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Measure of Our Success: Letter to My Children and Yours
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Measure of Our Success: Letter to My Children and Yours

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  317 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
"The Measure of Our Success" is a book to turn lives around: a compassionate message for parents trying to raise moral children, a tough and searching book that ought to be required reading for every young American.
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published May 12th 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published 1992)
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Aug 16, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently rereading this book... I encouraged one of my great aunts to read this book when it first came out. Her notion of success was based on what college her kids and grandkids went to (most went to Ivy Leagues) and/or how much money they were making (usually a lot). Sharing this book with her was my way of saying what I thought mattered most in life. Ironically, she ended up ordering over a dozen to give to her grandkids.
May 31, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book the year in came out in 1992. It is written by Marian Wright Edelman who was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi bar and founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund. She is also a graduate of Yale Law School. I loved her wisdom she shares in her "25 lessons for life" that she learned from her parents and taught her own sons. The message is timeless.
Camille Dent (TheCamillion)
This is a great short read. The author is definitely passionate about what she advocates and presents it efficiently. She is good about giving a realistic perspective, and everything she addresses can be applied to interactions with people in general, not just parent-child relationships.
Andrew Shipe
It's amazing to realize this book was written 25 years ago. The impulse for me to read it was seeing the "Twenty-Five Lessons for Life" that makes up Chapter Four. Edelman, who founded the Children's Defense Fund decades ago, mixes progressive polemic with faiths-based exhortation into a short book that could either make both sides of the political spectrum mad or bring us closer together. Let's hope more people read this book and do the latter!
Emmy Birish
Dec 31, 2016 Emmy Birish rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was forced to read this for school. It's not necessarily bad but this was dreadful to read. I felt like I've heard all the advice before. I respect the author's background and how she learned to be successful but this would be better if it wasn't a book but rather maybe a speech. Did not enjoy. Maybe because I was forced to read it.
Jan 18, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Measure of Our Success.
~A letter for my children and yours

Nicholas is home sick today, and this book is due at the library tomorrow. It's a short 87 page read, but very good. It opened me up to some of the issues that African-Americans face in their lives.

I first heard of this book through my "In style" magazine featuring Reese Witherspoon. She mentioned it as required reading in college, and it's one of her all time favorite books. I now know why.

This is a book full of wisdom, quotes from r
Daniel L.
Jul 25, 2013 Daniel L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Message We Need to Pass Along to the Next Generation

Drawing from inspirational experiences from her own childhood, Dr. Edelman talks to (not at) her own children, urging them, in whatever occupation they may choose, to serve the community at large. This is also a book for adults (parents, educators, and religious and community leaders) to read, to live a life of principles and a desire to somehow make the world a better place - in short, to serve as the strong, positive role model that so many
At the Charleston County Public Library, we will be celebrating social justice and community work in the month of January through our "I Make a Difference" programming series. This programming is based on Marian Wright Edelman's recent anthology for children of a similar title, which is based on THE MEASURE OF OUR SUCCESS. This programming is inspired by our longtime CCPL librarian Cynthia Hurd, whom we lost tragically in the Mother Emmanuel shooting this past summer. THE MEASURE OF OUR SUCCESS ...more
Mar 18, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She is a child advocate and this book had lots of good advice and a nice way of giving it.
She has 25 lessons for life...very good and practical suggestions from a black woman married to a Jewish man and raising children to respect themselves and their heritages...
e.g. " 'Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.' (Carlyle) Try to take each each day and each task as they come, breaking them down into manageable pieces for action while stru
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Moss
Aug 27, 2013 Kim Moss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A work of experiences: mothering, teaching, being a wife, being a person of color, being an advocate, being human. Lovely things are discussed in this essay stylized book. One feels like being in a class, or at times on the porch of a very good friend while passing through this short read. Edelman understands her humanity and the demands that such knowledge obligate to her person, that is for all of us, according to Edelman, a responsibility to love. At it's core the book is encouraging the read ...more
Eileen Godbout
Dec 18, 2016 Eileen Godbout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book which I read every few years as it gives me hope. Author Marian Wright Edelman is the founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund and has dedicated her life to give voice to the impoverished and at risk children of the richest country in the world, our country. Although this book was published almost 25 years ago, it still is relevant and very powerful. Highly recommend that it should be mandatory reading for all humanity.
Feb 26, 2013 Msladydeborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Measure of Our Success is a thought provoking read because Marian Wright Edelman opens up her human feelings in this book. She shares what she believes to be important in terms of living a life that is centered on doing well and helping others to achieve that same sense of feeling.

I selected this book because of my admiration for her work with children and their families. It was a great way to renew my personal perspective about the work that I perform in the community.

Jan 11, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and inspiring look at what was and still is needed in our country to help us succeed. The strangest aspect of the book for me was that it was written more than 20 years ago and we are in roughly the same spot now as we were then, just with more stuff, more materialism, and a broader divide between rich and poor -- despite the fact that there were a few years in between when we seemed to be overcoming it all.
Erin Payseur
I loved this book! It was inspiring and personal, written with the love of a mother and the advice of a successful policy-maker. There were so many inspirational quotes as it calls all of us, not just African Americans, to consider how we live and how we care for the children in our society. I came away with respect and admiration for Edelman, as someone who has much to offer our country not just in terms of policy but in terms of character development.
Doug Wells
Feb 03, 2017 Doug Wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So glad I read and re-read. Preach, Marian Wright Edelman, preach.

My take always, among many -

"What unites us is far greater than what divides us..."

"Remember the children behind the statistics"

"If government is seen as an illegitimate enterprise, if the public purposes of one's job are not considered a high calling, and if government has no purpose other than its own destruction, the restraints against unethical behavior in both the public and private sectors quickly erodes."
Dec 20, 2008 Kathystewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such an inspirational book for me when I was in grad school. This woman is sooooooo smart and well spoken and has a way of writing and speaking that really touches me and inspires me to do better for children- all children. I highly recommend it. It's a tiny book- you could read it in a couple of hours.
Dec 12, 2016 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't tell you how good this book is. It was written in 1992, but it could have been written two weeks ago. Marian Wright Edelman's observations and exhortations regarding improving the lives of America's children still stand as they did then. She offers advice to her children, and ours, with 25 life lessons that are evergreen and compelling.
May 02, 2013 Pauline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some people just have wisdom for the ages! I loved the areas of discussion which include what really matters in life...caring about others, living with purpose, having passionate devotion to character and integrity. Some people make a lot of money and some people make a lot of LIFE...I want to be the latter who cares more about impact then materialism.
A quick read that provides universal lessons we all should follow. Succinct, concrete, and inspiring, I should read this book each year to remind me of what is important in life and what my responsibilities are.
Nov 03, 2015 Virginia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is the type of book that people say they like because they think they are supposed to like it. Boring, full of quotations, strange tangents and logical leaps. I appreciate the author as a person, but this book was not for me.
Loriann Summers
Jul 16, 2016 Loriann Summers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first year experience book for all USC freshmen this year. Although the book is quite old, it is amazing how the lessons apply, even more, today. I hope our entering first years really learn something from this look.
Feb 03, 2009 Deanna marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Reese who read it during her 1st year at Stanford.
Jul 13, 2012 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It needs to be read annually by teachers and legislators and everyone else who impacts the futures of our children.
Name Peace
the was book is to nice
Instrumental in helping parents chart a course for their children based on traditional values--self-reliance, family, hard work, justice, the pursuit of knowledge and of brotherhood.
Sep 26, 2011 Tami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
i took some good things from this book. the idea that legality and morality are not the same thing and should not be considered the same thing. very interesting to me in how it was presented.
Aug 08, 2008 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: For everyone
Shelves: inspiring
I have read it three times. During each read of this wonderful book, I find that the messages and lessons within keep their worth.
chris mcdonald
May 08, 2007 chris mcdonald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: oneofmyfavorites
Just read it! It is inspiring and I will probably give this book to all of my family and any new parents.
Jan 26, 2010 Jenifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Read in my First Book Club. (Jennifer's)
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