Celebrated British journalist and historical fiction writer Michael Dobbs has written a very informative study that looks at how Madeleine Albright became the US Secretary of State in the last years of the twentieth century. This book looks more at her biography leading up to her ultimate career appointment than her achievements while in office. While she did not distinguish herself in the three years in office by helping to establish key foreign policy directives for the country, at least her ascent to the position is a most instructive and telling one. According to Dobbs’ research, Albright went through a number of stages in her illustrious life trying to remake herself in an effort to fulfill a dream: follow in the footsteps of her diplomat father, Josef. There was the escape from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia, her life growing up in a dozen rented flats before finally settling in America during the cold war, attending an elite prep school and eastern university, marrying into wealth and divorce, pursuit of a Ph’d at Columbia, and her work with various Democratic administrations in Washington as a researcher and senior adviser. Through all this, she proved to be articulate in her views on the need for strengthening the European nuclear shield and de-escalating global tensions like the Serbian crisis. Her abilities to pick up languages quickly and write intelligent papers on thorny issues were two reasons why she was a natural selection to become the UN ambassador in the Clinton administration. While Dobbs does not dispute her credentials as a woman or a career diplomat/academic, he does express his concern that when she finally grasped the big brass ring, she did little to really leave her mark on the office. The nineties became known as a period when America drifted in respect to its leadership in the post-Cold War. There were numerous failures in Rwanda, Somalia, the growing refugee problem and the Middle-east where American international dominance seemed to be slipping in favour of NATO and other world bodies. Dobbs raises the point that Albright, through all these transitions in her life, was seeking to Americanize herself as a way of concealing her Jewishness. In the end, it is this extended process of change rather than what she became that is meant to catch our eye.