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Showing 1-10 of 100 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 180 reviews
on May 31, 2017
Condoleezza Rice (1954-) is a Stanford University professor. She was the youngest provost in Stanford history. She was the first black woman to be the National Security Advisor and the first black female Secretary of State.

Rice was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up during the civil rights battles in the south. Her father was a minister and educator; and her mother was a teacher and musician. Rice trained to be a concert pianist before changing her university major to political science. Her expertise is Soviet and Eastern European Affairs. she learned the Russian and Czech languages. Her professor and mentor was Madelaine Albright’s father, Josef Korbel (1907-1927), at the University of Denver.

The book is focused on her early childhood in Alabama during the fight for Civil Rights. The story is mostly about her parents and the forces that shaped the generation of black middle-class families. Toward the end of the book, Rice tells of her time at RAND and her research work there and how she started at Stanford. In her first year of teaching, Rice won the highest award at Stanford for teaching. She tells of working for President George H.W. Bush and a little about working for President George W. Bush. That time is covered in another book.

The book is written more in the style of a journalist rather than the academic style expected of a professor. The book is eminently readable. I enjoy Rice’s style of writing.

I read this as an e-book on my Kindle app for my iPad. The book is 370 pages long and was published in 2011.
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on November 27, 2010
I started reading this book with a negative political and personal bias, but soon became absorbed with this extraordinary family story written by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Dr. Rice sheds a great deal of personal information about herself,her family and her experiences with race in the Deep South during the height of segregation and the Civil Rights movement. She consistently maintains her focus on family and her own self actualization, and does not get too caught up with President Bush and Republican politics.

Rice's autobiography is dramatically compelling and helps the reader understand her as an individual as well as providing insight about her political beliefs. Her story will be insightful to all readers regardless their of race or ethnicity. Nonetheless, as an African American female of her generation, I personally related to her Black middle class upbringing by extraordinary parents in the Deep South whose sacrifices developed many of us into the successful women that we have become today.

While my political biases did not change as a result of this reading, I am left with a deeper understanding and appreciation for Dr. Rice and her very extraordinary, ordinary family.
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VINE VOICEon February 27, 2014
I have read a few autobiographies of well-known leaders. Many of them are good for the first little bit, but then before long they get into discussions of their political career and advocate for their future political goals. In many ways, this book is similar in that regard. It traces the life of Condoleeza Rice from birth all the way through the Bush campaign for the presidency.

What is unique about this book is both its humility, and the way Rice tells her story as a story of family love and family triumph. Telling her story through the lens of a black family in the throws of the civil rights movement, and in the context of a family propelled forward through initiative, education, and a few lucky breaks, she gives her reader a glimpse into how she was formed as a person, and why she grew up to be the person she became.

A fun read, and inspirational in that it reminds us what opportunities are available to those of us here in America.
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on May 17, 2017
I loved this book cover to cover! I will love Condolezzaa Rice for the rest of my life! She has been interested in everything. I knew she would excel in everything. She was always an outstanding friend. What confounds me is that she was always a Republican and I have always been a Democrat but she crossed the isle when she thought it was the right thing to do! Her parents were great too and all three of them were great Americans.
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on December 15, 2010
I loved the audio version on CDs, unabridged and read by the author. It was a joy to drive around and listen to her tell about the lives of her and her parents as they lived and made decisions in turbulent times. Her parents made incredible sacrifices for her, an only child. And she lived up to it by growing up to be a great human being and a wonderful daughter.

There are many parallels to the Laura Ingalls stories of growing up on the frontier after the Civil War. Laura's books can be read as the story of her parents trying to make a life outside of civilization, and then surviving the brutal North Dakota winters as civilization creeps toward them and over them. Condoleezza's book can be read on one level as the story of her parents in Birmingham, Denver and Palo Alto after the Civil Rights Act changed their world. In Laura's book it is heartbreaking when Pa gives his "little half pint" in marriage, knowing he will seldom see her again. In Condoleezza's book it is sad when her mother died -- but I blubbered like a baby when "Daddy" died, possibly releasing his then-tenuous grip on life to make it more convenient for her to move to DC to become National Security Advisor.

Her writing is disarmingly conversational. Listening to the book feels like you have the three members of the Rice family as house guests, and you can't wait to get back home after work, to hang out with them some more. Count me charmed.

It's pretty clear that this is intended solely as a book about her early life and her wonderful parents. Just enough details of her political life are included to allow us to see her career through their proud eyes. She talks about being single and her feelings about elective office. But she clearly reserves to another day a book about her professional life as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.

Condoleezza Rice is a very special person and this is a wonderful book, whatever your race or political persuasion.
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on July 10, 2017
This true story is gripping from the beginning to end. Miss Rice is very transparent and her honesty rings forth in the good and not so good retelling of her own actions and feelings. Excerpt for the high profile people she was always interacting with, the is could be the story of any highly educated black female in America today as far as how while people chose too engage her or not at all. It is lonely for black female, high achievers except, for a supportive family which she had in spades! This is a very enjoyable read!
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on June 7, 2017
With an understated humility, Condoleezza Rice tells her amazing life's story. Growing up in segregated Alabama to becoming Secretary of State, her's is truly an incredible American success story. Her story is not just about her own talents and drive, but that of her family and community that provided her the structure and support and guidance to succeed in a world that was rigged against her. Her life had been a bit Forrest Gump-ian as she has encountered amazing people and participated in incredible events, though not through blind luck, but through hard work and activism.
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on May 8, 2017
Didn't realize how much I would enjoy reading about Miss. Rice life. This book is educational and insightful. Details her life from Alabama to Denver then to D.C. and California. I enjoyed very much reading about her life and family. Highly recommended
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on May 26, 2017
Loved reading about her childhood in Birmingham. It breaks my heart to hear first hand the discrimination she endured. But what a testimony to grace and wisdom from her parents, as they taught her to rise above it. Smart, funny lady. Would love to be her friend.
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on April 26, 2011
I am a big fan on Ms Rice. I enjoyed her book but was struck by how many references their were to "me, me, me". It was very evident that she was a beloved only child. This surprised me as I view her as someone with great sophistication and almost manic objectivity.

I loved her recollections of living through Segregation and how her Father's need to protect them from the KKK instilled in her a belief in the Constitutional Right "to keep and bear arms". It was her Father with his shotgun and other Fathers in the black neighborhoods of Birningham who protected their families, not the Goverment.

Her story of over achievement was unique in 1950s/60s and it is still unique today. I love to hear a story of someone unaffected by racial stereotypes who overcomes them without ever even taking them into consideration. Everbody belongs to a Race or Culture of some kind. Be extraordinary and forget about the rest. That's Condi Rice in a nutshell.

Highly recommend this book.
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