The Gulf War showcased the skills and talents of our highest-ranking African-American general. In this sympathetic, straightforward biography, a journalist presents his life in well-documented detail, apparently based largely on interviews with Powell's sister and on press interviews. A career officer, Powell volunteered for two tours of duty in Vietnam, and rose rapidly through hard work, dedication, and political skill. While holding strong personal opinions, he avoided making waves and was adept at resolving touchy interracial conflicts. Senna portrays him as hoping for peace yet fully prepared to follow presidential orders to use force, without public disagreement. Particularly clear here is Powell's reasoning on the need for a strong defense to ensure peace, even today. Senna also provides balanced background information on the conflicts with Panama and Iraq, and mentions the ""dream ticket"" speculation that saw Powell as a ""Black Eisenhower"" vice-presidential candidate for Bush. A book that generally seems to reflect Powell's own sense of balance and proportion. B&w photos; chronology;, source notes; bibliography; index.