Known and Unknown: A Memoir by Donald Rumsfeld

by |February 3, 2011

The George W. Bush Show, which ran for two full terms, was never the same after Donald Rumsfield left. Dick Cheney did all he could to boost ratings. There was talk of invading Iran, bombing North Korea. But who would want to go into Iran or bomb North Korea without Donald?


Donald had gone for good. Or so we thought…

Donald wasn’t gone, he was planning his solo career. Let me present:

Known and Unknown: A Memoir by Donald Rumsfeld

If he had entrusted me with the marketing campaign (he said I was ‘over qualified’)  I would have created an excellent book trailer.

Fade In:

Int. Seedy Apartment – Day

Sunlight pours through open window. Pan from torn curtains fluttering in the wind across walls covered with photos and newspaper clippings pinned and taped untidily. Pictures of the smoking Twin Towers. Of the hijackers. Of Bush and Cheney. Camera pauses on photo of smiling Donald Rumsfeld.

How big?

(noise off camera)

Pan quickly to wide eyed young man (Conspiracy Theorist) seated on a mattress on the floor. He his reading a copy of Known and Unknown. Linger on the cover.

Conspiracy Theorist speaks (rocking back and forth):  Don’t you get it? It’s all here. They knew man! They friggin’ knew!

Fade out.

Here’s what his marketing team came up with. You be the judge.

Like Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown pulls no punches.

With the same directness that defined his career in public service, Rumsfeld’s memoir is filled with previously undisclosed details and insights about the Bush administration, 9/11, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also features Rumsfeld’s unique and often surprising observations on eight decades of history: his experiences growing up during the Depression and World War II, his time as a Naval aviator; his service in Congress starting at age 30; his cabinet level positions in the Nixon and Ford White Houses; his assignments in the Reagan administration; and his years as a successful business executive in the private sector.

Rumsfeld addresses the challenges and controversies of his illustrious career, from the unseating of the entrenched House Republican leader in 1965, to helping the Ford administration steer the country away from Watergate and Vietnam, to bruising battles over transforming the military for the 21st century, to the war in Iraq, to confronting abuse at Abu Ghraib and allegations of torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Along the way, he offers his plainspoken, first-hand views and often humorous and surprising anecdotes about some of the world’s best known figures, from Margaret Thatcher to Saddam Hussein, from Henry Kissinger to Colin Powell, from Elvis Presley to Dick Cheney, and each American president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld relies not only on his memory but also on previously unreleased and recently declassified documents. Thousands of pages of documents not yet seen by the public will be made available on an accompanying website.

Known and Unknown delivers both a fascinating narrative for today’s readers and an unprecedented resource for tomorrow’s historians.

Proceeds from the sales of Known and Unknown will go to the veterans charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation.

Order your copy here.

This book is for all lovers of US politics, political memoirs, modern history, true crime, military history and is an absolute must for all conspiracy theorists!

2 Comments Share:

About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

Follow John: Twitter Website


  • February 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Haaaah! Yours is HEAPS better… I can almost smell the Twin Towers smouldering. You are wasted in Lane Cove. Wasted, I say!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *