A TIME TO LEAD:
FOR DUTY, HONOR AND COUNTRY
By Wesley K. Clark
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons (September, 2007)
comments on A Time to Lead.
From Publishers Weekly:
Army generals frequently remain little known outside the military. That was true of four-star general Clark until he decided to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the 2004 presidential race. In a combination memoir, patriotic tract and broadside about contemporary American politics, Clark explains how his dismay with the Bush administration's determination to invade Iraq without good reason primed him to seek the presidency. On the campaign trail, Clark suggested that using military force to defeat terrorists would likely prove futile. Instead, he touted the value of negotiation. How a four-star general ended up less hawkish than the civilian in the White House is linked to the events of his life, from growing up in the segregated city of Little Rock, Ark., to becoming NATO's supreme allied commander, Europe. The freshest material covers his command of international peacekeeping troops in Kosovo, as the 1990s civil war in the former Yugoslavia threatened to engulf neighboring countries. Little will be unfamiliar to those who supported Clark's presidential bid, or of interest to those who didn't.-
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
From ALA Booklist:
Clark's autobiography begins with an account of the serious wounds he received in battle in Vietnam. His experience there, he avers, crystallized principles of leadership. Yet as interested as some are in the secrets of successful leadership, most will approach Clark's memoir for the windows it opens into his personal and professional life. Although Clark recalls salient memories from his youth in Little Rock, Arkansas, such as the desegregation crisis of 1957, he structures his material largely by his ascent up the military hierarchy, from the West Point class of 1966 to his last post, as NATO commander of the 1999 war on Serbia. West Point was a life-altering experience: he survived the hazing, discovered a talent for soldiering, and met his future wife. In direct, unadorned prose, Clark imparts his conviction of the anticommunist cause in Vietnam and his significant contribution to the army's recovery in the 1980s. The book closes with Clark's Democratic Party presidential candidacy in 2004 and his criticism of the Iraq war, signaling that the author's engagement in politics may continue. --Taylor, Gilbert
Additional Praise for
A Time to Lead
"My friend Wes Clark has written his powerful story of how the promise
of America empowered a young boy, more with patriotism than money, to become a man, a soldier and a hero.Wes offers us hard-won lessons in leadership and the value of discipline and determination. Anyone interested in leadership or improving their own lives should read this book."
"In the dialogue about America's role in the world, Wesley Clark's voice needs to be heard. His military experience and unique leadership qualities form the foundation of his thinking and have earned him a key role in the Democratic Party. In the personal stories found in this beautifully written book, there are valuable lessons that can be applied to today's dilemmas."
"General Clark adeptly employs his autobiography to convey the meaning and importance of leadership. A Time to Lead teaches essential life-long lessons and principles, and provides keen historical insights into the current state of world affairs. As one of the most successful commanding officers in the U.S. Army, no one is more qualified to teach leadership."
"In a time when U.S. foreign policy must be adroit for our nation to be safe and successful, its no surprise that leading Democrats have been tapping Wes Clark for advice. A winner-without loss of American life-in Kosovo, and a predictor of the mess in Iraq, Clark's story is a timely reminder that the best way to be tough in the 21st century is to be very, very smart."
"Wesley Clark and I shared similar career experiences: both West Point Graduates, we both found ourselves exposed to high-level military and political responsibilities and found our convictions shaped by the administrations we served. A Time To Lead confirms the rewarding benefits of military service at a time when such service is experiencing considerable strain. It also includes a comprehensive description of America's current national imperatives, which deserve serious consideration."
"Wesley Clark is on the path to become a great leader--an FDR or an Eisenhower--and in this book he shows us why: because he understands in depth the crisis America faces, and he remains undaunted. Insightful, passionate, intelligent, and battle-tested, Clark's vision can restore America's leadership in the world."
"Four-star General Wesley Clark is a true-blue American hero and natural-born military strategist. In his thoughtful new book, A Time to Lead, Clark combines personal anecdote with sharp policy ideas to issue a sensible and uplifting blueprint for our nation's future. A real gem of a book."
"From his modest beginnings in Arkansas to leading NATO forces to their first victory in war, the story of General Wesley Clark's life is truly inspirational. 'A Time to Lead' teaches us through example that true leadership is moral courage: speaking up for what is right and necessary - without regard to personal risk. Its lessons are a powerful resource for military and civilian leaders facing today's imminent challenges."
"General Clark has produced a clear and compelling description of what we need to do to defeat terrorism, rebuild our economy and restore our global leadership role. In so doing, this war hero, successful diplomat and brilliant Rhodes Scholar demonstrates exactly the kind of skills, experience and leadership we need to show us the way."
"Wesley Clark's life epitomizes the American Dream-successfully overcoming life's obstacles through applied dedication, courage and faith-and the All American Hero, whose deep love for our nation and humanity led to great personal sacrifice and an exemplary career of public service. Wesley Clark's practical vision for a peaceful, prosperous America is one that we can and should embrace."
"Wes Clark has produced a wonderful forward-looking memoir. It uses the inspiring events in his life, both in war and peace, as a springboard to provide lessons for the future. It's a joy to read and a trove of interesting ideas."
"Inspirational insights from a gifted leader with a solid grasp of the issues challenging America at home and abroad--a leader with proven talent for motivating people and achieving historic results."
"I was fortunate to serve as General Clark's Deputy in Belgium when he was Supreme Allied Commander and I saw at first hand his masterly handling of events in the Balkans; where by intellect, courage, determination and sheer military skill, he succeeded when none thought this was possible. He established a model for peace and reconstruction, which those involved in Iraq and Afghanistan today can only long for. His book gives a fascinating and very human insight of his unique life experiences which led up to this success, and which have shaped his vision for America and the post cold war Europe. An important book which sheds new light on many of the difficult issues facing those involved in warfighting or peacemaking today."
"Wes Clark has written more than a life story. This is a primer on leadership forged in battle and by decades of experience. I have watched Wes Clark demonstrate exceptional leadership from our teenage years at West Point through Vietnam, the Cold War, Kosovo, politics, marriage and fatherhood. This isn't just a book; it's a manual for leading people and living a good life."
"An earnest reflection on war and peace from a commander's unique point of view."
"A combination memoir, patriotic tract, and broadside about contemporary American politics."
"In direct, unadorned prose, Clark imparts his conviction of the anticommunist cause in Vietnam and his significan controbution to the army's recovery in the 1980s."
BACK TO TOP OF PAGE