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Former Defense Secretary Gates signs two-book deal

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Robert Gates will write a memoir and a book on leadership, his publisher says
  • His books will be released in 2013 and 2014, Knopf Doubleday says
  • Gates is the only defense secretary to serve two presidents of different parties

(CNN) -- Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signed a two-book deal with Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, the company said Tuesday.

"We are delighted to be publishing Robert Gates," said Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor-in-chief of the publishing group. "He has a unique perspective not only on intelligence-gathering and national defense, but also on the decisions and policies that have affected the U.S. and our relationship with other countries around the world."

Gates, who served as defense secretary from 2006 to 2011 under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, will write a memoir and a book on leadership, Mehta said in a news release. The memoir will be published in 2013 and the other book will be published in 2014, he said.

Alfred A. Knopf, part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, bought the world rights to the two books, in which Gates will share many of the experiences he had as defense secretary, Mehta said.

"As the nation's only secretary of defense to serve two presidents of different political parties and with the United States at war every day of my four and a half years in office, I want to tell my story of constant conflict abroad and in Washington," Gates said in the release.

"I will share insights gleaned from my experience of working ... in two administrations of very different political stripes. I also want to write about the military I was privileged to lead," he said.

The memoir "will detail many of the pivotal events" that occurred during Gates' time as defense secretary, the news release said, including "his review of U.S. policy and strategy in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, his decision to replace Gen. David McKiernan with Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander in Afghanistan, and the repeal of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."

Gates' book on leadership will discuss his leadership experiences and his philosophy on leading, Mehta said.

Before becoming defense secretary, Gates spent 26 years on the National Security Council and with the CIA, where he was director from 1991 to 1993. He was also president of Texas A&M University from 2002 to 2006.

"Having led and brought significant change to three large public institutions, I also want to write a book on how to successfully reform and change public institutions," Gates said. "At a time when government at every level seems paralyzed by bureaucracy and politics, I want to share how I overcame those obstacles and enabled dedicated professionals to better accomplish their mission."

Obama awarded Gates the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, at his retirement ceremony in June.