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This Life Mass Market Paperback – March 12, 1981


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 12, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345294076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345294074
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,673,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By face on September 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Poitier's biography is one of bitter sweet humorous at times and
seriously moraled at others. His life story rivals that of his films. His dirt poor up bringing with feelings of embarassment, pride, and humility to his success story and subsequent feelings of energeticness, ....pride...and yes humility is one that is under-rated and underappreciated. It just the kind of story that the world needs now.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on January 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"This Life," Sidney Poitier's first autobiography, makes it clear that Poitier, the much-honored, Oscar-winning, world-famous movie star, has had quite a life. He was born, premature and tiny, not expected to live, in Miami, last of seven living children of Reginald and Evelyn Poitier, dirt-poor Bahamian tomato farmers. Spent his young years on little Cat Island, in the Bahamas. Thrown into the ocean at ten months again and again "like a sack of garbage," because Cat Island children had to swim. Swimming underwater, down a dark and terrifying drainage ditch-- in which the tide should have killed him-- at five because he wanted to. Trying voodoo at nine to catch the attention of a certain eleven year old girl.

Then at eleven, unprepared, to Nassau, where he sees his first movies, and flirts with life on the wrong side of the law. On to Miami, where racism shocks him, and he learns to drive cars by smashing them up in parking lots. To New York at sixteen, where he overdoses on Broadway, elevators, the subway, hot dogs, and malted milk, and washes dishes for a living. His first winter is so cold -- he never heard of winter-- that he joins the army underage to get warm. Gets out by acting crazy.

Auditions for his first acting job because The American Negro Theatre's notice was next to a dishwashing job in "The Amsterdam News," N.Y.'s black newspaper. He didn't know what an actor was, but it sounded like a better job to him. Hooted off the stage because of his inability to read, and his thick West Indian accent. In pride and rage, he breaks the accent by buying a radio and singing along-- "If it said, 'This is WOR bringing you the news,' then I would say 'This is WOR bringing you the news.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. DiLiddo Jr. on August 1, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A must read by EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN.

Bette Davis and Sidney Poitier on SOCIAL JUSTICE:

THEY BOTH LOOKED THE WORLD IN THE EYE and did not like what they saw!!!!

Sidney Poitier writes on page 212 of the hardcover version:
[writing about movie directors in Hollywood who either liberate or oppress black actors]

" ....for Richard Brooks and Stanley Kramer [director of
'The Defiant Ones'] differences of approach and style obscured the fact that they were traveling companions on the same highway heading for the same sunset, BECAUSE THEY HAD BOTH LOOKED THE SAME WORLD IN THE EYE AND SAID: ' you're not quite structured the way I like and here comes a little energy to move you around a little'.......

Bette Davis acting in the movie "The Corn is Green" Corn Is Green (1945) in the role of L.C. Moffat, an English school marm who has inherited a house in Wales; highly educated for her time, Ms. Moffat, moved by the squalor, poverty and ignorance of an illiterate people: one of Bette's LINES:

"I wonder whoever started the ridiculous rumor that we live in a civilized world?"....When I was quite a young girl, I LOOKED THE WORLD IN THE EYE and decided I didn't like it. I saw poverty and disease, ignorance and injustice and in a small way I've always done what I could to fight them"....

Sidney Poitier's life story, an autobiography, needs to be read by EVERY American who may be feeling sorry for themselves because they are down and out, unemployed, or otherwise marginalized in our society.

The portions of this book that describe his being blacklisted by Senator McCarthy in the 1950's is harrowing.
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