A list that includes even an ex-president's favorite? Learn how epic histories keep former secretary of state Madeleine Albright in the know.
After doing plenty of academic writing over the years, I'm now working on my autobiography. The plot is somewhat complicated: I was born in Czechoslovakia, which was invaded by Hitler and taken over by the Communists. My family came to the United States in search of freedom. I was married, raised three children, divorced, and worked hard enough to end up in a pretty good job.
The most difficult part in writing about all this is deciding what to leave out; there are so many good stories. It's also totally counterintuitive for me to write about myself. All my life, I've been taught not to be self-centered. As a result, I'm having a little trouble describing the main character. But it has been fascinating to look back, and I hope it will be interesting for others, as well. In many ways, my experiences have paralleled those of millions of women of my generation, in juggling the personal and the professional. As secretary of state, I experienced a lot of pressure, but also many moments of excitement and reward, and I have memories of people in Washington and around the world that shared both the high points and the low with me. I have received a lot of advice about how to write the book, which I have appreciated. But it wouldn't seem right to tell the story of my life except in my own words and style, which is exactly what I intend to do.
Madeleine Albright's autobiography will be published this fall.
What's on Madeleine Albright's Bookshelf? Read more!
From the April 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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