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Known and Unknown

A Memoir

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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Discover the enhanced e-book edition of Known and Unknown offering an unprecedented reading experience for a memoir by a major public figure. For web-connected readers, it features more than 500 links to never-before-available original documents from Donald Rumsfeld's extensive personal archive. It includes State Department cables, correspondence, and memoranda on topics such as Vietnam, Watergate, the days following 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and much more. Available in ePub and Adobe Reader.
Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches.

With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld's memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld's unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.

Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world's best known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.

Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today's readers and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow's historians.

Proceeds from the sales of Known and Unknown will go to the veterans charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.

Customer Reviews

Some wonderful insights ultimately disappointing

There are some wonderful moments in Donald Rumsfeld's memoir. His candid insights into considerations post 9/11 are fascinating. Learning more about his early career and what drives him is enlightening. However, his pettiness in assessing responsibility for department and administration failures on others is tiresome and ultimately what makes this a disappointing effort. Throughout the book Rumsfeld claims that he welcomes criticism. If that is true, he will learn and resonate with the widespread disappointment in his book. I found Bush's account of his administration much more sincere and thoughtful without having to dissect an agenda largely driven by absolving him from responsibility from mistakes. To be sure, Rumsfeld accomplished much as Sec Defense - and is one of the leading figures of his generation. At the same time, his failure to acknowledge mistakes and consistently criticize Bush, Sr, Powell and Rice is disappointing from someone with such immense talent and responsibility.

True hero, great American

Incredible archivist. Made great decisions in spite of tough choices. I can forgive his sensitivity to other folks choices; he earned the right. Makes one really miss competence in leadership. Also learned to really check the media's facts. Newsweek: according to this book and Google search, disgraceful blood on the medias' hands. DR & GWB made the world safer. Unlike the way things are today. Let's find another "A" team and "A" team leaders. Refreshing to know they are out there. Let's get them in office before they write their books!


Well written and documented. Most enjoyable to learn facts.

Known and Unknown
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  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 08, 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 832 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings