The chance of a Protestant, East German, divorced woman without children becoming chancellor of Germany in a political career of only 15 years by way of the political party billed as the party of the family and dominated by West German Catholic men falls into the “flying pigs” category. Yet this is exactly what Angela Merkel accomplished. Hers is a remarkable story of national leadership launched by serendipity but repeatedly advanced by her quick political learning, pragmatic negotiating skills, and an ability to capitalize on the missteps of others. Since her against-all-odds rise to be elected chancellor in 2005, Angela Merkel has successfully guided Germany into a thriving economic powerhouse and propelled herself into a leader on the world stage. Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world and, more important, is one of a handful of the most powerful world leaders , male or female.