Nikki R. Haley’s new book, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT (St. Martin’s Press, Nov 12, 2019) defines what is meant by the American Dream and how one courageous woman achieved it. With clarity of word and honesty of thought Haley gives the reader a very personal look into the experiences and struggles of the daughter of Indian immigrants growing up in the Deep South beneath the lingering shadow of Jim Crow.
Haley chronicles the milestones of her illustrious life which was strewn with obstacles which she overcame with grace and grit. She describes her struggles with acceptance as a little brown, Indian daughter of Sikh immigrants. She had everything going against her: gender, race, religion and immigrant parents. However, ‘can’t is not an option” was her outlook on life and despite the difficult road she traveled she was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives, then Governor of South Carolina and finally appointed the US Ambassador to the UN.
Her work is a fascinating read. It gives insights into the behind the scene workings of government and her rewarding engagements and challenging encounters with foreign leaders, US cabinet members, and President Trump. Her time in public life was replete with struggles. She had to deal with the infamous murders in Charleston, bringing down the Confederate Flag from the Statehouse, and hostile UN representatives whose names she took, and red lines she drew, which they dared not cross.
Her unwavering and unequivocal support for Israel against the United Nations anti-Israel bias is now legend. Although she was fully prepared to deal with friends and foe as it pertained to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, she was shocked when the Obama administration did not veto the morally repugnant Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared, “illegal all the territories that are disputed by the Palestinians”. Thus, the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and some of the holiest places in Judaism, including The Western Wall (HaKotel) were once again stolen from the Jewish People.
Perhaps one of the most revealing and intriguing sections of the books were the description of her encounters with Rex Tillerson and John Kelly, who confided in her that they wanted to, “save the country from Trump”. She rebuffed their scheming because she thought it would result in, “undermining the Constitution”.
I highly recommend this book, even if you are only casually interested in politics. It is written in a clear and concise manner, commanding the reader’s attention with every turn of the page. Nikki’s journey in public life has not come to an end. She may or may not be writing new books, but, after reading this book, you can divine that in the future she will continue to make history.