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Marilee J. Layman

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08:47 pm: Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright
The subhead is stories from a diplomat's jewel box.

I was in the queueue for this for 3.5 months and the library has four copies. Albright took to wearing pins that said something to the people she was meeting with or that showed her feelings and she collected and was given more and more. Some are worth a lot of money; some came from street vendors.

If you don't like her politics, just skip the text. The pictures of pins take up about five times as much space as the text and photographs. She gives us a brief description of her life, then her diplomatic duties (with pictures of where she wore pins -- for example, after she said Saddam Hussein was a bad man, someone wrote a poem saying she was a snake, and the next time she was dealing with Iraqi officials, she wore a snake pin), and her post-diplomatic life.

I loved most of the pins -- she has batches of gold eagles, which are not my favorite -- because they were plants and animals and people and all sorts of cool things. In fact, she mentions a place and a pin both of which I'm familiar. She talked about how much she loves Tiny Jewel Box in DC and I've never been there (six stories and no elevator) but boy do I love the items they show in their ads in the WashPost. She also showed an original "Jailed For Freedom" pin from the Smithsonian, and I have a copy of this pin. (Women protested and marched in front of the White House in 1917 for the vote and many were put in jail. This pin was made for those who served time.)

At the end, there's a Pindex where every pin is shown in a small image and has info by it -- where it came from, who gave it, what it's made of, the size, etc. The acknowledgements are also interesting because she tells us that the jewelry historians and curators told her more about the pins than she knew.

I really recommend this book -- lots of beautiful items and the text brings a good short story.

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From:julesjones
Date:February 27th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
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Thanks for that -- it sounds fascinating, and I've added it to my wishlist, for when I've dealt with some of my TBR mountain.
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