Madeleine Albright’s personal familiarity with world politics infuses the bold, compelling, poignant observations and reflections in The Mighty and the Almighty. Albright served as U.S. Secretary of State from 1997-2001, the first woman to hold that position, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as well as authoring the New York Times bestseller Madam Secretary.
President Bill Clinton articulates in the book’s introduction that “Madeleine Albright is unafraid to take on hard issues or speak her mind.” The controversial topics presented gives the reader insight into the mind of a forward-thinking woman who believes that for society to advance, world leaders must gain understanding of the powerful force of religion. Facts indicate that in North America, Islam is the fasting-growing religion. A race for the soul between Muslims and Christians exists in Africa, where there are more than 350 million African Christians. Religious wars continue to threaten peace in the Middle East.
The book’s intent is to define the relationship between religion and world affairs, past and present, and how best foreign policy and religion can intersect. Albright highlights that a commonality exists across the spectrum of every religion. The best leaders approach international crisis and develop world relations with a manner that accepts differences in opinions but looks for shared aims. According to Albright, “We are all God’s children,” independent of a certain group’s religious identity, and if leaders can agree on the fundamental principles, there is a good origination point for discussion.
As described, Pope John Paul II, given the title of “greatest bridge builder,” serves as proof that religion can be a catalyst for democracy and that faith presents a method for solving major turbulence. People throughout history and in today’s environment are willing to die in the name of religion; therefore, world leader’s need to understand the role that God and religion play in international affairs.
As world leaders of the 21st century search for vehicles to combat terrorism, Albright strives to encourage them to embrace common principles instead of divisions. To create unification instead of separation, the United States and other countries must put aside their differences and find one universal belief of agreement. Countries have a right to defend themselves and to define their own individuality, whether through religion or in-country customs, but the underlying method for peace is to seek agreement on collective ideology.
According to Albright, the United States must possess the insight of who to influence, strengthen ties with Muslim world, confront Al-Qaeda, understand Arab democracy and the role of capitalism, and settle differences through open debate forum - identify ways to bring people together in support of policies that unify rather than divide. Albright offer seven ideas - not end-all solutions, but points for deliberation. The undertone is a clear premise: every individual counts, whether Christian, Muslim or Jew.
“An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind” - spoken by Mahatma Gandhi. The Mighty and the Almighty is an interesting read, especially for those seeking how to make the world a better place. This book heightens awareness, creates insight, and causes the reader to ponder the interconnection of religion and world affairs. Allocate time to read; there is a lot of information to absorb. I am not a history buff by any means, but this book has sparked a newfound desire to absorb world affairs into the crevices of the mind in an effort to engage our society.