This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President
In January 2006, after the Republic of Liberia had been racked by fourteen years of brutal civil conflict, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Africa's "Iron Lady" was sworn in as president, an event that marked a tremendous turning point in the history of the West African nation.
In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the inside story of her rise to power, including her early childhood...more
This is a hard review to write! I'm a little bit floored by this complicated, powerful woman. I am awed by what she has done with the adversity she overcame, and her simple but unshakeable commitment to sound, ethical governance. But I'm struck by her politi ...more
I learned so much about the history of Liberia. We have all heard about slaves returning to Africa and always assumed things worked out just fine. Her description of the colonial class and the ...more
First - I learned a great deal about my own ignorance. It had never occurred to me, until reading the beginning of This Child Will be Great, that the African-Americans who settled in Liberia in the early nineteenth century were imperialists. My sense of what colonialism is (not unreasonably) tied to whiteness, particularly when I think about the development of the American natio ...more
Secondly, I felt sometimes that she was, perhaps entirely subconsciously, writing a propaganda manifesto. It wasn't blatant, or terribly ...more
I rated this 4 stars only because I was hoping for more of a personal account--something along the line of "Left to Tell" or "Life & Death in S ...more
Forbes lists Sirleaf, the 23rd president of Liberia and the first elected female president on the African continent, among the 100 Most Powerful Women in 2008. In and out of government, in and out of exile, but consistent in her commitment to Liberia, Sirleaf in her memoir reveals herself to be among the most resilient, determined and courageous as well. She writes with modesty in a calm and measured tone. While her account includes a happy childhood and an unhappy marria...more
I definitely learned some things, and I think that kept it at 3 stars for me. I don't think I was aware of anything going on in Liberia, eve ...more
Johnson Sirleaf includes a history of modern Liberia, with a lot of international economics thrown in for good measure. I appreciated her unsentimental attitude and international perspective. I would absolutely recommend this book, though if you' ...more
I haven't read many memoirs, so I don't have much to compare it to. In this case, Sirleaf's story reads more as a series of dry events that could be one long bulleted list. I wonder if this writing style is a reflection of her time spent in the business world, where that type of writing is more common than a sentimental style. Either way, as I reflect on all she has encountered, and what she has accomplished, it is apparent that she is quite the a ...more
So Liberia. If asked ...more
As Ellen Johnson Sirle ...more
Erin Aubry Kaplan
Review of This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President
By Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (with Kim McLarin)
The 2006 election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s first woman president—the first in all of Africa!—is one of the new uncontested bright spots in the turbulent recent history of that country. But personal triumph is not the point of this memoir, despite its title. Sirleaf instead narrates the fascinating but frequently d ...more
This book is both memoir and history lesson. While the writing is not great and is too repetitive in many spots, it is certainly a griping story. Sirleaf is definitely a strong-willed, formidable woman-- and a survivor. I do wish that she had waited until after her presidency to write this book--I think it will be interesting to contrast what she hoped to accomplish with what actually happens. I will follow the rest of her presidency (she recently won a second 6 ...more
Her style is simple and engaging, with some self-deprecating humour as well as a justified pride in her achievements. She assumes, probably correctly, that few of us know much about Liberia, so there is a lot of background information on the country. It all helps to create a complete picture and I found it more interesting than the political details.
Edit: The kindle version of this ...more
The fact hat she is the first woman to be Preisdent of Africa is a great accomplsihment in a Country that degrades women. She has the capacity to over come many obstalcles.
I did not like that fact that she was seperated for so many years from her children, all except one that was with her a great deal of the time.
The book is a history of Liberia during great turmoil and s ...more