Of all the members of the outgoing Bush administration, the one who is probably most respected and simultaneously least well known is Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. In his book, Twice as Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power, Marcus Mabry (chief of correspondents and senior editor at Newsweek) delves into her past to discover who she is and how she has risen to such power and influence in such a short period of time.
This book is by far the most detailed and thorough biography of Secretary Rice to date. With the Secretary's cooperation, Mr. Mabry was able to interview numerous friends and family members. To his credit, Mr. Mabry devotes the large majority of the book to Ms. Rice's upbringing and education.
Her father was a Presbyterian minister and her mother was a teacher. But the most important thing that they taught their daughter was to not think of herself as less of a person than whites. It was that philosophy, according to Mr. Mabry, that helped Ms. Rice to be successful later in life.
Mr. Mabry tries to paint a fair and balanced portrait by including interviews from both Ms. Rice's supporters and critics. Overall, he strives to be as fair as possible.
It's clear Mr. Mabry in one sense admires Ms. Rice and at the same time sides with those critical with her foreign policy. He is quick to characterize the Bush policies as a disaster. However, history may end up vindicating the President.
In summary, this is a fine portrait of Secretary Rice. Mr. Mabry is to be commended for his fine efforts in determining who she is even if he does disagree with what she stands for. He is, however, correct to assume that Ms. Rice has a role to play in politics in the future.