures separated by 24 years in the private sector.

In the memoir, Rumsfeld recounted a one-on-one meeting with President George W. Bush, who first asked for Iraq war plans just two weeks after the Sept. 11 attack -- before the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

As defense secretary, Rumsfeld played a key role in the war on terror – often referred to as one of the architects of the war in Iraq.

In responding to criticism that he didn't authorize enough troops to fight in the war, he said that commanders never sent him a request for more forces in 2003.

But he wrote that, "in retrospect, there may have been times when more troops could have helped."

However, if there was one thing he regrets, it's not quitting after the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse scandal.

Graphic photos showing physical and sexual humiliation of detainees at the prison in Iraq by U.S. soldiers touched off worldwide outage.

"Abu Ghraib and its follow-on effects, including the continued drum-beat of 'torture' maintained by partisan critics of the war and the president, became a damaging distraction," he wrote. "More than anything else I have failed to do, and even amid my pride in the many important things we did accomplish, I regret that I did not leave at that point."

Rumsfeld wrote President George W. Bush two letters of resignation but both were rejected.

He was dismissed by President Bush after Democrats took over Congress in Nov. 2006, after serving nearly six years as Defense Secretary in his second stint in the job he also held in the Ford administration.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan142011

Ron Reagan Jr. Concerned Over Dad’s Mental State in First Term

Photo Courtesy - Joe Kohen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Ronald Reagan -- who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years after leaving the presidency – elicited “shivers of concern” about his mental state as early as 1984, during his first term in office, according to a new book by his son, Ron Jr.

In his forthcoming memoir, My Father at 100, Ronald Reagan Jr. writes that he grew concerned that something was wrong with his father “beyond mellowing” in the early 1980s.

He goes on to say that -- given what science has learned about when symptoms of Alzheimer’s arise -- the question of whether he was suffering from the disease while in office “more or less answers itself.”

“Three years into his first term as president, I felt the first shivers of concern that something beyond mellowing was affecting my father,” Reagan Jr. writes, according to an excerpt in the new issue of Parade magazine.

“I don’t want to give the impression that my father was mumbling incoherently during this or any period. But by the time he turned 76, he had survived a near-fatal shooting and surgery for colon cancer. As old men will, he’d learned to conserve his energy for crucial moments,” he continues.

Reagan also writes that he believes his father would have resigned the presidency had he been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s while in office:

“Had the diagnosis been made in, say, 1987, would he have stepped down? I believe he would have,” he writes. “Today we are aware that the changes associated with Alzheimer’s can be in evidence years, even decades, before identifiable symptoms arise. The question, then, of whether my father suffered from the beginning stages of the disease while in office more or less answers itself.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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