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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 73 reviews
on January 30, 2017
"Walk In My Shoes" is a great book from many perspectives. First and foremost the story of Andrew Youngs role in the Civil Rights movement and public service is an important American story that deserves to documented and shared. I thank him for sharing his remarkable and important story.

The relationship between Kabir and his uncle Andy is endearing yet challenging for each of them. You sense they grow into their relationship while learning from each other's perspectives. This only comes from the experience of having lengthy conversations that develop over time. Andrew Young has a wonderful ability to see the big picture on various things in life and shares this wisdom of his experiences with him in a sometimes humorous and candid way. Kabir Seghal, his Godson, in turn asks probing questions to pull out more of the story from him but in a very respectful way. Andrew Young is a great story teller and Kabir Seghall does a beautiful job capturing these wonderful moments. I'm sure this book is only the tip of the iceberg of stories Andrew Young could tell. Maybe yet another book could be on the horizon? I hope so.
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on June 2, 2010
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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on December 3, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed sinking into this book. Leadership and `followship', generational `torch passing' and mentor- mentee bonds fascinate me. The author and his Godfather have an exceptional relationship and they share so openly. I marvel at how deeply Andrew Young shaped the life of this young man. Kabir's inquiries are fascinating, to the point and so graciously respectful. Andy's responses are poignant, insightful, revealing, and loving. What an incredible opportunity for the author to have this experience and for us to share in it.

I hope to be able to keep up with Kabir's life. I anticipate great things - more books from him and the opportunity to tract the influence of a mentor.

And another thing.... I attended this book signing with the author and Andrew Young at the Carter Presidential Library. While Walk in My Shoes is not meant to be about the movement, Andy's perspective on life and his responses to Kabir are those honed during a very troubling time in our history.

I live in Atlanta, grew up in a small town in the south, was in my early teens during the civil rights movement, and remember being appalled at what was transpiring. I recall asking my parents, "WHY - just because of the color of their skin?" My thinking did not align with prevailing small town perspectives and I remember being so confused. I was grateful to hear Andy clarify some issues and share some powerful and inspiring insights as he led others through the movement.

A Morehouse University asked Andrew how he knew the civil rights movement was a cause he was willing to die for. His response was something to the effect of, I didn't, I just wanted a sandwich at the counter.

Now that is food for thought.
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on August 8, 2010
Andrew Young, a 70 plus African American male, is a veteran of the civil rights movement, educated minister, politician , diplomat and son of the South. And he's much more. He was a close supporter and confidant of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is a well read and experienced student of the world. Kabir Sehgal, who studied at the London School of Economics, is a jazz musician and writer. Sehgal is also well-read and traveled. Sehgal is Young's godson and mentee. Together, Young and Sehgal create Walk in My Shoes, a record of the 20 year-long conversation between the two.

For me, a 76 year-old African American female, observer and beneficiary of the struggles of Rev. King, Andrew Young and others in the civil rights movement, reading this book gave me an inside view of the motivations and thinking of Rev. King and of the forces at work throughout the struggle. Because Kabir Sehgal is an astute questioner, I could understand and appreciate Andy Young's contrarian views about politics and leadership. Also, Andy Young gives intriguing answers to Sehgal's questions about relationships: male to female, parent to child, and leaders to followers. The book is rich with insights into human motivations, ideas about solutions to current national problems and advice to young people seeking to change the world. Andy Young cautions the youth to have patience. He draws on the civil rights movement to illustrate the importance of taking time to plan and strategize before acting. The book is filled with examples that illustrate Young's truisms. To anyone from age 15 to 100, I recommend this book. It can be a guide to achieving one's goals. And it can help us all expand and enrich our perspective on making a positive contribution to the world.
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on July 12, 2010
These conversations bring back many memories, some painful, others of peace and a sense of accomplishment. Andy Young is a man from my region of the South and my generation, who like myself, survived the Civil Rights generation and lived to tell about it. He has not only survived it, but has thrived and has lived a long, full, productive and even exemplary life, a life of many fine accomplishments, but one also filled with uncertainty, almost impossible challenges, fear and yes some failures. That he kept landing on his feet and on the right side of history was no mean trick, and had a lot to do with the sage advice he learned throughout his life and has passed on here to his co-author and godson, in this retrospective.

Here, most of his philosophy of life and his philosophy of success has been distilled down to its bare essence, into bite sized nuggets of wisdom, truths and some times mere truisms and questionable lore, all easily transmissible to the next generation. To wit: Follow your ideals not the money and fame; discover and listen to your inner voice; take baby steps towards your aspirations; the world doesn't change, it grows; favor the wisdom of life over the knowledge of facts; risking failure is part of the deal; and the most important one of all, you must start from where you are. These nuggets of wisdom (and many more) are given to his godson in the spirit of equals: that is to say in a "take it or leave it fashion." But Kabir makes it clear that he greatly admires and greatly values his godfather's advice. He realizes that it affords him a serious jump-start into a productive and meaningful life. We all wish we had had such an uncle.

I too grew up in the Civil rights era, learned the discipline of non-violence and participated actively in the change of that era. I had only one serious problem with Uncle Andy's advice.

As was true of all of us during that era, his unfortunately was the narrative of a "victim, forever overcoming his victimhood and victimization." Victory for him (as it once was for me) thus lay not in eradicating the evil of racism, (which should have been our real goal) but in achieving the status of "non-segregation." Need it be said that there is a huge difference between a state of "non-segregation" and a state of "racial equality and justice?" Did we in the Civil Rights era make a colossal, calculated and strategic blunder in settling for the much inferior goal of "non-segregation" rather than going for "full equality and justice?" Today, this very important distinction has been blurred: "non-segregation" has been equated with, and confused with full equality and justice in the contemporary American narrative.

What I have discovered in my old age (I will be 69 in August) is that the latter goal cannot be achieved by the Christian strategy of "failing to identify," or giving the "return address" of, or even pointing the finger at the evildoer, the enemy. But not to do so, while it may be morally self-righteous, is also to be cowardly complicent in the enemy's crimes.

I am not a Christian scholar (or even any longer a Christian) but I believe that this is a fatal flaw in the Christian's "turn the other cheek" philosophy of dealing with human power and social conflict. No matter what the Bible says, it doesn't work. To use Uncle Andy's language: It is BS. The evildoer (always a coward) simply gets a free pass, and is given the pass no less than by his own victim. Religious people tend to overlook this by giving "this dance of pre-emptive defeat" a cute well-rehearsed name such as "by the grace of God," "the power of forgiveness," etc. But history tells us that these are just accepted ecumenical niceties, religious word games that have nothing to do with the hard-nosed reality of racism. In fact no one can challenge the fact that it was the American Church that got into the game of "non-segregation (not even to mention "equality and justice") very late indeed (in fact, arguably only after seeing the handwriting on the wall?).

While it is true that some of us managed to escape through the ever narrowing and severely rationed loophole reserved in the gate just for us, the truth is that even today with a mulatto president, Dr. King's promissory note still gets stamped with the label "insufficient funds." Surely Uncle Andy did not fail to notice that today's "inner city schools" are still at least as segregated, and are now much, much worse than the segregated high school he attended in 1950s New Orleans?

Somehow no one will convince me that the enemy did not know that education was the only route to racial equality. Why else would it take 25 years before the first implementation of the 1954 Supreme Court Decision, and another 25 years to completely invalidate it? Today the schools in NY are as segregated as are those in Mississippi. Did the racists ever obey that 1954 edict? The available evidence of today says that they did not, but worked tirelessly against this law of the land, and did so from sea-to-shinning-sea. Nor indeed has Uncle Andy missed the fact that welfare coupled with neo-racism has virtually destroyed the Black family? Even with a mulatto president, a recent Brandis U. study claims that we are much worse off than we were before the Civil Rights era, and although Uncle Andy and I are doing okay, we somehow lucked out, the rest of our tribe is in a daily struggle trying to survive the socially-imposed economic and social melt-down. But worse, they have now reduced the value of equality, by increasing the circle of those who fit the N-word category. Yes there is more racial equality at the bottom of America's misery. But I doubt if that is what we had in mind in the 1960s. That outcome too in my view is a legacy of the strategic blunders of the Civil Rights era.

I may be wrong, but I believe that the avowedly religious approach of "turning the other cheek" has at least one identifiable strategic flaw: it allows the evildoer to escape unscathed. Under such a circumstance, the kind of cruelty that racism represents becomes cost-free. The evildoer can then simply regroup, recruit and multiply, refine his technique, and then bring forth an even more virulent, subtler but hardier strain of racism. I believe that in all of the hoopla about having a black president that is what we see today. What we have today is nothing more than a subtler more refined form of the racism perfected by the post-Civil war racists, still escaping under the radar and still under the banner of being ever-more tolerance and fair.

Kabir, please ask Uncle Andy about this, and email me his answer.

Five stars
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on May 18, 2010
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. This book is not a mundane collection of dates and facts, but rather dazzling sparks of two great minds, hearts, and spirits combusting crossing the generation divide.

What makes this book captivating is its abundance of contrarian truth. For example, the title of the book is "Walk in My Shoes", yet very first chapter talks about Mr. Young's rebel against his father's wishes and determinedly chose to walk down his own path in his own shoes. Instead of becoming an angry rebel without a cause, somehow he turned out to be all right. In preserving Mr. Young's candor and his reverence towards street smarts over institutionalized education, the book chose not to shy away from occasional expletive, contrary to the archetypical statesman writing that are fully scrubbed, sanitized, and therefore bland. Indeed, the writing of this book is like New Orleans jambalaya - spicy, tasty, and jammed with surprises.

My most amazing find is Chapter Three - which talks about why Dr. Martin Luther King should be better known as a macroeconomist rather than a civil right movement leader. Other chapters, like the one talking about love and relationships, are a must-read. It beats Dr. Phil, Oprah, and all the echelons of relationship counselors, certified or self-proclaimed. If Mr. Young ever decides to open a relationship clinic, I would be the first investor in line to fund his business, no political campaign or IPO road show necessary.......

Bottom line, read the book and then pass it onto your friends - they will be grateful that you did.
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on August 2, 2010
"A Walk in My Shoes" opens a window to private conversations that are both meaningful and thought provoking. Since not everyone has the luxury of having a great Civil Rights leader as their godfather, the book allows outsiders to feel part of the conversation and benefit from the wisdom that Andrew Young has to offer. Through Kabir Sehgal's experience and tone, readers will feel reassured that they are not alone in the quest for answers to life's complex questions. Covering the gambit of topics, "Uncle Andy" gives candid and insightful advice on these issues. Through his anecdotes, Andrew Young recounts historical events through a lens not regularly viewed and brings to light a historical context highly relevant to today's culture. The book will leave you entertained, motivated, and equipped to tackle life's big questions.
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on August 8, 2010
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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on October 17, 2010
A necessary read for all generations. Sehgal and Young connect their generations, and those of their readers, with thought-provoking concepts for continuing the work of the American Civil Rights Movement. Their contrasting life experiences bring the reader to an appreciation of the conversation, the need to see another's perspective, to listen. Further light is shed upon why the strategies and heart of the movement worked, and how these can be applied today. Walk in My Shoes reminds us all that violence is the worst form of poverty; when you are poor and panic, you may resort to irrational means. Movement from theory to action is a vital message one is left with.
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on September 19, 2010
Kabir Sehgal's 'Walk in My Shoes' is a must-read for every young person and would be an excellent addition to any secondary or post-secondary curriculum. Ambassador Young's easy-going personality meshed with his infinite wisdom delineate an honest, pulls-no-punches portrait of his experience. Ambassador Young then does an exemplary job of using his own experience to translate enlightening, refreshing parables that all young people can empathize with. I highly recommend this book for people of all ages - whether you experienced the Civil Rights movement yourself or you're learning about it for the first time. A wonderful read.
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