Monster $1 million-plus deal for 'Rumsfeld's Rules'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, known for his "Rumsfeld Rules" picked up during 50 years of public and private employment, has nailed down the biggest Washington book deal in a year, a blockbuster seven-figure contract to put his rules of the road down on paper for the first time ever.

Broadside Books, a conservative imprint of HarperCollins, said "Rumsfeld's Rules" will be published in May and it will break his No. One Rule: It will include more than 10.

Rumsfeld, 80, told Secrets exclusively: "Over the years I have had the good fortune of working with some historic figures, from Anwar Sadat to Margaret Thatcher to Ronald Reagan. And if you couldn't glean some wisdom and advice from people like that, then you weren't paying attention."

He added, "That's the heart of 'Rumsfeld's Rules' - the distillation of practical advice for use in politics, government and business that I've gained over many decades. I see this book as something useful for college graduates, people entering politics or the business world, as well as folks interested in historic times and figures. This book will include hundreds of rules that I've collected and perhaps none are more important than the last one, 'if you ever have rules, never have more than 10.'"

Publishing sources said that the project was huge, if not the biggest, of last year and had several publishing houses locked in a bidding war. The battle for the book even dwarfed the fight for Rumsfeld's first post-Bush administration book, his best-selling memoir "Known and Unknown." The exact price isn't known, but was for seven figures, the sources said.

The deal involved a new communications firm, Javelin, which has moved aggressively into the D.C. literary world with a lot of former administration officials behind it like Matt Latimer and Keith Urbahn.

Rumsfeld's rules are legendary in Washington and have guided him through multiple corporate and public jobs including congressman and White House chief of staff.

According to the publisher, the book will "provide new insight into how Rumsfeld thinks about leadership, management, and strategy, and show how that thinking helped him turn around ailing companies and lead the Pentagon in wartime. Rumsfeld provides tools to help hone readers' strategic thinking and rules to help them become better employees and leaders.