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He also remarks that the targeted sectors of the Pentagon were undergoing refurbishment with many offices unoccupied and thus many lives were spared. Rumsfeld discusses the longtime problems of his son, Nick, with drug addiction. He writes, "I had not imagined I might choke up He was a compassionate human being who had a sense of what Joyce and I were going through. He writes that Bush called for "creative" ideas, but "[t]wo weeks after the worst terror attacks in our nation's history, those of us in the Department of Defense were full[y] occupied". Additionally, he describes how Hussein targeted his family as well as the president's for reprisal attacks.

Rumsfeld states that he has been opposed to the Defense Department ever using waterboarding during interrogations. Rumsfeld recounts asking President Bush to accept his resignation and how Bush repeatedly refused. He writes that staying at the president's request "was a misjudgment on my part. He defends his policy of placing detainees in Guantanamo Bay prison , writing,.

I was perfectly willing to shutter the facility if a better alternative could have been found that would be as effective in obtaining intelligence and preventing terrorists from returning to the fight. But no alternative to Gitmo was proposed. He asserts about Bush administration reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ,. Powell was not duped or misled by anybody, nor did he lie about Saddam's suspected WMD stockpiles. The President did not lie. The Vice President did not lie While writing that he regrets that no significant stockpiles of weapons were found, Rumsfeld defends the invasion.

Rumsfeld praises Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina , and he states that the military response was swifter than any previous handling of an American natural disaster. Rumsfeld argues that while he was a "latecomer" in supporting the Iraqi troop 'surge' , he still felt open to changing policy. He states that until Generals Tommy Franks , Ricardo Sanchez , George Casey , and John Abizaid had all assured him that increasing troop levels would not help the situation. Rumsfeld points out that he signed off on General David Petraeus ' appointment before his departure.

He expresses doubts about further escalating U. He argues that more troops will not help with the nation's problems but may in fact make matters worse. He writes specifically that more troops could create "resentment among a proud population" and also give "more targets for our enemies to attack. He concludes the book by arguing that President Barack Obama has largely "kept in place the most contentious and widely derided Bush administration policies" such as holding people in Guantanamo Bay, charging internees in military commissions rather than civilian courts, and continuing drone attacks abroad.

Military historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote in City Journal that Rumsfeld "is as candid and unapologetic in retirement as he was in government and corporate service". He generally praised Rumsfeld's depiction of the Bush years while also asking why Rumsfeld was unwilling to change strategy after as the Iraqi insurgency expanded. Hanson also remarked that "[w]ith the publication of Known and Unknown , the onus shifts back onto Rumsfeld's critics to prove him wrong or disingenuous".

Webb concluded:. We needed more insight, more sense of detachment, for this book to match the achievements of its author. A mere reminder of why those press conferences were fun to watch is hardly enough. The Economist referred to the memoir as "a fascinating history" and "a good read" as well as "interesting and even enjoyable". The news-magazine also stated that Rumsfeld, predictably, avoided self-criticism. In The Huffington Post , journalist Marcus Baram stated that Rumsfeld blamed "almost everyone else for mistakes that were made" and ends in a "self-satisfying" way.

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He also wrote, "Notably missing from the book is any mention of Pat Tillman , the football star turned soldier whose death by friendly fire was covered up by the Pentagon. Known and Unknown is tendentious rather than instructive. The reader who wades in should expect a long, hard slog, with little likelihood of emerging on the far side appreciably enlightened. Rather than seriously contemplating the implications of the events in which he participated, Rumsfeld spends more than pages dodging them. He remarked that Rumsfeld reminded him of a reactionary Bourbon monarch after the French restoration.

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Powell also asserted that Rumsfeld made "no revelations of importance" and wrote with a "relentless desire always to be right" that is "deeply off-putting". Powell wrote quoting Talleyrand that Rumsfeld had "learned nothing and forgotten nothing". Later Phil worked for the city housing department where his maverick way of solving problems led to more adventures. For many years I struggled to find the time to write my life story. I started to gather information and wrote copious notes but never got on with the writing bit.

One day my daughter told me about Caroline Brannigan. From then on the task was made easy with her pleasant manner and the way she patiently and gently gathered information with an efficiency gained from her many years of writing and interviewing. The job was turned from a nagging worry into a very pleasant experience which I really enjoyed. I am extremely pleased with the result because she made it into my book. It sounds as if I had written it myself.

Caroline says, This was one of several books wrapped up by clients and placed under the tree for their family and friends at Christmas. They trudged on for ten miles to find safety with relations in the countryside. I sourced a photo of the burned out store for the cover. It was destroyed. Such are the lives of ordinary people intertwined. Before we could afford a car, Betty and I were enthusiastic motorcyclists. It was a great bike and the beauty of motorcycles in those days was being able to take them apart yourself and put them back together again.

Betty rode on the pillion, which had no springs. We went all over the place, Blackpool, Liverpool, Southport, Bridlington, Scarborough and Cleethorpes as well as lots of runs closer to home.

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Clothing was in short supply so most motorcyclists wore ex-RAF kit which you could buy in military surplus shops. Betty and I had flying suits and my goggles were Mark 8s used by Spitfire pilots. Hardly anyone wore helmets and instead we had woolly hats. A farmer who knew me asked if I could collect some chicks for him. That was a way for me to make a bit of extra money. Off I went 30 miles to a farm and collected a pile of boxes about three feet high, full of at least a hundred tiny fluffy yellow chicks, which I had to strap across the top of the panniers.

Then off we all went back to Buxton.

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After our wedding I changed the bike for a brand new Norton Dominator, a beautiful model with rear suspension and telescopic forks at the front, unlike the Ariel. The panniers were stuffed full and Betty had a wooden-framed Bergen rucksack on her back full of tins, the weight resting on the panniers. I managed to get up then had to make a choice. Betty won. I went back and found her sat in the road unable to get up because the heavy rucksack was still strapped to her back.

I helped her up, we got back on the bike and carried on home. We were both bruised and my knee had to be strapped up for a few days but otherwise we were all right. She got a job in the tax office in Buxton then had a call from the Liverpool Victoria begging her to come back. One day Betty had just sat down on the pillion when one of her friends leant out of a window nearby and they started chatting. I was sat there with my hand on the throttle, anxious to get going. At last the window shut and I set off, not realising that Betty had stood up to adjust her coat under her, and she somersaulted straight off the back.

There were no motorways and Buxton to Combe Martin took 14 hours, setting off at 2am. A girl who worked in the Naafi in Buxton begged to borrow my bike one day because her father was in hospital in Blackpool. It was a big bike and she was less than five feet tall and I agreed reluctantly. I was on tenterhooks until she came back the next day, having managed to be with her father when he died. Out we went to the bike where she perched herself on the pillion side saddle.

That was her husband and in the s! She was a perfect pillion passenger.

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When Abdul Qadeer Khan was born in Nagpur, India, he was rather small so his parents gave him the nickname Gama after a famous wrestler, he assumes to provide inspiration. It must have worked because their son thrived and went on to become an MSc in chemistry. After establishing a successful career in India he and his wife Farhana came to Britain where Gama became a respected authority on pollution control, his work culminating in the award of an OBE. Caroline is a real professional.

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  • She had four meetings with me and by asking the relevant questions helped me to tell my story. We were very impressed with her friendly and polite methods. After a couple of meetings she became our friend. I would recommend her to anybody who wants to have their life story written. Qadeer had already written some of his story but his family felt that it was a little too much like a professional report.

    They wanted more about his childhood and personal experiences. I also brought out more of his sense of humour and used many comments made by his wife Farhana which added another dimension to the story. It was very hot in the build up to the monsoon so when the rains came it was a relief.

    All the boys and girls would go out to get wet. It was such a nice feeling. Once the monsoon arrived it would rain very heavily for seven to ten days continually but it was still very warm. Then there would be a few dry days before another week or so of rain. There was a lot of mud everywhere. Invariably, the monsoon would arrive in my home town on June 7th.