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Walk in My Shoes: Conversations between a Civil Rights Legend and his Godson on the Journey Ahead Hardcover – May 11, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A motivating history and personal story about family, courage, and faith. Walk in My Shoes is filled with the wisdom, insight, and candor only experience could harness.” ―Newt Gingrich, former house speaker

“This brilliant, courageous, and intelligent man has stood for right and for Civil Rights for all people. In this book, we can follow the development of a young African American mind and the development of the movement which changed this country. He was brave, he was loving, and he was there. Thank God he lived to tell about it.” ―Maya Angelou

“This book re-affirms what all of Andrew Young's friends and colleagues have always known. Andy is a preacher. Every story, episode, illustration is in fact a sermon. And every reader will be instructed and inspired by Andy's wisdom and experience.” ―Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Senior Managing Director of Lazard

“Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal open up their hearts with pitch-perfect sincerity. This is a fiercely inspiring cross-generational memoir filled with folk wisdom, human frailty, and sweet victory amongst the fangs of defeatism. Consider this book a joy.” ―Douglas Brinkley

“Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal have woven together years of their candid and unvarnished conversations to create a wonderful combination of biography, memoir, and guide to life. This is an enlightening book that shows how great wisdom is passed down to new generations.” ―Walter Isaacson, president of The Aspen Institute

“Andrew Young witnessed the depths of modern times -- he saw us at our very worst, and yet he has written an intensely personal love letter to America. This is a love story -- love of country -- it's also a story about loss and regret, good and evil. Andrew Young was present at the creation of the movement that changed our country forever.” ―Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News

“Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal have produced a valuable book, one that offers timeless lessons of faith, love and leadership. The book illuminates the civil rights revolution of the 1960s and calls upon its readers--each in our own way --to carry on the work of building a more perfect America with courage and vision and humility.” ―Senator Joe Lieberman

“Filled with wisdom and political insight, Walk in My Shoes is graceful, yet sharp. Hip, yet respectful. It is a blueprint for future generations to speak openly and honestly with one another.” ―The Honorable Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta

“Working with Ambassador Young has taught me that we share more similarities than differences between our generations. The conversations with his Godson should remind us how important it is to combine what we have in common with our unique perspectives in order to change the community and the world.” ―Clifford "TI" Harris, Jr., Entertainer/Actor

“This is a great gift to America's children - now and in the future. Andy Young has perfect pitch when it comes to telling the great story of a civil rights crusade that is a hymn to courage, non violence and rule of law. He was there, every step of the way, and his reflections are deeply personal and historic. I am personally grateful for this important work.” ―Tom Brokaw

“Ambassador Young wears many hats, and in this book he takes on the role of Godfather speaking to his Godson. As I read it I can picture many of the conversations he and I had on the many trips I've taken with him to Africa. And having just an opportunity to walk with him on the continent of Africa showed me a different Africa and a different Andrew Young. For that I am eternally grateful. He is my friend, he is the world's friend and I hope that every emerging leader picks up this book as a reference for what it takes to change the world.” ―Chris Tucker, Actor, Comedian, Activist

“Engaging, raw, and impactful, this book should be a required reading for us all. Ambassador Young imparts wisdom on his God son with an organic humor and sensibility that can make you laugh and cry at the same time.” ―Jamie Foxx, Oscar-winning actor, Grammy-winning performer

“Andrew Young found himself at the intersection of history when the civil rights movement changed America's future by redeeming its past. Forty years later, a new generation, represented by Kabir Sehgal, sees another meeting with history approaching. What could be more valuable than learning from a man who has experienced what it means to forge inspiration in the crucible of conflict?” ―Deepak Chopra

“Wisdom can be found in many places. In Walk in My Shoes, a young man turns to his mentor Uncle Andy for guidance on faith, spirituality and love. Not only is this an innovative memoir, these pages are filled with irreverent honesty and timeless wisdom.” ―Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“I grew up right around the corner from Mayor Young, as we called Andrew Young then. He's always had vision and always shared his vision with the younger community. This type of leadership doesn't happen without considerations and conversations with the next generation, as we see in this inspiring and important book.” ―Aldrin "DJ Toomp" Davis, Grammy-winning producer

“Andrew Young is an American hero who has spent a lifetime leading by example. Walk in My Shoes, poignantly illustrates Ambassador Young's wisdom and devotion to others. In this book, the life lessons of a great man makes us all better.” ―Mellody Hobson, President, Ariel Investments

Walk in My Shoes is indicative of the distinctions and intersections between generations that offer both challenges and opportunities for all of us to communicate with one another in order to make the world a better place. This book probes those areas that we like to ignore regarding what it means to be a visionary, and what sacrifices have to be made in order to positively influence change. Steeped in a vulnerable narrative between two men, this is a bold and intelligent work.” ―Joycelyn A. Wilson, PhD. Scholar of Hip-Hop Studies, The HipHop2020 Curriculum Project, Morehouse College

“A fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most important activists....Lively and passionate.” ―Birmingham News

About the Author

Andrew Young is an American politician, diplomat, and pastor from Georgia who has served as mayor of Atlanta, a congressman, and United States ambassador to the United Nations. He also served as president of the National Council of Churches USA, and was a supporter and friend of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

Kabir Sehgal works at JPMorgan in New York. He studied at Dartmouth College and the London School of Economics. Sehgal served as a special assistant to Senator Max Cleland and on the John Kerry presidential campaign. He is the author of Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology, which was featured on NPR. He lives in New York, NY.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230623603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230623606
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,425,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being a devoted businessperson, I used to have a pretty low opinion of those involved in politics. My heroes are legendary investors and entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. I despise those who get paid by telling whatever the voters want to hear, comprising truths and principles.

"Walk in My Shoes", however, repealed my prejudices against politicians......well, at least one of them. Being illiterate in American politics, I had no idea who Andrew Young was or his past accomplishments and really couldn't care less, but this book has earned him the highest respect from me -- not for his past positions in the government, but for his unconventional wisdom, and his uncompressing adherence to his principles. He did what he said, and he lived what he believed. After reading this book, I wish I had a godfather like him when I grew up to guide me through my years of confusion, and to lift me up from the inevitable downfalls and heartbreaks.

This book very skillfully brought a larger-than-life statesman down to earth. There was no preaching, no sermon, just vignettes of wisdom parsed through unassuming, funny, but thought-provoking, real life stories. Yet, chapter after chapter, it grows on you, making you want more. After you put down the book, it lingers on your mind, much like the melody of a beautiful song that keeps reverberating through your ears, your heart, and your soul well after you have turned off your iPod. What distinguishes this book from the massive volumes of run-of-the-mill autobiographies on the market is that Andrew Young is framed through the eyes of his godson, a young man who seems to share the same growth pains with the rest of us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The reader is treated to intriguing conversations between the accomplished Andrew Young and the "Own-His-Way" Kabir Sehgal. Through family connections, Kabir has had a lifetime relationship with his Godfather, "Uncle Andy", civil rights legend, politician, pastor, and contrarian (you will learn) thinker. One feels a part of a revealing discussion of past and present issues, broken neatly into civil rights, faith, love, and leadership.

On one level the conversation encompasses Ghandi, Mandela, and MLK. The insights of a civil rights player and eyewitness are offered on a variety of subjects. Look for topical issues, such as a suggested connection between racism and today's terrorism.

On a second level, the talk shifts to personal struggles, searches for identity, and exploration of inner and outer voices. Through Kabir and Andy, the reader can explore their own thoughts on a variety of issues: interaction of religion and government, personal challenges with tolerance and forgiveness, individual dreams.

Have you ever been puzzled by where life is taking you? Andy shares his thoughts on Cupid and finding a partner in love. Kabir muses that he just may spend too much time in sports bars, watching the struggles of his hometown Atlanta teams!

You will feel yourself in the discussion, as it turns public service, nonviolence, family, and more......Sit back......Kick off your Hush Puppies......Enjoy "Walk In My Shoes."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who's your "Godchild"? This inspirational book not only captures the wisdom of a great civil rights leader but uniquely illustrates the power of intergenerational communication and mentorship. It is a privilege to be included in Young and Sehgal's personal lifelong conversation about listening for your inner voice and seeking an outer voice. Fortunately, Kabir Sehgal's writing makes the conversation come alive. I couldn't put the book down. It made my world bigger. It made me want to act. I found myself calling my boys, young men really, first with: Andrew Young says this and then, Andy Young says, then finally Uncle Andy's advice is. However, I do recommend you get someone else to call your children. Unfortunately, Andrew Young is already taken.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been on vacation for the past week with my wife and children and, with that, the luxury of thoughtful reflection. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It spoke to me on many levels.

It led me to ponder my own life and upbringing and, most importantly, reflect upon how I am raising my own children, and those of my siblings. Lots of good lessons there, some of which I'm happy my wife and I engage in... others dutifully noted.

It also led me to think about how I interact with my colleagues at work. It has also led me to ponder one of the key factors that appears to drive the long-term success of those in my profession (namely, the point of constantly challenging the status quo, and pushing oneself beyond one's own comfort zone to explore new ideas).

As I enter 'middle age', I found comfort in the lesson that I am still evolving (I consider myself a 'seeker', like the authors)... and glad to know that there are others who "know where (they're) going... but (don't) know how (they're) getting there."

This book also filled in many gaps of my knowledge w/r/t government, and the history of the Civil Rights movement. It has prompted me to pull off my bookshelf a copy of the Autobiography of Martin Luther King - a book I purchased years ago, but have put off reading until now. Andrew Young is a great man. He has a deep and compassionate understanding of the human condition, our primal fears and needs. Kabir Sehgal is making the most of an enviable relationship.
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