Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth” as Want to Read:
Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  97 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Named as a Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2002, Ethical Ambition is now available in paperback. As one of America's most influential law professors, Derrick Bell has spent a lifetime helping students struggling to maintain a sense of integrity in the face of an overwhelming pressure to succeed at any price. The result of a meditation on Bell's own achievements, Eth ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ethical Ambition, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ethical Ambition

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 301)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Adam
May 30, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Social advocates, non-conformists, public servants, fighters of the good fight, most everyone
Recommended to Adam by: Jayper Saper
Shelves: memoirs, inspiration
My brother introduced me to Derrick Bell's writings long before I considered applying for law school. He handed me this book the first day I came home after being accepted to Professor Bell's current institution. Thanks Jayper. . .

Ethical Ambition is a meditation on the challenges, frustrations, inspirations and humiliations that one may face in choosing to fight the good fight. In recounting stories from his own life and those of others who have struggled against injustice, Bell demonstrates th
...more
Steffy
Aug 18, 2011 Steffy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The messages in this book, though they may provide solace for many individuals and may provide them with much sought guidance, they do not apply to a younger audience. I found very little in this book relatable. The courage of the individuals mentioned in this book is to be applauded and emulated. However, the author describes moral dilemmas from a religious perspective, and so discusses only the way in which one should act armed already with the certainty of the ideal course of action. This mak ...more
Amanda
Jan 18, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I may have read this book to quickly. It might be the kind of book that you need to read slowly and with intention. I was reading it on a deadline.

I liked the subject matter but I didn't love the delivery. I think that Derrick Bell is a genius...and I felt like this book made it clear that he also thinks he is a genius. Even if he's right, it still sort of rubbed.
Dean Jackson
Jan 29, 2008 Dean Jackson rated it it was amazing
Awesome! A really affirming book about answering to your own morals even if it's totally contrary to popular conventions. I like books that give a nod to the path I've chosen. Sometimes going against the norm is thankless if not downright hostile, so this book could be thought of as a great big hug from my grandpa.
Shirley
May 06, 2009 Shirley rated it it was amazing
Very timely, especially when talking about class politics and other structural obstacles in justice work. Prof. Bell is brilliant and even more rare, humble + inspiring + pragmatic in his advice . I'm glad to make time to read more of his writing.
Lauren Tamraz
Jan 16, 2008 Lauren Tamraz rated it really liked it
Shelves: spring-2007
I think I wanted to like this more than I actually did. He meant well, and offered good advice, but I remember being bored. A good read for educators.
Zeenat
Apr 17, 2007 Zeenat rated it really liked it
A must read for all professionals, particularly those going into the legal field.
Benedict Reid
Yeah. Ethics are good. Do you have anything further you want to say?
Matt
Jan 24, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok
Good book to reconcile life and ethics. Somewhat of a dry read.
Jen Chau
Apr 21, 2007 Jen Chau rated it it was amazing
i loved this book -- found it inspiring and validating.
Tracey Duncan
Aug 24, 2007 Tracey Duncan rated it liked it
this is a person to be admired. if you're into that.
Candy
Mar 11, 2012 Candy rated it really liked it
Inspiring read on ethical living.
Candice
Apr 28, 2011 Candice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was totally underwhelmed.
Susan
Susan marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Monique Rinere
Monique Rinere rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2016
Harsimar Dhanoa
Harsimar Dhanoa marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2016
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2016
Bridgette Davis
Bridgette Davis rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2016
James
James marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2016
Julie
Julie marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2016
Christine
Christine marked it as to-read
Jun 08, 2016
Andrea
Andrea rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2016
Rosemary King
Rosemary King marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
Kim
Kim rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2016
C
C rated it it was ok
May 27, 2016
Ibrahim
Ibrahim rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2016
Jovan Miles
Jovan Miles rated it really liked it
May 09, 2016
Tim Lo Surdo
Tim Lo Surdo marked it as to-read
May 07, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Against Health: How Health Became the New Morality (Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the Twenty-first Century) (Biopolitics Series)
  • A Philosophy of Evil
  • Humanism and Democratic Criticism
  • Supercooperators: The Mathematics of Evolution, Altruism and Human Behaviour {Or, Why We Need Each Other to Succeed}
  • Mortal Questions
  • Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas
  • The Younger Evangelicals
  • Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
  • Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time
  • Here I Stand
  • Rotten English: A Literary Anthology
  • Experiments in Ethics
  • The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman
  • Moral Imagination: Essays
  • Eclipse of God
  • Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO's Quest for Meaning and Authenticity
  • The Last Myth: What the Rise of Apocalyptic Thinking Tells Us about America
  • Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport: Making Connections in Today's World
Derrick A. Bell Jr. is a Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and a legal scholar and activist in critical race theory.
More about Derrick A. Bell...

Share This Book



“We live in a system that espouses merit, equality, and a level playing field, but exalts those with wealth, power, and celebrity, however gained.” 72 likes
“Power in the hands of the reformer is no less potentially corrupting than in the hands of the oppressor.” 25 likes
More quotes…