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Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr.

3.27  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Four-time mayor of Washington, DC, Marion Barry, Jr. tells his shocking and courageous life story, beginning in the cotton fields in Mississippi to the executive offices of one of the most powerful cities in the world.

Known nationally as the disgraced mayor caught on camera smoking crack cocaine in a downtown hotel room with a mistress, Marion Barry Jr. has led a controver
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Strebor Books (first published February 4th 2014)
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Jan 18, 2015 Andre rated it liked it
In short, a first person look into his own life and the politics of D.C., that lacks depth but is worth a read. I think he could have dug deeper into some of the events in his life and the tone could have been less defensive. He passed away in November 2014, and the book was completed earlier that year, so it is a very topical history of Marion Barry. The book is written in a matter-of-fact style that takes us from Marion Barry's birth to 2014. It was good to see him put his story out there for ...more
Jul 25, 2015 RYCJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-keepers
A very interesting and impressive memoir. There’s so much to express about this account that I’m challenged about exactly where to start.

Midway, almost at the center of the book, was where the realization of what Mayor Barry (unsuspectingly) represents for many seeking an identity to venerate, and in some respects model.

In my own admitted ignorance I did not know the depth of the personal success stories he created, and neither did I understand the scope of the foundation he built around the Nat
Johnathan Royal
Jul 09, 2014 Johnathan Royal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so excellent
May 08, 2015 David rated it did not like it
Braggy tone is set early--in the acknowledgements he addressed the co-author with "Who would have thought....that you would receive the opportunity of a lifetime?" [i.e., working with me on a book]. Right to the end Mayor Barry apparently thought really highly of himself, and the co-author didn't do much to keep him in check.

Being from the DC area, I found it interesting on one level just to rehash some of the political and economic history of the last 40 years in the region, but it's hardly an
Apr 08, 2015 Jacqueline rated it liked it
Recommended to Jacqueline by: Gift
In this book, Marion Barry attempted to explain himself. However, he seemed not to go in depth in regard to his thinking on many subjects. Many of the citizens of D.C. loved Marion Barry as their mayor. Because he championed for the people in his precinct, they faithfully supported and continually reelected him. Notwithstanding the scandals surrounding him, his supporters believed him to be an effective politian and thought he did a lot of good for the city. Others thought he was the worst thing ...more
May 24, 2016 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marion Barry used this memoir to set the record straight and remind everyone that he was much more than the caricature of a monkey snorting cocaine off the mayor's desk. He was a chemist who nearly studied law as he pursued his doctorate, all while being an active member of SNCC. He advocated for and provided many opportunities for African Americans while facing the storms that come with steering a large ship of municipal bureaucracy through a capitalist society. He was a human who was just as c ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Maya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The message was there, so was honesty, humor, and information. I only wish that Omar Tyree did a better job of editing this book. At times there were moments of repetition and spelling erros. Also there was the overuse of "I" irked my nerve, which I hate to admit because ultimately I know Marion Barry did all that he said. I am a product of the District, had my first job in his summer youth program, and watched him work tirelessly for the underserved of Washington. The lack of editing made Mayor ...more
Greg Howard
Jun 15, 2014 Greg Howard rated it it was ok
There were some good aspects to this book, but not enough of them to redeem a 300 page exercise in self-indulgence written at a third-grade level. At times I felt sorry for Mr. Barry because he seemed unaware of how his decisions would hurt himself and the city. But nonetheless, I did get a better sense of what his priorities are, some of the challenges he faced, and the local political history of Washington D.C. So reading this book was certainly not a waste.
Jun 25, 2014 Wash rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is good but missing something. It certainly could have delved deeper into Mayor Barry's thoughts on his life and career. Not bad, but I wanted a better product to chronicle his legacy.
Sharon Lucas
Sharon Lucas rated it liked it
Oct 20, 2015
Karl Sauerwein
Karl Sauerwein rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2014
S Kathryn
S Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2014
Jenna Curley
Jenna Curley rated it it was ok
Sep 03, 2014
annie copling
annie copling rated it it was amazing
Mar 23, 2016
Aug 19, 2014 Meg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fake-book-club
Poorly written ego-trip.
Kimberly A. RIce
Kimberly A. RIce rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Maggie Duffy
Maggie Duffy rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2016
Krystina rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2014
Toni rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2017
Erica Jones
Feb 24, 2015 Erica Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
K Amy
K Amy rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Karen rated it it was ok
Jul 18, 2014
O. Poole
O. Poole rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2016
Darrick Gilmore
Darrick Gilmore rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2015
Kathy rated it did not like it
Sep 25, 2014
ScroogeMon rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2014
Vanessa rated it it was ok
Jun 25, 2014
Alex rated it did not like it
Sep 11, 2014
Samantha rated it did not like it
Feb 26, 2015
garygraham rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2015
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Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. (born March 6, 1936) is an American politician who served as the second elected Mayor of the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1991, and again as the fourth Mayor from 1995 to 1999. He has been a member of the Council of the District of Columbia, representing Washington, D.C.'s Ward 8, since 2005. A Democrat, Barry previously served two other tenures on the DC Council, a ...more
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