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Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me Reviewed By Amy Lignor of Bookpleasures.com
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Amy Lignor

Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles.  She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books.  She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben

 
By Amy Lignor
Published on November 24, 2010
 

Author:  Condoleezza Rice
ISBN:  978-0-385-73879-8

As a person who has been a fan of Ms. Rice's for a long time now, I can only tell you that my admiration for this woman has increased ten-fold after reading this story.

 

Author:  Condoleezza Rice
ISBN:  978-0-385-73879-8

Click Here To Purchase Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me
 
As a person who has been a fan of Ms. Rice's for a long time now, I can only tell you that my admiration for this woman has increased ten-fold after reading this story.  For a woman who was in such a place of power - bashed by the critics to excess; to not only be the owner of a fantastic brain, but also a huge heart filled with kindness and courage, made me completely captivated as I read every word of her powerful story.
 
The rich detail that Ms. Rice provides made me feel very much like I was living in the segregated, frightening world of Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960's - which is the place where Condoleezza grew up.  Surrounded by shocking bloodshed and outrageously bad behavior, this woman could've grown up to be bitter, angry, and, in fact, quite violent.  But she didn't.  She, among others during that period of time, decided to learn; she decided to take the help, faith, and support of her beloved parents, who were the kind of parents that people only dream of lately, and become someone who could be a part of changing the world instead of destroying it.
 
You do not have to be a political aficionado to enjoy this memoir.  In fact, politics is far down on my list of interesting subjects.  But this story of true family, faith, and education, is a must read for any young adult - especially now when the world is in such a state of unrest and violence once again.  I recommend this book wholeheartedly to any parent striving for their child to become one of the "good guys" that could bring about peace.
 
During this story we hear a lot about Condoleezza's wonderful parents.  Her father and mother were teachers who used to pass notes to each other through student couriers.  They were an extremely educated family.  Even though segregation was running rampant in the world, Mom and Dad Rice went all the way through school and became two of the best teachers that were truly loved by their students.  Dad was so unbelievably excited when his wife told him they were going to be parents.  He just "knew" that Condoleezza was going to be a boy - the son who could sit beside him on Sundays and watch the Cleveland Browns football games.  Mom knew different.  She very much wanted to give her daughter an unforgettable name and settled on the Italian - Condoleezza - which means "with sweetness."  Dad, not upset that his son was a daughter, became a true "feminist" rather quickly.  He believed there was absolutely nothing his girl couldn't do, including love the game of football.  And he was right.  From the very beginning Ms. Rice was quite the sports lover.  Her parents also emphasized the true meaning of education and how education was the only way to stop the horror of racism.
 
While Condoleezza grew up and had to deal with the frightening time period in 1962-63 when George Wallace walked into Birmingham with state troopers, and Martin Luther King was arrested - as well as the Cuban Missile crises playing out on television to the moment when President Kennedy was taken from the face of the earth - she saw it all.  This girl watched the historical moments when Vietnam began and when segregation ended, and was completely ready to grow up and take on the world.
 
She not only offers an amazing story of history and what brought her to be the person she eventually became, but Ms. Rice also offers a powerful story of family:  Their move to Denver to be in a safer place; her mother's fight with cancer; her huge social network that existed in her church - everything personal and professional is fair game to this amazing woman, and she tells a story that will literally captivate the young adults of today.
 
I highly recommend this book to all ages of readers.  Not only do you get a glimpse into the life of a wonderfully creative, imaginative, powerful, and strong woman - but you also get to be a part of a true family who, with the strong bonds of love they had between them, were able to break through the doors that were closed and lead the way to a more peaceful, educated existence.  Everyone could learn a great deal from the Rice family.
 

Click Here To Purchase Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me