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When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty. Forthright and unsparing, and meticulously fair in its assessments, Duty takes readers behind the scenes of nearly five years of war. Gates recounts his battles with Congress, the presidents, and the military itself; his efforts to help Bush turn the tide in Iraq; his role as a guiding (and often dissenting) voice for Obama; and, most importantly, the ardent devotion to and love for American soldiers he developed on the job. He also offers unvarnished appraisals of Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.