by Helen Fremont

What Madeleine Albright Couldn’t Know

Everyone has an opinion about Madeleine Albright. Did she know her family was Jewish? How could she not have known? Michael Dobbs’s carefully researched biography, Madeleine Albright: A Twentieth Century Odyssey, aims to settle the question once and for all. Piecing together evidence of Albright’s Jewish identity that was brought to her attention as early as 1967, Dobbs concludes that Albright “learned the essential details of her family’s past long before February 1997. It is quite probable that her parents kept her and her siblings in the dark about their origins for many years. But too many people, both in America and in Europe, knew what had happened for the secret to be kept forever from such an intelligent, inquiring woman.” He adds that “there are simply too many contradictions and inconsistencies in her story for it to be believable.”

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