Synopses & Reviews
Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists?
Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her experiences while in office and her own deepest beliefs about morality, the United States, and the present state of world affairs, a woman noted for plain speaking offers her thoughts about the most controversial topics of our time.
In The Mighty and the Almighty, Madeleine Albright examines the profound impact of religion on America's view of itself, the effect on U.S. policy of the rise of the Christian right, the Bush administration's successes and failures in responding to 9/11, the challenges posed by the war in Iraq, and the importance of understanding Islam. She offers a balanced but, when necessary, devastating analysis of U.S. strategy and condemns those of all faiths who exploit religious fervor to create divisions or enhance their own power.
In this illuminating account, Albright argues that, to be effective, U.S. policy-makers must understand the power and place of religion in motivating others and in coloring how American actions are perceived. Defying the conventional wisdom, she suggests not only that religion and politics are inseparable, but that their partnership, when properly harnessed, can be a force for justice and peace.
"Secretary of State under President Clinton and a devout Catholic (with recently discovered Jewish roots), Albright (Madam Secretary) is especially qualified to tackle the thorny subject of the role of faith in international relations. In a remarkably accessible, even breezy style, she looks at these issues in light of recent history both abroad and at home, from the religious fundamentalism that led to the ouster of the shah of Iran to the invasion of Iraq and American hope that a political culture can emerge there that integrates democracy and Islam. But Albright also looks critically at President Bush, an evangelical Christian who invokes God in the name of fighting 'evil.' In this ambitious, thoughtful, and wide-ranging treatment, Albright deftly balances the pragmatic need to confront religious-based unrest and the idealistic need to temper one's own personal beliefs in the public realm. While fully acknowledging the threat al- Qaeda poses, Albright rejects the notion that a 'clash of civilizations' is in progress and wisely calls for care and nuance in how America approaches international confrontations that are tinged with religion." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[An] important contribution to the question of how our foreign policy should adjust to the rise of religion worldwide." Washington Post
"A thoughtful and absorbing look at religion and world politics for readers of all religious and political persuasions." Booklist
"This is a more or less dispassionate book, accessible and informative, impressively seeking reasoned pathways through today's international tensions." Library Journal
"A valuable primer on foreign-policy challenges that are sure to bedevil the United States for a long time to come." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Madeleine K. Albright is head of the Albright Group LLC and chair of the National Democratic Institute. She served as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton.