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United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good
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United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,363 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A passionate new voice in American politics, United States Senator Cory Booker makes the case that the virtues of empathy, responsibility, and action must guide our nation toward a brighter future.
Raised in northern New Jersey, Cory Booker went to Stanford University on a football scholarship, accepted a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford Universit
ebook, 223 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Ballantine Books
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Brandy " don't have to be a lawmaker or politician to make a difference -- in fact, if we were to leave everything up to the public sector, we will…more" don't have to be a lawmaker or politician to make a difference -- in fact, if we were to leave everything up to the public sector, we will surely fall far short of perfecting our union. To succeed in this new America, we need senators and shopkeepers, natives and immigrants, young and old, Republicans, Democrats, and everyone in between. We need us."
-- Cory Booker, in United

Long story short, he doesn't think that at all. But, he believes it has a part to play, and grass roots groups do too. Check out the book, it truly is a good read!(less)

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Corrigan Vaughan
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is absolutely the book you write a decade or so before you run for President. It does all the things it politically should do in order to introduce him to people who have never heard of him and answer questions about his life for those who have been following his public image for a while. If you've read Barack Obama's books, you'll recognize a lot of the same techniques for painting a picture of a flawed, but overall good man. Booker casually confirms his oft-questioned heterosexuality with ...more
Marquis Cooper
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a GREAT read! Cory Booker is a great guy with an even more amazing story. I had no idea who he was before this book but now i feel like he's truly one of the good people in politics actually trying to make a difference. This got 5 easy stars. I'd give it more if i could. The book goes through his life from a kid to a U.S. Senator. Amazing stories were told and to be honest i can't wait to hear them again. A must read!
Tim Baker
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Cory Booker for many years and was excited to listen to this audiobook in his own voice. Mr. Booker is such inspiration and breath of fresh air in politics and I can only hope he will be our President in the future.
Rambling Reader
is it so wrong that I want to have his babies?

cory, marry me, my boo.
jv poore
UNITED is less a book and more the kindest, most generous, heart-felt thank you letter to everyone who ever touched Mr. Booker's life. His story is humble, filled with hope and truly inspiring.

This was the perfect book for me to read at the end of 2016, when it seemed that the majority of the "news" was bleak, at best. At the same time, it will also be the perfect book for me to introduce to 'my' HS seniors at the beginning of 2017. I absolutely love being able to introduce a real-life hero to t
Kiki Bakker
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This wasn’t just a book, or a story about a politician. I just read a book that was about normal people, about us. I was inspired and moved by it and I recommend you to read it too. But again, it wasn’t just a book, it was more than that.

Stephen Covey has written about a principle centered way of living, meaning a valuebased approach to everyday life. For me that is about trying your best everyday to be a little bit better than the day before. You may think this sounds idealistic. And it does.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know that I've ever read a political memoir that's more honest and inspiring than this one. Each chapter is a short story that reflects an overall lesson from Booker's life and career.

I was particularly fascinated by the story about the IHOP waitress and how it reflected the impact of community violence and low minimum wage on families. I was also unaware of the incredible sacrifices Booker made to start his political career in a way that ensured he understood the values of his constitu
Melani Jaffe
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such an inspiration !! If you are discouraged by politics right now this will help you still believe :)
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm a big Cory Booker fan and had no idea what he faced while running for office. (Sharpe James is shaaady. Watch Street Fight on Netflix, which gets into it much more!) This isn't a typical autobiography. Booker shares a little about his background and how and why he wanted to get involved, but it's more about the people and the issues.
Vaughn Richardson-Guy
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really admire Cory Booker and the journey he took to get where he is today. In "United…" he doesn't try to hide any privilege he might have had growing up in an upper middle class household. And he doesn't shy away from discussing his flaws; conversely, he is open about his "teachable moments"— times when he was blatantly wrong, and learned from his mistakes, which I find to be an important characteristic for those in leadership positions to possess. The way with which he approaches issues sur ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, memoir
So, if you think that the political scene in this country is a screwed-up mess, read this book and see that there is hope. Cory Booker's story is an amazing one: educated black man chooses to go live in the projects of Newark, NJ after graduation from law school, so that he can make a difference. He soon discovers that what he envisions doesn't meet with what is needed, but he is very good at listening, working, and uniting people for a stronger community. This barely touches the tip of the iceb ...more
In his book Cory Booker recounts stories and the lessons he learned from people who have inspired him during his life. He went to Stanford University where he played football and majored in political science. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and studied sociology at Oxford. On returning to the United States he entered Yale Law School.

Booker begins his stories with the non-profit work he did with the poor while in Yale Law School. Upon graduation he went to work with a non-profit in a poor sec
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Cory Booker for President! He's definitely better than any of the choices facing me currently.

I was intrigued by Cory Booker when I watched a show on PBS detailing his run against the corrupt, then incumbent mayor of Newark, NJ. Why would the intelligent, privileged son of two IBM executives choose to live in a run-down, drug-infested apartment building in a city that's not even where he's really from? Because he wants to make the world better and he's starting in his corner.

While I'm sure that
Mary Ralph
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
ehhhh. i expected more. 2.5 stars, inching towards 3.
the organization of the book was strange. i feel like we started off learning about his foundation in Newark, the people that influenced him and helped him find his way and encouraged him to run for city council. then there's brief mention of his run for mayor, and then suddenly he's running for US senate. i think he did some important reflection on his young naivete as a privileged Ivy League grad coming to "save" Newark, but not so much refl
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this book hard to put down. I'd heard all the popular stories about Cory Booker's heroics during his time as mayor of Newark. Those stories are not in this book. The stars of this book are the city of Newark and the people who nurtured him from an aspiring young activist into a political leader. It is an emotional and compelling read that also packs in a lot of facts and some strong policy recommendations on criminal justice reform and other issues that matter to our cities.

I look forwa
Kristen Court
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
I find it fascinating to read the words, thoughts, and convictions of those that choose to devote themselves to public service and the dreams they have for making this country great.
Senator Booker without a doubt feels all of the possible feels, but one sentiment for sure gripped my heart and I hope it continuities it’s hold on the ole heart strings for many years to come. We must all strive to do more than simply tolerate one another. We must love each other. Human lives should be valued and r
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-bio, politics
cory booker, the junior senator from new jersey has enjoyed a remarkable political ascendancy. in his first book, united: thoughts on finding common ground and advancing the common good, the former newark mayor and city councilman offers the obligatory biographical sketch, as well as insight into the formative personal and political experiences that have molded and informed his belief system and governing priorities. perhaps most noteworthy for a political memoir, booker doesn't dwell on his own ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although I've known Cory for 14 years and have seen him speak probably a hundred times, this book was full of stories and ideas that revealed layers of history, beliefs and character that are new to me.

Significant and memorable in ways similar to Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father and Jonathan Kozol's Amazing Grace, this book expertly interweaves stories with policy and statistical data that illustrate, on the one hand, how civil rights crusaders made possible Booker's life of opportunity --
I like Cory Booker and the points he is trying to make in this book are valid. I'm with him in theory, I just don't think he expresses himself well in this book.

First off, there are editing issues; some just straight out repeated words or bad punctuation, but also a lot of repetitive re-capping of people and events. This causes each chapter to read more like an individual essay than part of a cohesive book. And each chapter (with the exception of the last one) pretty much express the same frust
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cory Booker is a bastion of hope in this seemingly negative time in our countries history. He seems to be everything one would hope for in a politician and epitomizes the ideal of when they go low we go high. This book gives a history of his time as a Newark councilmen, mayor, and junior Senator from New Jersey and speaks to his main goals as a senator. He never speaks negatively of those who he disagrees with and just comes off as a really down to earth guy. Since beginning this book I have oft ...more
Larkin Tackett
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Based on Senator Booker's position on education reform, his decision to live in the projects as Newark City Councilman, and what I remember from the documentary "Street Fight" about his mayoral campaign, I knew I liked Cory Booker. This book made me an even bigger supporter. Although I wish he'd dedicated at least a few pages to his work on public education (his omission no doubt due to the relative controversial nature of the topic), I learned a ton more about his personal background, his road ...more
James Klagge
When I started this book last week Hillary had not yet made her choice for VP. I had been hoping Cory Booker might be the choice. Having read this, I think he'll be an exciting national figure for the Dem's at some point, but now is a bit too soon. And I'm fine with Kaine as VP choice.
Booker has a good set of stories to tell. He comes from a fairly secure upbringing, so this was not the view from the bottom. But he over and over took it upon himself to care about and seek out the view from the b
This is one of that type of book we're seeing from many politicians: Short enough, and easy enough to read, and giving some idea of who they are with anecdotes, a summary of accomplishments, and hopes for the future. Most of these books are nothing great, so it will be a rare one that gets more than three stars from me. This book is a satisfactory introduction to Senator Cory Booker. I'm reading books like this because I want to get to know the up-and-coming Democratic leaders now that Hillary C ...more
Ray Campbell
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
I like Cory Booker. He is among the strongest of the voices I agree with in politics today. Like Barrack Obama in 2007, Booker is an Ivy League grad, attorney and a single term senator being talked about as a presidential contender. I wanted to learn more about his background. Unlike Barrack Obama whose life had taken him from Hawaii to Kansas to the Philippines to New Jersey, Booker is from New Jersey with boring middle class parents who both held executive positions with IBM. Never the less, h ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
Great audio book ready by the author Cory Booker. I've been listening to it since the beginning of the year. It was at its best when telling stories of perseverance, determination, and overcoming adversity (more so the people he met along the way than his own personal stories). It was not as good when Booker got a little preachy about his ideology, faith and core beliefs. I agree with him on many things but know that the way the message is packaged is half the battle. Individual stories influenc ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book hit the right tone for me - hopeful but not idyllic, some religious tones without feeling preachy, and like somebody in government has some good ideas. Found this book inspiring - a man who comes from privilege voluntarily lives in poor neighborhoods in order to lift them up and help - because we stand on the shoulders of giants. Booker believes that none of us got where we are on our own and his belief that we should all give back and pay it forward comes through.

His mentors have int
I'm a fellow Jersey girl and know the area(s) Booker talks about very well. I'm also very familiar with his particular brand of politics and personality--long before he burst onto the national stage. I was still shocked to learn a few things in this book.
I love how he never forgets exactly where his family comes from and learns from his mistakes (even if it takes him a little while sometimes). It's that kind of enthusiasm, attention to detail, and willingness to learn and put the actual work i
Gretchen Turonek
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Senator Booker writes very well. The book reads more like an essay collection than a cohesive memoir, and as a result some of the material is repeated, but this was never distracting. He says a lot of things that I think are important to hear, especially now.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Booker has been on my radar for a couple of years now; mainly because he’s 1) a vegan senator, and 2) the opposite of everything I’ve ever hated about politics. This man works from his ideals of compassion, respect, and faith, and the words he’d written here would mean NOTHING, if I hadn’t first seen these ideals displayed in his behavior and work.

This book has some flow issues that an editor should have fixed, but for the most part, it’s an inspiring glimpse into a life of service, and a s
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspiring. So much more than a self-congratulatory memoir - filled with insights on criminal justice reform, environmental activism, and improving life in American cities. He's one of the good ones.
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Cory Anthony Booker is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from New Jersey, in office since 2013. Previously he served as mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013.
More about Cory Booker
“Tolerance is becoming accustomed to injustice; love is becoming disturbed and activated by another’s adverse condition. Tolerance crosses the street; love confronts. Tolerance builds fences; love opens doors. Tolerance breeds indifference; love demands engagement. Tolerance couldn’t care less; love always cares more. —” 11 likes
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” 6 likes
More quotes…