Skip navigation links

April 21, 2015

Kirkus names MSU prof co-authored book among top for 2015

A book co-authored by a Michigan State University faculty member that examines what is known as the “Hillary Doctrine” has been nominated by the Kirkus Reviews as one of its top nonfiction picks of 2015.

Co-authored by Patricia Leidl, an instructor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations and the School of Journalism, “The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” delves into decades of research that shows that the subjugation of women poses a direct threat to U.S. national security.

The other author is Valerie Hudson, professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at Texas A&M University.

“The nomination is the result of 30 months of hard work and the marriage of years of high-quality research on the part of my writing partner, with the narrative power of on-the-ground journalism and great timing,” Leidl said. “We’re actually pretty amazed. It isn’t often that an academic imprint attracts this kind of attention.”

“The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy” argues that far from being a ‘soft’ foreign policy issue, the poor treatment of women worldwide poses a threat to global prospects for peace and therefore a direct threat to U.S. national security – a position first articulated by former Secretary of State and current presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton.

According to Kirkus, “The Hillary Doctrine,” which will be released by Columbia University Press on June 30, offers “a compelling argument for women’s rights” and is a “sound study that carries an urgent message.”

It notes that the authors “argue persuasively that in societies that permit and encourage violence against women, men develop a willingness to harm, kill and enslave others.”

Before coming to MSU, Leidl was a Canadian journalist who spent 16 years working with various United Nations agencies and, more recently, advising various USAID-funded projects in Afghanistan and Yemen.

She formerly headed the communications department at the Geneva-based HIV/AIDS Department of the World Health Organization and was senior editor/media adviser with the New York-based United Nations Population Fund, where she was also managing editor of the UNFPA State of World Population Report and editorial director of the Human Security Report.

A digital preview of the book can be downloaded at or

The book has drawn praise from New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof, activist and author Robin Morgan, and Ryan Crocker, former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq.

By: Tom Oswald