Jaspreet's Reviews > This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President

This Child Will Be Great by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
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's review
Dec 11, 10

Read from June 29 to December 10, 2010

I first picked up been enjoying This Child Will be Great:Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President written by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the World Party Reading Challenge. In the original format, the country for the month of June was Liberia. I began reading in June, but I did not complete the book until last night. Part of my slow reading progress is the density of the book and the other is that I had other reading commitments. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It is both President Sirleaf's personal story and the history of Liberia. I learned a lot about the history of the country. A few highlights are mentioned below.

I was struck by the positive light in which President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were portrayed. Because of the work I do and my political standpoint, I am very often critical of the former president. I enjoyed reading an outsider's perspective on how the former president handled foreign relations. It was also interesting to read about Persident Sirleaf's interactions with former president Jimmy Carter. Those sections of the book illustrated how much of a difference there can be in international perception and domestic perception of presidents. I imagine that there is also a difference in how US leaders are perceived from region to region.

Another part of the book I really enjoyed was President Sirleaf's experience running for office. I have some interest in running for public office myself, so I enjoyed hearing her accounts of how she tried to run for office in a way that would allow her to build a coalition with her opponents. The ways in which she utilized knowledge and expertise from the international community was also insightful. The thought of campaigning in the United States is daunting enough for me. I could not imagine trying to campaign in a country where where the weather determines accessibility of many areas.

Finally, I also enjoyed President Sirleaf's reflection on how being a woman impacted her experience. I was especially intrigued by how President Sirleaf believed marriage and parenthood influenced her journey. She got married very young and has been unmarried for the duration of her professional career. One thing I noticed in the memoir is how few stories there were of her interactions with her children. In her inauguration speech, I found myself nodding vigorously at her promise to invest in the education of young woman.

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Reading Progress

06/29/2010 page 13
5.0% "I read a few pages of this book last night after my brain was full from professional responsibility. I like feeling inspired and remembering that passing the bar will help open doors to wonderful things!"
08/09/2010 page 52
20.0% "Still inspired, but the book moves slowly."
10/08/2010 page 59
23.0% "trying to finish this book; still interested in the story, but it is like eating a dense brownie. You need to go slowly or else you get stomach pains."
10/10/2010 page 69
27.0% "how can a book that is so interesting and timely be moving so slowly?"
11/10/2010 page 112
44.0% "Made some progress on my flight."
11/11/2010 page 140
55.0% "In the midst of a hectic work period, I needed to read more of an inspiring tale. Learning that you need to go through a lot of bad shit before you can become great."
11/27/2010 page 233
91.0% "I feel like I am learning a lot, but I am ready for the book to finish."
12/09/2010 page 252
98.0% "The pages are off in my edition, but I am four pages away from the end"
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