Petraeus' biographer a military reservist, scholar
"I'd earned varsity letters in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and finished at the top of my class for athletics at West Point; I wanted to see if he could keep stride during an interview. Instead it became a test for me," she wrote. He eventually increased the pace "until the talk turned to heavy breathing, and we reached a 6-minute-per-mile pace. It was a signature Petraeus move. I think I passed the test, but I didn't bother to transcribe the interview."
In the Army Reserve, she specialized in military intelligence, spending time at the U.S. Special Operations Command and the FBI Counterterrorism Task Forces before pursuing an academic career, according to her Penguin bio. She "lived, worked, or traveled in more than 60 countries during more than 15 years of military service and work in geopolitical analysis and counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations," her bio states.
Broadwell made multiple trips to Afghanistan, with unprecedented access to Petraeus, and also spent time with his commanders across the country.
When Petraeus left the military and took the job at the CIA, Broadwell kept in contact with him and sometimes was invited to his office for events such as his meeting with actress Angelina Jolie.
"History has yet to fully judge Petraeus' service in Iraq and Afghanistan, his impact on the U.S. military and his rank among America's wartime leaders," Broadwell wrote in the preface. "But there is no denying that he achieved a great deal during his 37-year Army career, not the least of which was regaining the strategic initiative in both wars" after Sept. 11, 2001.
"His critics fault him for ambition and self-promotion. I will note in the pages that follow that he is driven and goal-oriented, but his energy, optimism and will to win stand out more for me than the qualities seized on by his critics."
In an interview with The Bismarck Tribune shortly after the biography was published, Broadwell said Petraeus was a motivational force not only for organizations but individuals as well.
"He inspires people of all ages to improve themselves. On that note, I would conclude that his sheer energy whether applied to soldiering, scholarly pursuits, public outreach or mentoring can be equally empowering for an organization or an individual subordinate," Broadwell said.
With the book done, Broadwell told friends she was returning to her dissertation, using part of her research on Petraeus to complete her doctorate.
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