e-book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomats Jewel Box

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Part illustrated memoir, part social history, "Read My Pins" provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Her collection is both international and democratic--dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms. Included are the antique eagle purchased to celebrate Albright's appointment as secretary of state, th Part illustrated memoir, part social history, "Read My Pins" provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Hardcover , pages.

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To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Read My Pins , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 12, Dana Stabenow rated it really liked it. A coffee table book about brooches, but don't let that frivolous description stop you. Madeleine Albright, first woman secretary of state, accessorized with pins all her life, but it wasn't until Saddam Hussein called her "an unparalleled serpent" in a poem he allegedly wrote himself that she retaliated by wearing a pin in the shape of a gold snake coiled around a branch, a tiny diamond hanging from its mouth, to their next meeting.

As the television cameras zoomed in on the brooch, I smiled and said that it was just my way of sending a message Former President George H. Bush had been known for saying, "Read my lips. She wore a blue diamante dove, head down, when addressing the downing of two American planes by Cuba. She wore an elaborate bee pin to meetings with Yasir Arafat.

She frequently matched her pins to the country she was visiting, as in wearing her zebra pins to meet with Nelson Mandela in South Africa. At the end there is even a Pindex, which is where I went to find the page number for the photograph of the miniature silver and amber saxophone, trumpet, electric guitar, cello and piano, which she wore at the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz event honoring Stevie Wonder. She writes It's hard to tell from the picture, but I managed to get an entire jazz band onto my jacket. Some of them are fabulous, like the green dragon and sword from Turkey, and all of them are charming, including her favorite, a heart-shaped clay pin created by her five-year old daughter Katie and given to Albright on Valentine's Day.

The pin reflects one of the indispensable purposes of jewelry: Dec 31, Anna rated it it was amazing. I loved this book. Proceed to wear pins. Apr 28, Alice rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is such a great read. Interesting that I say this, considering that it is pages of mostly pictures. Call me of the magazine-reading whiz-bang generation, but I appreciated that I could meander through the pictures and stories from cover to cover within the span of a couple of hours because: Nevertheless, I finished reading it with a profound desire to read more of her books and contemplate This book is such a great read.

Nevertheless, I finished reading it with a profound desire to read more of her books and contemplate the life of this amazing woman.


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Albright became Secretary of State during my high school years, when I was blissfully unaware of little else beyond my high school circles, and back in the days when I took female empowerment for granted. That is to say, I had associated feminine empowerment with a certain encouragement to act like a man. Now that I'm older, it's with great relish that I can read books about intelligent, powerful women navigating what is still generally a man's world, without losing their femininity in the process.

Through her gorgeous bejeweled pins and personal anecdotes, I was able to make a quick journey through bits and pieces of the current events I had missed growing up. And she wrote not just of her own personal use of pins, but of the wearing of jewelry throughout history -- from Cleopatra and the Indian maharaja, to diplomatic gifting of jewelry in the present time. What interested me was the personal journey of her life, through the expressions in her pins. They're not just a feminine embellishment in a masculine arena, but symbols of life transitions she never bought jewelry for herself until after her divorce, because she was of the generation when women did not buy jewel trinkets for themselves with "the family money," and emotional emblems of relationships.

Her favorite brooch is still a painted clay one made at school by her daughter for Valentine's Day. She also has three beautiful sailboat pins, symbolizing her three daughters "full sail and long left from home-harbor. I always find great pleasure in reading history and autobiographies through unconventional motifs. This colorful, lighthearted account of her pins is such a wonderful journey through her life as a diplomat's daughter, young woman and mother, and high-powered diplomat during some of the more interesting political events of my time.

It's such a pleasure to read, and of course, great fun to marvel at the gems as well! Apr 01, Lyn Elliott rated it really liked it Shelves: A gem of a book bad pun deliberate. I loved looking at the beautiful pins - brooches in my part of the world - and was fascinated by the brief snippets on the symbolism of jewellery in many cultures and Albright's own symbolic use of her pins in diplomatic life. I bought it on kindle and read it on an iPad.

The all important images disappear from the kindle version and though they are all there in the kindle app for iPad, their resolution is very low and they don't stand being expanded. If you A gem of a book bad pun deliberate. If you can get hold of a hard copy I'd recommend it as an option. Albright has generously, and properly, acknowledged three other people as authors because they helped with research, editing and writing.

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Read My Pins : Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box by Madeleine Albright (2009, Hardcover)

She has included possible the longest acknowledgements section I have ever seen in a book, something I appreciated seeing and I'm sure the people she thanked appreciated it too. I have already recommended Read My Pins to two of my friends who are passionately interested in jewellery and its meanings. A great chance discovery, made when I was looking at her memoirs. Aug 31, Maryann rated it it was amazing Shelves: Wonderful romp through beautiful pins and Albright's life. She makes me smile.


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Sep 24, Harley rated it it was amazing Shelves: When I was in business, I wore ties that would generate conversation with others. Strangers would comment on my ties and we would begin a conversation. I wrote and published an article about how my ties created my image. Albright, almost by accident, became a collector of decorative pins. As people learned that she loved decorative pins, they b When I was in business, I wore ties that would generate conversation with others.

As people learned that she loved decorative pins, they began to give them to her as gifts. During Bill Clinton's first term in office, Albright served as ambassador to the United Nations where she criticized Saddam Hussein for not complying with the UN inspections. An Iraqi poet published a poem in a government-controlled Iraqi newspaper calling her a snake. When Albright became Secretary of State, she often used the pins she wore to send subtle and not so subtle messages to the people she was meeting with. In her first meeting with the Iraqis she wore a pin shaped like a snake.

I recommend this book to people who love jewelry and understand personal branding. Aug 05, Janet Aileen rated it it was amazing. Enjoyable from start to finish. The pin descriptions, brief histories, and stories about when they were worn, are delightful. Jill Wine-Banks is continuing this pin frolic with entertaining panache. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Madeleine Albright's Jewelry-Box Diplomacy In her new book, Read My Pins, the former secretary of state reveals how she used jewelry as a diplomatic tool during her years with the Clinton administration.

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September 29, Heard on Morning Edition. Then-President Saddam Hussein of Iraq called her a serpent. When meeting with Iraqi officials later that year, she wore this antique snake pin as a way to send a message. The message was about Chechnya, where she felt the Russians were ignoring the human rights violations they had committed. Wasps were worn on days that she "wanted to do a little stinging and deliver a tough message. The next time Albright met with the Russians, she pinned this giant bug to her left shoulder.

Hide caption Red Balloon, Swarovski Austria , ; Green Balloon, Swarovski Austria , - Butterflies, flowers or balloons like these symbolized that all was well, or that she was hopeful a meeting would go smoothly. She wore the pin whenever she gave a speech related to the Middle East. She wore it to her swearing-in ceremony as secretary of state. Because it had a complicated clasp, she failed to fasten it properly and, during the ceremony, she looked down to see it dangling from her shoulder. Said Albright, "I was afraid it would fall on the Bible. September 28, 5: The Serpent's Tale The idea of using pins as a diplomatic tool is not found in any State Department manual or in any text chronicling American foreign policy.

Books Featured In This Story. Amazon iBooks Independent Booksellers. Always thought she dominated the room when she is present. After reading this book and seeing the stories and the reasons for the pins.. I have to say, Wow! What a great book. Here, she tells the stories behind her many pins and jewelry collected on her diplomatic trips around the world. Before long, and without intending it, I foundthat jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal.

Former president George H. Bush had been known for saying "Read my lips. She decided to make a diplomatic statement by choosing a snake pin. Although her method of communication was new, her message was as old as the American Revolution--Don't Tread on Me. From that day forward, pins became part of Albright's diplomatic signature.

Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box

International leaders were pleased to see her with a shimmering sun on her jacket or a cheerful ladybug; less so with a crab or a menacing wasp. Albright used pins to emphasize the importance of a negotiation, signify high hopes, protest the absence of progress, and show pride in representing America, among other purposes. Part illustrated memoir, part social history, Read My Pins provides an intimate look at Albright's life through the brooches she wore. Her collection is both international and democratic--dime-store pins share pride of place with designer creations and family heirlooms.

Included are the antique eagle purchased to celebrate Albright's appointment as secretary of state, the zebra pin she wore when meeting Nelson Mandela, and the Valentine's Day heart forged by Albright's five-year-old daughter. Read My Pins features more than photographs, along with compelling and often humorous stories about jewelry, global politics, and the life of one of America's most accomplished and fascinating diplomats.

New from New York Times bestselling author and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, Read My Pins is a story and celebration of how one woman's jewelry collection was used to make diplomatic history. Exploring the use of the pin or brooch as a means of personal and diplomatic expression and featuring a gallery of fascinating photographs, this unique, intimate, and revealing biography offers a whole new side of Secretary Albright, one of our most beloved public servants. Reviews 'Albright blends history and analysis to make concise, compelling arguments about how the next president can restore America's world leadership, sprinkling it with dry, droll humor?