Author: Nikki Haley
Publication Year: 2019
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Genre(s): Non-Fiction, Memoir
To start off in all honesty, I had never heard of Nikki Haley, that I remember, before I watched her RNC speech in August. Two things captured my attention about her. The first was the fact that Haley could actually speak, and to a camera at that. The second thing that captured my attention was that her view of Donald Trump, although positive, was realistic rather than fawning.
For awhile now I have been on the look-out for female Republican politicians, to help provide balance to the female Democratic politicians I have spent so much time learning about. Haley fits the description. While hearing Haley speak I googled her, curious about who she was, and discovered that she had written two memoirs. Upon discovering that my state’s library system owned copies of both, I promptly requested With All Due Respect, and here we are.
With All Due Respect opens by covering the events surrounding the Mother Emmanuel shooting in South Carolina. At the time of the shooting, Haley was serving as the Governor of South Carolina. She shares how difficult it was to lead her state through the tragedy and to deal with the personal grief she felt after attending each funeral and meeting the loved ones of those killed. It was deeply saddening to read about the events of the shooting in more detail, from Haley’s perspective.
In many ways, the first couple chapters set the tone of the entire book. With All Due Respect is not a chatty memoir, where the author shares countless personal details. It is the memoir of a woman who, although currently a private citizen, is still very much politically involved.
The majority of With All Due Respect focuses on the time leading up to Haley’s appointment as the American Ambassador to the UN and her time as an ambassador. Through Haley’s sharing about her work in the UN, I learned about the UN and what it actually does. It was an interesting way to spend time learning about the work the UN does, from a specific person’s perspective.
Although, as I mentioned before, With All Due Respect is far more focused on Haley’s career than her personal life, I learned bits and pieces of things about Haley. Her personal story as a first-generation Indian American and the first person of color and woman to hold the position of Governor of South Carolina is compelling. Haley shares, briefly, about her struggles as a female, Indian American politician, but these things are side-notes to a memoir centered around Haley’s work with the UN, her visits to the Middle East and her drive for fighting for what she believes to be right.
All in all, With All Due Respect is an interesting, engaging and educational memoir about a strong woman, who has absolutely no reservations about saying what she thinks, without any sugar coating.
“Pushing through your fear has a downside though, especially for women. You can expect to labeled with the “A” word: ambitious……When women ask me what we can do about getting labeled as ambitious, I say the best thing to do is not to worry about it. People are going to say what they are going to say.” – Nikki Haley
Have you heard of Nikki Haley? Are you a fiction or non-fiction reader? Or someone (like me) who values and enjoys both?