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The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,591 ratings  ·  943 reviews
From one of America's most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country.

Senator Kamala Harris's commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakla
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Penguin Press
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Carmen Hartono Having just finished her book, I feel confirmed that Harris is much more multidimensional than a career prosecutor. Her passion for social justice is …moreHaving just finished her book, I feel confirmed that Harris is much more multidimensional than a career prosecutor. Her passion for social justice is based on her desire to get to the truth.
I am also rereading 'The New Pearl Harbor,' and remembering the painful period when we had not only suffered a horrific attack, but our government seemed to have a condescending attitude toward its citizenry with regards to the truth surrounding the events of 9/11/01.
With all the questions surrounding the 2016 presidential election, it is refreshing to have a US Senator who is willing to ask the tough questions.(less)

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Joe Valdez
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I bought The Truths We Hold: An American Journey because I'm settling on a U.S. presidential candidate to volunteer for. My mom's experience volunteering for Beto O'Rourke's Senate campaign showed me how rewarding that experience can be (and also got me a rad T-shirt). With California bumping its primary up to March 2020, the Golden State will finally help decide who the Democratic nominee will be and I want to help the candidate who best represents my interests win. Twenty-three have entered th ...more
Jan 19, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019
A solid memoir from the junior U.S. Senator for California, The Truths We Hold sketches the author’s early life, political career, and 2020 campaign platform. Over the course of ten short chapters Kamala Harris alternates between recounting her personal history and outlining her vision for the nation; the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, Harris positions herself as a bold liberal capable of building an expansive coalition of voters and achieving wide-ranging reforms once in offi ...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it by Kamala Harris

After listening to Pete Buttigieg’s book,
“The Shortest Way Home”....STILL IMPRESSED and in ‘aw’ of him....
...I consider him a strong important viable candidate for President....
I wasn’t planning on listening to the other major contenders’ books....
But here I am again...
....with many thanks to *Connie* for being an inspiration.... ( who is doing her research and homework learning all she can about our major presidential contenders)...
With so many people running fo
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not being from California, I hadn't heard of Senator Kamala Harris until recently. Because she has entered the Democrat presidential race, I wanted to learn more about her. The first thing I learned in this book was that I was pronouncing her name wrong! It's "Comma-la" not "Kah-MAL-uh. This is what happens when you don't watch tv and get your news by reading it -- you don't know how to pronounce names correctly and when you realise you've been saying it wrong feel rather dumb! Oh well, now I kn ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Senator Kamala Harris takes a dive into the current state of American politics as well as the policies, legislation, and initiatives Harris has undertaken in her present and previous roles.

The book is a mix of memoir and political observations. I didn’t realize how much Harris has accomplished prior to reading this book but will say the parts about her personal life were more interesting to me.

Harris’ intelligence is obvious and I appreciated her mess
It is difficult to critique political memoirs without seeming to be critical the high-minded ideals these writers espouse. Kamala Harris appears outside the norm for the kind of Washington politician we’ve put up with these past twenty years. Formerly Attorney General of California, she had to find solutions to big thorny problems that plagued governance of that state. If she didn’t “solve” the problems for all time, she always came down fighting for the side of individuals against corporate ent ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pleased to be finishing this one on MLK day and the day Harris announced her candidacy.

This was an interesting read, a little slow in the middle. The first and last chapters were my favorites, showcasing her origins and her exhortations for the future.

It gave me that little extra insight into a potential (when I started it) candidate that I was looking for.

The threshold question I’m holding for any candidate in the current cycle, beyond the basics of whether I find their values and track reco
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am proud to call Kamala Harris my Senator. As a San Fransisco native I have watched her career and have now had the pleasure to vote for her a few times. It was nice to read about her family history, to read about where she came from and how she worked her way up to her current position. I also really enjoyed reading about things that I remember occurring in real life and seeing it from her perspective. I liked reading about how she fought for criminal justice reform, how she negotiated during ...more
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Senator Kamala Harris is one of the politicians I admire & respect, and one of the three candidates I was hoping to run in 2020, which she has officially announced in January. The presidential candidacy pool is getting really crowded & it’s still very early on, and I’m certainly not set on anyone; but Senator Harris is a strong candidate with an impressive background & experience (and temperament, very important) and even early on as a Junior Senator from California, I saw something in her & kne ...more

Update: Mike's Campaign Journal, 12/07/19: Good riddance.


Update: Mike's Campaign Journal, 6/30/19: Harris is riding high this week, following the first Democratic primary debate. Or maybe I should say that just about the entire industry of people whose job it is to explain to the rest of us how each candidate fared has decided that she did well, and that perception has become the reality. Personally, I heard cliches that made me die a little inside (not that Harris is the only one, of
Traci at The Stacks
This genre often leaves a lot to be desired. I loved hear her talk about her life and the work she’s done but it lacks in vulnerability because it’s a companion piece for running for President not a tell all. It’s good for what it is and she’s a wonderful human. Hearing about her work as a prosecutor and her plans for the country was all good. But overall it’s nothing ground breaking or exciting.
Connie G
The unfolding of Kamala Harris' early life illustrates how she was shaped into a tough but compassionate person. Her parents were immigrants that came to the United States for educational opportunities and both graduated with PhDs. Her father was an economist from Jamaica, and her mother was a cancer researcher from India. She and her sister were raised in a working class African-American neighborhood in Oakland by their mother after their parents divorced. After Harris attended Howard Universit ...more
I have followed Kamala Harris’ career since she was the District Attorney of San Francisco. When she was Attorney General of California, I impressed with her prosecution of the banks during the mortgage crisis. She has done a good job as Senator representing California.

The book is well written. Harris reveals her early life and career. She also points out that she was tossed into the civil rights problems from the beginning because her mother is a Tamil Indian and her father is a black and both
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Believing that Ms. Harris will be announcing her run for President, I wanted to learn more about her. I always try to go to the source whenever possible, so I figured this would be a great place to start. The book is interesting, and my overwhelming thought upon finishing it? If anyone wants to know what her platform would be, it's here. Some things are highlighted more than others, but it's all here - her priorities, why, some of the things she has done, etc. So for anyone wanting more informat ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
Reading this I felt it was another unscrupulous politician lying all the way to the voting booth. Yet, among all the crap politicians with an unintelligent following, Harris seems to have by far the most aggressive bunch of bullies.

Original review: Another unscrupulous politician lying all the way to the voting booth.

The unpleasant is pushed under the rug, the presumed positive is inflated. Business as usual.

I clearly don't get the US politics. I get the mindless tribalism that make Harris good
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
As far as ghost-written political memoirs go, this is not the best I've read, but it's also not annoying. I wanted to know more about Kamala Harris and now I know more. My biggest takeaway is that she's not a big institutional thinker. She sees things like a prosecutor. For example, in dealing with the banking crisis, she wanted to charge the banks with wrong-doing and she settled with them due to frauds and deceptions. Same with her takes on other laws--who did something wrong and how can they ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Kamala Harris is a badass. While I am from CA originally, I currently live and vote in Texas, so sadly she is not my senator. However, I've taken notice of her over the last two years as she has had greater presence on the national stage fighting for human rights, social justice, and environmental responsibility. I enjoyed learning more about her life, family, career, and political platform. She is one I will be watching as the field of democratic candidates takes shape for 2020.
Katelyn Attanasio
I’m glad I got on the holds list for this at the library right before Harris announced her presidential candidacy, since the primary purpose of the book really seems to be an explanation of her platform. Harris goes fairly in depth on her experience, as well as on the reasons for the parts of her record that folks have been critical of. While some of those actions are not ones that I agree with, I was at least able to see where she was coming from with them once given a background. I’d suggest a ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
This book gives you a good view of her background, family, and how she was raised, with the current issues of the day highlighted and where she stands on those issues, and what in her life and career backs up her belief in those issues. Pretty ingenious way to make it a memoir, and a “I’m a person of action not just talk” by talking about the policy and her personal history on that particular issue.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cbr11
This book discusses policy and vision through the lens of personal experience, which made it engaging and approachable. Senator Harris is smart, insightful, and pragmatic about addressing systemic issues that disproportionately affect people of color in the United States. I highly recommend this book. Senator Harris makes an excellent case for why she should earn our 2020 presidential vote.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have found it excruciating and exciting thinking about writing this review. I have rolled it around in my head so many times. What I quickly realized, is that I have varying audiences. And what is meant for a book review, is not the review I was writing. I soon realized that I have a book review for this Goodreads audience, but that some of the things I wanted to say, were meant for Kamala herself, for the team, and have to do with my own feelings and opinions. Things I'm passionate about, and ...more
Vanessa Ogbeide
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kamala Harris has proven many times over that she is a fighter for systemic change and American values. Her efforts in many instances have been trail blazing and enfranchising of many along the way. I am proud to give her my support in 2020 and beyond.
Trevor Church
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She’s presidential. So is this book. ♥️
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If this is Kamala's story of her political history and what sorts of platforms she will be running on, I'm in. I haven't read anything so inspiring and downright REAL from a politician - especially a presidential candidate - in years. She makes so much sense about EVERY aspect of politics and justice, and is a breath of fresh air in a tired old white man's world. Her idealism is grounded in fact AND in successes as a California district attorney and attorney general. If she can do half of what s ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, politics
The book has some canned "politician-ish" moments, especially in the beginning. But Harris quickly gets into the meat of her political beliefs--and I'm right there with her on pretty much every issue. She seems very experienced and knowledgeable. I like her no-nonsense attitude, and I really love how she gives specific examples of working with families and organizations to create change. She seems tough and capable. I'm looking forward to seeing how she handles her campaign in the coming months.
Ericka Clouther
This is a hard book to rate or review because the substance is great, but I really think the order of the topics hurts her case. Like some of the other Election 2020 memoirs that are coming out the substance is more policy than a memoir. I'm generally a fan of that concept as I want to know what the candidates stand for, but that generally makes for bad memoirs.

But okay, if we're going to learn about what Kamala stands for, do we want to start for criminal justice reform? I don't think that's t
Zoe's Human
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lt
I would love to see Kamala Harris as our first female president. She, like all humans, has made mistakes along the way. Likewise, she has made decisions I don't necessarily like. However, ultimately, I think she and I are on the same side of the fight, and her record for working within the system to bring about change is impressive.

It's going to be a tough choice at the Democratic primary this year. I, for one, am glad to see it. It's a refreshing change of pace for me to be struggling to decid
Garrett Hall
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
I needed to learn more about her positions and the issues that are important to her. Mission accomplished.
I really like Kamala Harris and follow politics rather closely, which as it turns out is a bad thing for this book. Harris notes at the beginning that it is not a political platform book totally is. I was really hoping it was going to genuinely be more about her life growing up and her relationships etc., but that was a really minor aspect of it. Most of the book is in fact her political platform and since I know that and the issues she discusses, I was mostly bored. I probably should h ...more
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Kamala D. Harris is a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader, and is currently serving as a U.S. Senator from California. She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, then was elected District Attorney of San Francisco. As California's Attorney General, Kamala prosecuted transnational gangs, big banks, Big Oil, for-profit colleges and fought against attacks on the ...more

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“Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear. Liberty cannot bloom amid hate. Justice cannot take root amid rage. America must get to work. . . . We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust.” 9 likes
“For as long as ours has been a nation of immigrants, we have been a nation that fears immigrants. Fear of the other is woven into the fabric of our American culture, and unscrupulous people in power have exploited that fear in pursuit of political advantage.” 7 likes
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