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Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters
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Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  266 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
“Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren't just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and our granddaughters today we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters now t ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Doubleday (first published 2008)
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Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was fascinating. It doesn't delve into her politics too much, but is mainly about her family life and background. She has five children that she stayed home to raise and THEN became a member of Congress.

I learned that the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), which protects someone's job while, for instance, they are on maternity leave, was presented to the first President Bush and that he wouldn't sign it. President Clinton eventually did sign it. I had no idea this was such a recent
Apr 12, 2009 marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction
I didn't think I was a fan of Pelosi, but I heard her interviewed this week by Joe Donahue on The Roundtable on WAMC ( Radio is a great way to arrive unprejudiced to someone's views: I caught the interview midstream, and didn't know who was speaking until very near the end. Who IS this smart lady? ...lo and behold, it was Nancy Pelosi speaking such common sense & wisdom about women and power.
Wow. Surprise, surprise.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was expecting more inspiration. Just a memoir listing the details of her (well-off) upbringing. Title is deceiving.
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing


Nancy Pelosi has a strong progressive point of view for America. She really wants the betterment of Young rils and women rights in America. Equal pay for women. Better medical care, Better leave and programs for working mothers. rights to choose and make our own decisions about our bodies. This book should be required reading for every female in America
Paula  Obermeier McCarty
Interesting bit of light reading. While I don't care for her political extremism I do consider her to be a brilliant politician. I enjoyed this book because it seemed to reveal her witty sense of humor about herself. It humanized her for me.

I only rated it a "2" because it was a very quick, light read and the contents didn't seem to match up with the title. It was more of a mini-biography. I liked it but I wish there would have been more to it.
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Maybe my expectations were too high, but it wasn't the kickass, take names book that I imagined. The tips I got out of the book were few and far between.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-goals
I enjoyed every aspect of this book. It was written in a very simple style. Easy read and many powerful messages for every woman regardless of age or stage of career etc. It doesn't sound preachy like some of similar books in this genre.

Part 1: Roots to Wings - Gives a great baseline of how she ends up speaker of the house whilst authentically showing her roots (humble beginnings) but was a little lack lustre for me.

Part 2: Kitchen to Congress - a great pivot point in the book that kept me inter
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
If Nancy Pelosi had been a CEO of a bank, daughter of a banker and sister to bankers this book would be seen as an inspiring tale to young women of what can be done with guts, determination, and support from family and friends. Because she is a political figure it is not always read with a generous light. However, no matter what your political background -- credit does need to be given to her for a life of influence.

This book is a conversation -- it is not always sequential, but what conversatio
Jen Richer
Sep 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, signed
Know Your Power is the title of Nancy Pelosi's new book. She may be an incredible woman with a remarkable career, but after reading her "Message to America's Daughters" I have to say, please keep your day job. Her power is NOT in writing.

Although written with co writer Amy Hill Hearth, the narrative is strained. From the introduction to the epilogue, the tone is of obligation to women everywhere was to write all 170 pages of how she made it to the top. Well Nancy - this is not required reading.

Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who are republicans
Except for the rabid right wing, I don't know anyone who doesn't admire or at least respect Nancy Pelosi. She made history as the first woman speaker but also has done more work to bring this Congress legislative victories than any other speaker before her.
The book has some good (but warmed over and sanitized) anecdotes about her upbringing and early years.
She loved hanging out in Ocean City, was forbidden to ride her bicycle in the street or swim out to far but did both, and was raised by a mom
Margot Friedman
Sep 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
It is incredible that Nancy Pelosi rose to become Speaker of the House, the first woman to ever do so. In this book, Speaker Pelosi shares some warm and friendly lessons she learned along the way, like seize your opportunities, enjoy each phase of life you are in, etc. In a time when we are challenging whether a woman -- or man -- with young children can or should run for high office, it is really interesting to note that Speaker Pelosi did not run for Congress for the first time until her kids ...more
May 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-books
this book is the story of nancy pelosi and her rise to power as the speaker of the house of representatives. the easy-to-read but pretty short-cut recapitulation of how this remarkable woman was propelled to the top is doing a disservice to all of the author's achievement. she manages, however, to get her message across: know your power, and do not fall into the pitfall of still too many women, unterrating their possibilites. if the storyline is sometimes superficial and of the brink to being pa ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House in 2007 after serving twenty years in Congress. She and her husband Paul have been married for forty-five years, and she is the mother of five children and the grandmother of seven. When Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House, she made history. She gaveled the House to order that day on behalf of all of America's children and said, "We have made history, now let us make progress." Now, in her book, she continues to inspire women everywhe ...more
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
I was very interested to read a book written by a professionally successful mother where she stated from the beginning that her biggest accomplishment is that of being a wife and mother. Although I greatly disagree with her politics I was reminded of the importance of how we as mother's present ourselves to our children. I believe that there are seasons in life for everything we'd like to accomplish and currently my focus is on my children. Nancy Pelosi seems to feel the same way but mentions wa ...more
Nancy Pelosi is an interesting public figure, but this book felt very ghostwritten (and not especially well, either). I certainly could have done a better job myself. Not to mention that I accidentally checked out a large print copy, which I never enjoy reading. (Not related: I can't believe how short this book is. The large print edition is maybe half a centimeter thick; can't imagine what it looks like in regular print. More like a pamphlet than a book.)

Favorite points:

"'Never fight a fight a
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book - it was a very quick and easy read but it was very interestig. I loved reading how Nancy advanced through her roles and incorporated motherhood (with its organizational needs) as a profitable experience for politics. It was also fun to read how Nancy went back in time and mentioned that when she went to Congress, her chair was crowded as she felt that Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Susan B Anthony and other female history makers were with her.

I plan to adopt two of Nan
Apr 12, 2009 rated it liked it
I really liked a radio review I heard on this. There were some good sections that encouraged mothering and marriage and women getting involved. However, I was a little disappointed in what I felt were attacks on men, past government leaders, and republicans (I guess I must be one). Also, it suggests that women need more daycare options so that they can be involved in government rather than at home with the kids...wait a minute, I thought she was saying that her stay-at-home mothering was what pr ...more
Sep 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was not a huge fan of this book at all. I thought it was going to be a great book for woman-to-woman advice about getting ahead. It was not. It was more of an autobiography for Nancy and not even an interesting one. Sometimes I thought she was overselling her political views. (At one point she says that she didn't buy a house she fell in love with because the reason it was for sale was that the previous owner transferred to work for the Nixon administration and she couldn't buy a house that wa ...more
Nancy Spagnolo
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected. For someone so polorizing I had expected a more guarded book which reads like a campaign ad or a book full of fiery political commentary railing against the other side, but it was as frank and open as a political biography can be while the subject is still in office. If you hate her already, she won't change your mind with this book, but if there is a soul out there who hasn't cast their opinion of Nancy Pelosi in iron yet, you might find he ...more
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a decent book. I liked reading about Nancy Pelosi's experiences going from a stay-at-home-mom/housewife all the way through the ranks to become the first woman Speaker of the House. For anyone that has any notion of a career in politics at any level, this is a good book to read. Even for Republicans. :) There weren't too many digs at Republicans - you can tell she was trying to write it to be as partisan-neutral as possible.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it
This story chronicles Nancy Pelosi's experiences from childhood through motherhood & her time as Speaker of the House. She spends much time on the people who have helped to open doors for her, but does not go the extra step to make her unique experience one the reader can relate to through generalized lessons learned. Some outstanding take aways include "timing is everything....don't be afraid to wait and be prepared." and "we have a voice at the table. but we want more [women in office:]."
Valerie Burnett
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be inspiring and entertaining. The stories weave details about family and political life very smoothly. Clearly Nancy Pelosi enjoys her family thoroughly. Quite a few quirky family stories caused me to chuckle throughout the book. She intersperses quotes and words of wisdom gathered along the way. She offers quite a bit to think about. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Joy H.
May 09, 2012 marked it as listened-to-partially
Shelves: non-fiction, bland
Added 5/9/12.

I found this audio-book to be very bland. So I didn't continue listening.

The following is from our public library's catalog description:
"Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, provides insightfully inspirational words to women of all ages in this valuable tome. ... Read by Nancy Pelosi."

I didn't find the audio-book interesting enough to continue listening. I wanted to get on to other books.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Herb by: N/A
Great book. Full of insight and good old American common sense. Despite the sub-title, this is not a book geared solely at women. This is a person who knows what she's talking about and is not afraid to share it. There is no "good old boy" bashing; in fact, there is no bashing at all. Just her opinions and suggestions for good leadership. At the crux of this book is one simple truism: Do what's right for the people. Highly recommended.
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
I received this book at the California State Democratic Convention. I really enjoyed this autobiography of someone who was a wife & mother who made a career for herself, followed her own family values, and built onto the political career of her family.

I admire her even more now that I have read the book for her abililties and talents that she used to rise to the top in an arena that was not open to women.

And it is a short, good read.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
I felt like she was very edited to make women like her more. It seems as though a woman with this sort of political power does not just have that power fall in her lap as the book seems to imply. I do appreciate the encouragement to women that any small effort helps and we should allude what we can to take part in the politics that govern our lives. I also agree that women need to know their power but that was the title and about a paragraph in the book. Not enough meat to truly be intriguing.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I admire Nancy Pelosi so much but was so disappointed by this audiobook! I was hoping for some strong words of advice for women and girls from such a powerful woman. I might have even been satisfied if it had been a meaty biography of how Ms. Pelosi worked her way to the top. Instead, it was much too short and didn't really have any substance. I'm wishing for a do-over.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Part biography, part political who's who, part inspirational message. I found her background information fascinating, the list of committees she's been on in the House less so. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but it's not the most engaging book.
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Was a bit disappointed. Thought it would be more inspirational than it was. I am a fan of Nancy Pelosi's and wanted to hear more of her thoughts, perceptions, advice, lessons learned. The book was more of a narrative about her life and path to Speaker of the House. Wanted more depth.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Short Biography of sorts from Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Given the references to her home town of Baltimore, also my hometown, it brings back memories from childhood on the Baltimore of many years ago. Interesting spin on being a woman is a traditionally man's political world.
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Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Before being elected Speaker in the 110th Congress, she was the House Minority Leader from 2003 to 2007, holding the post during the 108th and 109th Congresses.

Since 1987, she has represented the 8th Congressional District of California, which consists of four-fi
More about Nancy Pelosi...