Summary of Soldier

The Life of Colin Powell

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Soldier book summary
Gen. Colin Powell, a soldier of good fortune, rose to the top by sticking to his guns.


9 Overall

9 Importance

8 Innovation

7 Style


With Colin Powell, what you see is what you get. Karen DeYoung's exhaustive biography of the former secretary of state reveals a man who prioritized loyalty and military values. The respect shown Powell over the years is a reflection of his deep-rooted strength of conviction, subdued yet commanding personality, and sense of decency. A career soldier who served two tours of duty in Vietnam and commanded the 1991 Persian Gulf War victory, Powell dealt in the power of the chain of command. How that served – or, late in his career may have disserved – him and his country is at the crux of this book. DeYoung, an associate editor at The Washington Post, flexes her considerable reportorial muscle as she whisks you past every security checkpoint, and into the midst of sensitive and historic meetings at the highest levels of government. getAbstract highly recommends this fascinating and riveting look at an American hero who played the game as best as he could – even though the other guys made the rules.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Colin Powell was so highly respected – even by those who disagreed with him
  • Why he decided not to run for president
  • Why the war in Iraq posed such great conflict for Powell


Iraq Is the End of the Road
Although Colin Powell had indicated to President George W. Bush prior to the 2004 elections that he would serve only one term as secretary of state, a sliver of doubt remained. The war in Iraq was not going well and rumors circulated that Secretary of Defense...
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About the Author

Karen DeYoung is an associate editor at The Washington Post. She shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the war on terrorism, and has also covered foreign policy, HIV/AIDS and narcotics trafficking. She formerly headed the Post's bureaus in Latin America and London.

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