Angelina Jolie spends downtime reading Iraq-policy book

Angelina Jolie

In her limited downtime, Angelina is reading a book about Iraq. The book is War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars by Richard Haass. She has been photographed with it on the set of Salt in New York.

Haass is a fellow member of the Council on Foreign Relations (Jolie joined in 2007). He has held several political, diplomatic and scholarly positions over the years, including: Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, advisor to the Secretary of State (under Colin Powell), special assistant to Pres. George H.W. Bush, National Security Council Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs, and vice president and director of the Brookings Institute. He was also one of the architects for the first Gulf War (under Bush Sr.) – what I can only assume was, in Haass’ opinion, “the war of necessity”.

This report is from The Daily Mail, and they’re snarky about Jolie reading Haass’ book for two reasons. First, they act like “How dare this mother of six have time to read a book!” Secondly, the act like Angelina is going to run for office just because she’s reading a book about Iraq. Cripes.

She’s had an image of everything from sex-vixen to Mother Earth and now it seems Angelina Jolie may want to add politician to that list.

The 33-year-old actress was seen carrying around the book ‘War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars’ by Richard N. Haass, during her breaks filming on the New York set of her latest movie Salt.

Far from being light reading, the book, part history, part memoir, provides a complex and in depth theory of how the United States can apply the lessons learned from the two Iraq wars so that it is better positioned to put into practice what worked and to avoid repeating what did not.

The mother-of-six, who is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, has made no secret of her desire to affect political change. She’s has been especially vocal about what she believes is insufficient aid and funding from the U.S. and other powerful countries when it comes to refugees and disadvantaged children in developing world.

Angelina has even revealed that she now only makes movies to earn enough money to support various charities.

But the actress, may have her hands too full with her ever expanding family to add a career in politics to her ambitions. Angelina and partner Brad Pitt, have three adopted children Maddox, seven, Pax, four, and three-year-old Zahara. The couple also have three biological children Shiloh, two, and nine-month-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

She’s also reportedly set to adopt another child from India this year.

Over the last two months, Angelina has been putting in gruelling hours on the set of spy thriller Salt, while Brad has been looking after their children.

Her long hours meant she often spends the night at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, instead of making the 50-mile drive back to her and Brad’s £40million mansion on Long Island’s Gold Coast.

The actress complained last year the couple barely had any time to spend together because of parenting their six children.

She said: ‘Mummy and daddy need to try to figure out more time; we’re working on it. Right now, we’re not great about mummy-and-daddy time.’

Since the couple started dating in 2005, there has been little chance for alone time.
Angelina was already a single mother to Cambodian-born Maddox – and adopted Ethiopian daughter Zahara Marley soon after.

The family expanded their brood to include biological daughter Shiloh in 2006, adopted Vietnamese Pax in 2007 and Angelina gave birth to twins Knox and Vivienne last July.

[From The Daily Mail]

How dare she? I mean, really! Brad is looking after six children while Angelina lounges around, eating bon-bons and reading intense foreign policy analysis. The Daily Mail only approves of actresses reading Jacqueline Susann, right? Or Jackie Collins.

Unfortunately for me, I haven’t read this book. But I can recommend another great Iraq book to Angelina (and whoever else): Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. It is a devastating critique of the first year of our Iraq occupation, and the cluelessness of the American diplomats/nation-builders of the Green Zone. Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a Washington Post reporter and editor who was in Iraq pre-invasion, and stayed until Paul Bremer left. I’m also a big fan of anything written by Fareed Zakaria, who wrote maybe my favorite line about economics, ever: “If you want to be truly free of regulation, try Haiti or Somalia.”

Images thanks to INF Photo.

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36 Responses to “Angelina Jolie spends downtime reading Iraq-policy book”

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  1. Wonder Woman says:

    Wow, im just so impressed how much this woman can accomlish with her celebrity status

  2. bite me says:

    the book hasn’t come out yet…

  3. kap says:

    Haass is the director of the Council on Foreign Relations, of which Jolie is a member. He probably gave her an autographed early edition and she is doing her best to help him sell it by being photographed with the tome. Just made that up, but it makes sense! Actually Haass is the director of the CFR. Guess she reads on her drive to and from work.

  4. Codzilla says:

    She probably has a copy of the latest US Weekly hidden inside.

  5. Hanh says:

    You know, working mothers deserve some down time too. In between work, kids, and partner time, you need time for yourself and if she wants to spend it reading, so what? Its her choice. I think its crazy when people expect mothers to be slaves to their children. Seriously?!

    There definitely is this hatred in America of working mothers as if by working they’re somehow damaging the children. That’s so not true.

    I’m inclined to agree that I think she’s helping promote his book, but even then, it is nice to see a star promote a book that causes people to think about the war no matter what they believe, and maybe seek out other books like those that Kaiser suggested.

  6. geronimo says:

    :-) codzilla, or maybe a copy of In Touch, reading up on Pitt’s latest antics…

    “Angelina has even revealed that she now only makes movies to earn enough money to support various charities.”

    Has she actually said this? If so, it sounds awfully pretentious.

  7. Thayer says:

    Angie IS Wonder Woman…love her!

  8. judy says:

    She likes to read and doesnt read tripe.
    SHe is a smart woman and I would rather see her reading something significant then ragmags and love stories lol. I doubt if she is helping anyone sell a book and she doesnt get into politics like these other loud mouth that use their celeb status to voice their political views,you would think that Jane FOnda taught them something about shutting their mouths?? Go AJ you are doing well.

  9. I Choose Me says:

    India is it now? Oh right India’s in the news lately because of the Slumdog kids so of course she’s adopting from India. *sarcasm*

    Agree with Hanh as I’m also really, really sick of the tabs insinuating that Angelina is somehow a neglectful mom because she’s off filming a movie. As other’s have pointed out, when Brad’s working you never hear, “Brad’s off filming a movie while Angie looks after the kids,” cause it’s considered a given. They’ve always said that while one works, the other doesn’t so that the kids have at least one parent on hand at all times. And it’s not like they don’t ever see her, based on a previous article about a shopping trip with Brad and the girls, she takes time out from her filming schedule to spend time with the kids, so what’s with the double standard reporting?

  10. Jocelina says:

    I haven’t always been the biggest Angelina Jolie fan, but stories like this make me like her better. She seems like she’s genuinely concerned about the state of the world, and I think it’s wonderful that she uses her celebrity status to advance worthy causes. Just because she was a bit wild in her younger days doesn’t mean she can’t make a meaningful contribution now.

  11. Sauronsarmy says:

    Well, we all have to keep up appearances.

  12. Chiara says:

    “Angelina Jolie seen walking with book cover toward camera.” :)

  13. Bobb the K says:


    Yes, I agree with other posters, that it’s for show.

    She knows she will be photographed.
    How many other celebs do this kind of thing unless they want to project an image?

    And like them or not, these kinds of people make big efforts to control their image.

  14. Wonder Woman says:

    Yea bob and what other celeb is a goodwill ambassador

  15. morgs says:

    Sauronsarmy made me giggle.

  16. lrm says:

    yea,she’s smart,folks,face it-even those who don’t care for her. [i'm neutral to negative on her as a person,but do think she's beautiful and intelligent/saavy]. CFR used to trilateral commission—-it ‘influences’ [read: architect of] US foreign policy. Every prez. candidate in the last 4 decades and further back,who got any media coverage or legitimacy,was a member. Michele and Barack are…Great article to read is: Obama and the CFR.
    The bottom line,whether you think CFR is a ‘good organization’ or not…is to know that it influences and largely determines both foreign policy and many domestic outcomes. And many large corporations,as well as rockefeller and gang,are also members….Lest you think the pres. and congress determine our country’s future,or that your voting does-LOL!!!!
    Knowledge is power,as they say….

  17. Pam says:

    She would do good reading to her bazillion children!

  18. DD says:

    That garb she’s wearing is awful, I wonder if it’s part of the movie’s wardrobe or her own selection and if she’s going to be saving the world she better be reading those political science books instead of harlequin novels.

  19. Mave says:

    Everything she does is calculated. I’m so over her and her fakness. YUCK

  20. Annie says:

    Oh geez.

    Because she’d rather read substance she wants to be a politician? Unbelievable, if a man were caught reading that, no one would say anything, but women are supposed to be into trashy romance novels, so clearly there’s an agenda.

    I love reading books like that. And I can tell you that I have no desire to join the insanity that is politics.

    (P.S. Have read: Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. and it’s AMAZING!!! Nice suggestion :D )

  21. cali says:

    how dare she read- shouldn’t she be twittering?! reading is so “last century”!! good books suggestions- i also liked “Generation Kill” by Evan Wright- it’s about the early days of the Iraq war…the guys who made “The Wire” (one my all time favs) also did an HBO mini-series based on the book- it was AMAZING- Geronimo- I think Brad was the one who said that he thought she works just so she can donate to charity. iirc, he said this at some point during the Mr & Mrs S shoot…

  22. rubi says:

    Smart women, when the book is available for purchase I will buy it.

  23. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    She looks awful.

    I think the book is just about her catching up on Middle East policy cos that’s where the next addition to her litter is coming from. Ha!

  24. Jones says:

    Hmmm, reminds me of an old pick up prop me and my buddies used to pick up women in bars after class. we would pick a book that would entice women and soon we would be deep in discussion with the ladies. Jolie is using it to project an image..remember she is extremely successful and has been know to use a few props or

  25. Ella says:

    Oh Please, Angie. This is the same person who couldn’t be bothered to do her on homework in middle school. Middle school! She was lazy then (her mom did it for her) and she’s lazy now. Just doing it for show, as she wouldn’t know an original thought if it bit her in the ass. For the record, the school (yes I was in the same class with this twit) is in Beverly Hills, located on Wilshire Blvd and has the initials E.R.
    7-4 represent!

  26. anon says:


    El Rodeo Elementary. I know. I went there too.

    When were you there/graduate?

  27. heavenasia says:

    If Angelina’s real intentions were to promote this book she would have made sure that you could read the whole title or name of author,
    The press are the ones who are doing the promoting, they just gave us the title and author’s name and without that information we wouldn’t have known.
    Look they even “conveniently” put up an icon link to purchase it through right above the pictures.

  28. SC says:

    Does anyone think she’s actually reading this book or promoting it for the author? All she’s doing is walking around with it to make herself appear intelligent by association. And although she’s rather crafty, how much foresight does it take to realize that if you’re going to be followed around and photographed, then you might as well be caught with a book in your hand as opposed to doing cocaine?
    And this has got to be one of the most self-serving things she’s ever said:
    “Angelina has even revealed that she now only makes movies to earn enough money to support various charities.”

  29. SC says:

    To the people who think that she is endlessly insightful, please tell me an intelligent and informed political opinion Angelina Jolie has held. And when I say informed, I need to be provided with an opinion where she has suggested something other than money and good intentions as the solution…which is what she usually gives. I happen to find her opinions very trite.

  30. Amy says:

    Good Lord. Why can’t Angelina do a single thing without being attacked. Celebrities are usually seen carrying a book or cd on set or at the airport. I don’t think anybody has said it’s a prop to promote it. Also Angelina has read these types of books before.

  31. raven says:

    I believe she is reading it. She was very young to be asked to join CFR and would not have been if she was viewed as an airhead by some of the very intelligent people there. She has worked hard to inform herself and is very conscious of her lack of post high school education.

  32. Juss says:

    LOL, this is actually funny. Her baby daddy likes to pretend he loves art and architecture so that people think he has some gray matter in his craniun despite daily evidence to the contrary. They are both dumb jokes who take themselves way too seriously. I wish they would tune in to SNL and comedy shows and realise that they are one big joke. Go look after those kids you collect woman and leave world affairs to intellectuals who can keep their legs closed.

    No one believes you can save the world or you have a high IQ for that matter.

  33. Storm says:

    Has anyone ever heard of reciprocal publicity exposure..she gets the “Wow what a smart woman”, he gets the “Wow, she is reading what..let me buy get it”. Because you are all sheep…

    Remember this is not a casual “I’ll pick this book up & read it”, Haas is: “a fellow member of the Council on Foreign Relations (Jolie joined in 2007)”.

    See how that works. You don’t believe me? How many of you even heard of this guy, now watch his book sky rocket to the top 10 NYT best sellers list!

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