Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Condoleezza Rice” as Want to Read:
Condoleezza Rice
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Condoleezza Rice

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  28 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)
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 Condoleezza Rice, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Condoleezza Rice

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 269)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
An even-handed and engaging narrative about someone very different from myself. While I wouldn't want to emulate Rice's ambition, she does inspire me to pursue my own interests with more determination. As a child, Rice was a gifted pianist who devoted many hours to practicing. But more striking than that to me was her skating which she had no skill for at all, but continued to practice devotedly anyway.

Rice once told an eight-grade girl, "Don't ever let anybody set expectations for you of what y
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
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
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
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
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.
Dec 28, 2014 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
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.)
I loved the book! I learned a lot about her and I have a new respect for her. The way she tied the civil rights to her past was beautiful. I cannot help but think that she was at one point intimate with Georg Bush. I am disappointed, however about how she does not seem to appreciate her black heritage.
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.
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.
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.
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 !
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 an authorised biography
you get an understanding of how she became the
person she is.
I love to read auto biographies - what a brilliant woman - there is alot to know and appreciate about her. Good read.
A 50-50 split of info about her and developments in US history. A very topical view.
I enjoyed learning about Condoleezza but I didn't think the book was very well written.
This month's ward book group read. Still waiting for it to get to the library.
Feb 04, 2008 Heather marked it as to-read
I know little about her other than she's accomplished a heck of a lot.
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"
Now to read a book written by someone who respected Ms. Rice.
Great book about a great woman.
Shankar Rajesh
Shankar Rajesh marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2015
Kelsey marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope
  • Thrumpton Hall
  • The Three of Us: A Family Story
  • Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention
  • Nureyev: The Life
  • The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power
  • The Race Card: How Bluffing about Bias Makes Race Relations Worse
  • A Long Way from Home
  • Being Martha: The Inside Story of Martha Stewart and Her Amazing Life
  • Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson
  • Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier
  • Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq
  • The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century
  • Speaking for Myself: The Autobiography
  • Sleeping it Off in Rapid City
  • Fanon
  • Dictation: A Quartet
  • The School on Heart's Content Road
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 about Elisabeth Bumiller...
May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life The Best American Political Writing 2003

Share This Book