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Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me
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Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  214 ratings  ·  35 reviews
In this captivating memoir for young people, looking back with candor and affection, Condoleezza Rice evokes in rich detail her remarkable childhood.
Her life began in the comparatively placid 1950s in Birmingham, Alabama, where black people lived in a segregated parallel universe to their white neighbors. She grew up during the violent and shocking 1960s, when bloodshed be
ebook, 336 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Nick S
Condoleezza Rice, a Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me, is a memoir written by Condoleezza Rice herself that takes you on a journey through her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights movement, all the way until she was asked to become President W. Bush’s national security officer. Appropriately, the memoir commences when her father John Rice, one of the most influential people in her life dies. Throughout the entirety of her memoir, Condoleezza places heavy emph ...more
Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, ordinary family and Me is beautiful and charming book for the youth. The story is a reflection of Rice's childhood. As an African American living in the south she was always surrounded by pain and inequality. It was a place where black people lived in a parallel universe to their white neighbors. From the youth perspective, I never experienced such pain, racism, neglect and anything else that comes with living in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 1 ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It flowed very well and could be considered a quick read, even though I didn't do it that way. I was initially interested in ready this autobiography when it came into our home last Christmas because I was curious. Secondary to her involvement in politics and her prodigious background, Condoleeza Rice is a black woman of influence. I figured it wouldn't hurt to know more about her so if one day Callie asked about influential black women or men, I'd know at least a few ...more
Clara Roberts
The first several chapter deals with lfe in the South and the ugliness of segregation. To me, while Condi spoke of her father in glowing terms, he does not come off too good. A minister who drinks vodka and had to marry his first wife because she thought she was pregnant is a fake not a man of God. I was distressed that Condi supported affirmative action and then said that she was an affirmative action hire at Standford. Later she says that the answer is not to lower standards but to look for go ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. It was well-written, touching at times, and well-paced. Ms. Rice and I were born in the same year, and as I was reading this, I thought about how much she accomplished in her life, the people she worked with, and her place in history. I am amazed at her tenacity, ambition, and her intellect. I want every one of my students to read how this woman, who grew up in Jim Crow Birmingham, accomplished so much with her life. Nothing and no one held her back. Ms. Rice em ...more
Amazing read! I could not put it down.
If you thought you knew Condoleezza Rice, you have no idea! A truly ground-breaking woman with a brilliant story and experience of Birmingham, Alabama during its darkest history. A true testament to the strength and ambition instilled in her and honored throughout her life.
K. Euler
The language was often surprisingly simple, and there was less focus on the political side of her life than I had hoped. Nevertheless, an enjoyable read that gives more personal insight into a woman who has played a major role in modern politics.
Linda Mitchell
What a remarkable and amazing woman! Condi's memoir describes how close she was with her parents, especially her father. I enjoyed learning the back story of the little strong-willed girl who grew up to achieve so many firsts in the political and educational arenas all while deflecting the harsh realities of racism and prejudice directed toward her. There are several books written about Condoleezza Rice but I wanted to read her story in her own words first. I am satisfied that I got a true accou ...more
This is the young reader's version of Condi's memoir. I found her life story very compelling and finally understand how this intelligent black woman from segregated Birmingham, AL became a republican. The one thing that bothered me was how "dumbed down" it was, using very simple sentence structures and chapters that were less than 10 pages. Teens can certainly be challenged much more. Since this was modified for middle and high school readers, I imagine more complex explanations are given in the ...more
Pam Davidson
It is an amazing story about an amazing woman. This is really a how-to book for people to see the sacrifices her parents made to insure that she had a good education and good experiences in music, athletics etc. It is quite a story. For a black girl growing up under segration in Birmingham, AL her parents and teachers always stressed that for her to get ahead in a white world, she had to be twice as good as a white person. And, she was/is!
A love story between two parents and their only child. Tracing her life from a very segregated Birmingham, Alabama in the mid-fifties to the eve of George W. Bush's presidency in 2000, this is a story of magnificent accomplishments and a few heartbreaks. While written for a younger audience, I enjoyed and was touched by the book.

(Note to daughter: the book is on your bed at home for your reading.)
I have always been curious about Dr. Rice. So when I came across her book I purposed in my mind to read it. As I read I learned about Dr. Rice the woman. She was clearly proud of her up bringing and took a lot of time to write about it. As she wrote about the many things she had achieved in life I was proud of her and inspired by her story.
I enjoyed this autobiography. Condi Rice is an extraordinary woman, bright and motivated and capable. Her story of success, after growing up in still-segregated Birmingham, is impressive and enlightening. This book was more about her background than the "No Higher Honor", and, as such, an easier read. I still hope that she runs for President!
Mariamgely Santiago
I enjoyed this book and learned a lot about Condi's upbringing. It's admirable her character and frankness. I recommend this book to all wanting female role models.
An interesting shift from my usual reads. Condoleezza Rice grew up in Birmingham, so I was interested in that aspect. She worked hard to become a very accomplished woman. As an only child, she was totally spoiled. Her parents gave her everything to help her be successful. It doesn't always work that way.
Jayne Ferrer
Fascinating look at Birmingham's educated black populace in the 50s and 60s, a group with which most of us were unfamiliar. I enjoyed learning how far back some of Ms. Rice's relationships go and especially enjoyed the story of her achievements. I'm still hoping she'll run for president!
Peggymsu Valentine Colombo
Condi lost a little steam toward the end. The book ends as she begins her tenure as Secretary of State for GW Bush. I enjoyed the parts about her family and Stanford the most, although my self-esteem took some shots reading about everything she has done with her life. One busy lady!
George Williams
Her recollection of the Civil Rights Movement, and her families involvement reads like revisionist history. As a witnes, of that period, there were participants or collaborators. No Black family were on the sidelines.
Melissa Henderson
My favorite part of this book was actually her recollection of growing up in segregated Birmingham. I was suprised by how much of her life "happened" to her, as opposed to making it happen.
Enjoyed reading about her parents and their dedication to education and Condi's success. She's an extremely bright and very accomplished person. I'm intrigued to know more about her.
Really enjoyable and interesting read. I learned a lot about Condi. I thought she was a great lady before, but now I have a whole new respect and admiration for her.
Jul 04, 2010 Janelle marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm really surprised I'm the first person to mark as "to read". I've wanted to read her story since she left the white house. Really looking forward to this one!
Language was a litttle too simplistic for me. Felt like an 8th grade realing level-Reader's Digest kind of version. Her early life was rather interesting.
Great look into Birmingham, Al from a child's perspective during the 1960's. Intresing insight in her formaive years and her view of her work.
Andi Baughan
Interesting book on an amazing and talented woman. I enjoyed reading about her background and accomplishments.
easy to read (I guess it's for youth) :)
even tho written recently, it doesn't talk at all about being sec. of state
Wonderful and inspiring, made me want to try harder in school, life, and with my family.
I find Condi Rice to be a fascinating public figure and articulate writer.
super interesting to see her roots and accomplishments--she is a super hero.
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Condoleezza Rice is the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of President George W. Bush to hold the office. Rice is the first black woman, second African American (after her predecessor Colin Powell, who served from 2001 to 2005), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright, who served from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration) to serve as Secretary ...more
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Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington A Safer and Better World Iraq in U. S. Foreign Policy: Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U. S. Senate, by the Honorable Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State The Soviet Union And The Czechoslovak Army, 1948 1983: Uncertain Allegiance

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