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Condoleezza Rice

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Condoleezza Rice, one of most powerful and controversial women in the world, has until now remained a mystery behind an elegant, cool veneer. In this stunning new biography, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller peels back the layers and presents a revelatory portrait of the first black female secretary of state and President George W. Bush’s national security adviser ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 11th 2007 by Random House (first published January 1st 2007)
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John Gurney
Condoleezza Rice was America's first black National Security Adviser and first black female Secretary of State. One of this biography's strengths is its focus Rice's early life as the daughter of a minister in Birmingham, Alabama under Bull Connor. Her childhood was somewhat secure in a striving, middle class black home in the severely segregated city. Condoleezza was unusually mature for her age and incredibly dedicated. Her early love was classical piano. I hadn't known she was personally touc ...more
Melanie
I chose this book for several reasons, one being that I had wanted to read a biography, another that I spotted this book at the library in February (and thought I could do something in honor of Black History Month), and most of all because Condoleeza Rice has been a person who has fascinated me and in some ways has reminded me of my mother with her apparent class and grace.

I was a bit disappointed with this book, however. The accounts of Rice's childhood and family background and education are
...more
Jenny
I was fascinated to read that Condoleezza Rice was taught by Madeline Albright's father, Josef Korbel - and I would like to read more about him now!

The Elisabeth Bumiller book provided me with some knowledge about Condoleezza Rice. I was particularly interested in reading about her family background and early life. This material was handled well.

The book did not however, deliver the same level of understanding to Condoleezza's career in National Security and as Secretary of State. The close rela
...more
Derek
I was really excited to read this book. Condoleezza Rice was someone I admired and of whom I wanted to know more. When I first began the book, I almost gave up. The author took a very negative view of Rice right from the beginning. It seemed like the author was intent on slandering Rice because of her closeness with the Bush family. I pushed through the introduction and was mildly surprised to see that the portrayal wasn’t as negative as it sounded like it might be during the preface. It still c ...more
John
Condoleezza Rice is a historical figure in her own right as well as a formidable fixture on the current political scene. Her accomplishments are so significant, numerous and far reaching that they are difficult to completely assemble into recognizable categories. Unfortunately, this author could not appreciably fathom the stature of the individual before her and this book, lacking much original thought, falls far short of any recommendation to read it. Condoleezza Rice is an intriguing individua ...more
Mary
Bumiller put this book together in a way that really helped me understand the Bush Administration's decision-making. I would give her a fifth star but I think the book worked so well for me because of all the previous reading I've done on this. Maybe she relied too heavily on Powell. Plus, Tolstoy gets 5 stars from me and Bumiller is no Tolstoy. (But she's a very good investigator/analyst/explainer.)
Lim
Author tried to be balanced, which makes her assessment of Condi Rice a little too wishy-washy. While there was a good lead up from Rice's academic history to her decisions as Secretary of State, explaining her involvement in 9/11, I wished there was more analysis of how she fared compared to other Sec of States before her. Perhaps more of her personal emotions and political views could have been surfaced, as opposed to just boxing her as a political realist. Or maybe, Rice is really rather impe ...more
Mary Egan
I picked this book up because I wanted to know what makes Condoleezza Rice tick. Unfortunately, this biography doesn't provide a lot of revealing information beyond what we all know. The early chapters describing Rice's childhood as a minister's daughter in segregated Birmingham are interesting. But the book soon devolves into an analysis of all the missteps leading up to 9/11 and the Iraq war. I'm glad I read it, but still feel like something is missing.
Cyndie Todd
As if I don't say it enough, I really enjoy biographies. And I prefer a biography over an autobiography if I have mixed feelings about the subject. So I enjoyed Bumiller's story of Rice's life. She had sufficient access and cooperation of Rice as well as many of those who worked and lived closely with her, those who have been supportive and those who have been critical.
Glenn Robinson
Good basic book about Secretary Rice. A great deal of background of her upbringing, early life and time inside the Bush Administration. The book took a great deal of info from other books and offer very little analysis of her decisions. The writer did a fair job of pointing out the good as well as the warts. Not a strong bio, but a fair one.
Traci
I found it boring and she went on and on bragging about how her life was. It definitely put me to sleep at night. I never found an exciting part in this book that made me want to keep reading. This is the first book that I didn't finish reading, it was that bad.
Michelle
Mar 22, 2008 Michelle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Current events readers
Very interesting, though biased (I thought) at times. I enjoyed learning about what Rice did before she became NSA and Secretary of State. I wasn't aware of how close she was to the bombing victims in Birmingham, AL.
Bryan Craig
This is probably the best biography on her to date. She actually conducted some interviews with her and her colleagues. If you want to learn more about her and the Bush administration, it is worth a look.
Amy
A fascinating look at a former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State!

The political reading was a little dry for my tastes, but I loved reading about Condoleeza Rice, the person.
Diana Look
Didn't think I was going to like it but it was truly interesting and quite impressive how she grew up to become one of the most powerful and respected women in politics today !
Cortino
A comprehensive and somewhat unbiased chronicling of Condi's life and career, but in the end I felt myself asking, "To what end was this book written?"
Stacey Gish
Not completely a tell-all, but I found it an interesting look at a very accomplished woman. Her family's history is fascinating.
Jennifer Webb Richards
Very Interesting..as an authorised biography
you get an understanding of how she became the
person she is.
Stacey
I love to read auto biographies - what a brilliant woman - there is alot to know and appreciate about her. Good read.
LS
A 50-50 split of info about her and developments in US history. A very topical view.
Kamae
I enjoyed learning about Condoleezza but I didn't think the book was very well written.
Nadine
This month's ward book group read. Still waiting for it to get to the library.
Heather
Feb 04, 2008 Heather marked it as to-read
I know little about her other than she's accomplished a heck of a lot.
Hope
Mar 27, 2008 Hope marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
listed in Feb 2008 "O" Magazine as "The Can't Miss Biography"
Karen
Now to read a book written by someone who respected Ms. Rice.
Rhonda
Great book about a great woman.
Regina
Regina marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2014
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Elisabeth Bumiller (born May 15, 1956) is an American author and journalist who is the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times.

Born in Aalborg, Denmark, to a Danish mother and American father, Bumiller moved to the U.S. when she was three years old. She moved to Cincinnati, where she graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1974, and was inducted into their Alumni Hall of Fame on April 30,
...more
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