The Mighty & the Almighty - Reflections on Power, God and World Affairs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 June, 2007, 12:00am

The Mighty & the Almighty - Reflections on Power, God and World Affairs


by Madeleine Albright


Pan, HK$128


During her time as US ambassador to the UN, and as secretary of state under president Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright came to realise that religion was becoming a major factor in geopolitics. In her notes she wrote: 'Must learn more about Islam'. It became something of a mantra. Raised in and respectful of the Catholic faith, she would belatedly learn that her grandparents were Jewish and that much of her family perished in the Holocaust. But this peculiar Judeo-Christian heritage was of no use when it came to understanding the third great monotheistic faith, Islam. The Mighty & the Almighty is on one level a critique of the Bush administration's invocation of divine guidance in its foreign policy, but it's mainly an exploration of how a religion shapes a society's view of the world. In writing the book, Albright talked to scores of religious leaders, scholars and politicians of every major faith and political persuasion. Written with the help of Washington journalist Bob Woodward, what emerges is what one critic called a 'reasonable and enlightened' view of how foreign policy works with, rather than against, divergent fundamental beliefs.