Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For

S. & S. Oct. 2019. 544p. ISBN 9781501189975. $30. POL SCI
Rice, former national security adviser and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Barack Obama, reflects on her career during the Clinton and Obama administrations and her involvement in high-profile negotiations and controversial decisions. The memoir opens with Rice’s childhood in Washington, DC, navigated her parent’s high expectations and enduring their volatile relationship. Rice’s work for the Clinton administration focused largely on African affairs and policymaking. The bulk of the book is devoted to her service as UN ambassador and national security adviser for Obama, in which she delves into key initiatives, including opening relations with Cuba and Sudan, handling the 2012 Benghazi attack, implementing the Iran nuclear deal in the years 2015–16, and taking on challenges involving ISIS. Now a Brookings Institution fellow, Rice provides additional insight into the complexity of U.S. diplomatic and national security, her day-to-day work and impressions of key players. She is tough but frank, clearly owning her successes and failures, sharing stories occasionally punctuated with anecdotes about her personal life and family.
VERDICT While she offers a fascinating look into U.S. foreign policy, Rice’s desire to be comprehensive can be overwhelming. Recommended for readers interested in national security and Obama-era staff memoirs.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing