Extraordinary, ordinary people: A Memoir of Family

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This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl—and a young woman—trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world, of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community that made all the difference.

Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist. Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman—and the first black woman ever—to serve as Secretary of State. But until she was 25 she never learned to swim, because when she was a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor decided he'd rather shut down the city's pools than give black citizens access. Throughout the 1950's, Birmingham's black middle class largely succeeded in insulating their children from the most corrosive effects of racism, providing multiple support systems to ensure the next generation would live better than the last. But by 1963, Birmingham had become an environment where blacks were expected to keep their head down and do what they were told—or face violent consequences. That spring two bombs exploded in Rice's neighborhood amid a series of chilling Klu Klux Klan attacks. Months later, four young girls lost their lives in a particularly vicious bombing. So how was Rice able to achieve what she ultimately did? Her father, John, a minister and educator, instilled a love of sports and politics. Her mother, a teacher, developed Condoleezza's passion for piano and exposed her to the fine arts. From both, Rice learned the value of faith in the face of hardship and the importance of giving back to the community. Her parents' fierce unwillingness to set limits propelled her to the venerable halls of Stanford University, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the university's second-in-command. An expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, she played a leading role in U.S. policy as the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Less than a decade later, at the apex of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, she received the exciting news—just shortly before her father's death—that she would go on to the White House as the first female National Security Advisor. As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother's cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling.

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ISBN:
9780307587879
9780307719607
9780307750679
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c16cf6b3-d5c0-c476-0a03-0cf210c7f208
full_title extraordinary ordinary people a memoir of family
author rice condoleezza
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-11-22 01:57:03AM

Solr Details

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author Condoleezza Rice
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available_at_catalog Perl Mack
detailed_location_catalog Perl Mack - Adult Nonfiction
display_description

This is the story of Condoleezza Rice that has never been told, not that of an ultra-accomplished world leader, but of a little girl—and a young woman—trying to find her place in a sometimes hostile world, of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community that made all the difference.

Condoleezza Rice has excelled as a diplomat, political scientist, and concert pianist. Her achievements run the gamut from helping to oversee the collapse of communism in Europe and the decline of the Soviet Union, to working to protect the country in the aftermath of 9-11, to becoming only the second woman—and the first black woman ever—to serve as Secretary of State.

But until she was 25 she never learned to swim, because when she was a little girl in Birmingham, Alabama, Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor decided he'd rather shut down the city's pools than give black citizens access.

Throughout the 1950's, Birmingham's black middle class largely succeeded in insulating their children from the most corrosive effects of racism, providing multiple support systems to ensure the next generation would live better than the last. But by 1963, Birmingham had become an environment where blacks were expected to keep their head down and do what they were told—or face violent consequences. That spring two bombs exploded in Rice's neighborhood amid a series of chilling Klu Klux Klan attacks. Months later, four young girls lost their lives in a particularly vicious bombing.

So how was Rice able to achieve what she ultimately did?

Her father, John, a minister and educator, instilled a love of sports and politics. Her mother, a teacher, developed Condoleezza's passion for piano and exposed her to the fine arts. From both, Rice learned the value of faith in the face of hardship and the importance of giving back to the community. Her parents' fierce unwillingness to set limits propelled her to the venerable halls of Stanford University, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become the university's second-in-command. An expert in Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, she played a leading role in U.S. policy as the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Less than a decade later, at the apex of the hotly contested 2000 presidential election, she received the exciting news—just shortly before her father's death—that she would go on to the White House as the first female National Security Advisor.

As comfortable describing lighthearted family moments as she is recalling the poignancy of her mother's cancer battle and the heady challenge of going toe-to-toe with Soviet leaders, Rice holds nothing back in this remarkably candid telling.

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subject_facet African American families -- Alabama -- Birmingham, African American women -- Biography, African Americans -- Alabama -- Birmingham -- Biography, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women, Birmingham (Ala.) -- Biography, Birmingham (Ala.) -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Executive Branch, Rice, Condoleezza, -- 1954- -- Childhood and youth, Rice, Condoleezza, -- 1954- -- Family, Stateswomen -- United States -- Biography, Women cabinet officers -- United States -- Biography
title_display Extraordinary, ordinary people : a memoir of family
title_full Extraordinary, Ordinary People A Memoir of Family, Extraordinary, ordinary people : a memoir of family / Condoleezza Rice
title_short Extraordinary, ordinary people :
title_sub A Memoir of Family
topic_facet African American families, African American women, African Americans, Biography & Autobiography, Childhood and youth, Family, History, Nonfiction, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Executive Branch, Politics, Race relations, Rice, Condoleezza, Stateswomen, Women cabinet officers, Women's Studies