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Publisher's Summary

For the past three decades, Colin Powell has been among America's most trusted and admired leaders. This biography demonstrates that Powell's decades-long development as an exemplary subordinate is crucial to understanding his astonishing rise from a working-class immigrant neighborhood to the highest echelons of military and political power.

Once an aimless, ambitionless teenager who barely graduated from college, Powell became an extraordinarily effective and staunchly loyal subordinate to many powerful superiors who, in turn, helped to advance his career. By the time Powell became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he had developed into the consummate follower - motivated, competent, composed, honorable, and independent. 

The quality of Powell's followership faltered at times, however, while in Vietnam, during the Iran-Contra scandal, and after he became George W. Bush's secretary of state. Powell proved a fallible patriot, and in the course of a long and distinguished career he made some grave and consequential errors in judgment.

Imperfect Patriot is the fascinating story of Powell's professional life and of what we can learn from both his good and bad followership.

The book is published by University of Notre Dame Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2019 Jeffrey J. Matthews (P)2020 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Well-researched and full of rich detail...a balanced, albeit critical, review of Powell’s 40+ years of service." (Brigadier General Chad Manske, commandant of the National War College)

"Excellent biography…a comprehensive and compelling analysis." (Walter LaFeber, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University)

"Matthews has produced a fascinating case study of the human elements of public service and leadership.” (Malcolm Byrne, deputy director, National Security Archive) 

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the voice was terrible

the history of this man is great and I'm fan of the lesson we can learn from his life but the voice over offers no emotion to the story. it leaves you flat and board while listening

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Profile Image for Karen Levosky
  • Karen Levosky
  • 07-06-2020

Boring

I am going to check this book out of the library, I am really interested in Colin Powell, but the narrator was so dry I just couldn't listen to him.

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Profile Image for Wendy Wood
  • Wendy Wood
  • 27-03-2020

Hard to keep interested

Informative but dragged on. Haven’t listened to any other books about Colin Powell I have no idea if the material presented was unbiased. It seemed to be. I have always thought of Colin Power as a hero tp our nation. Now I am having to rethink much of what I have thought. If you like political history I’d say read it. If you like Colin Powell maybe you should skip this book.

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