• Extraordinary, Ordinary People

  • A Memoir of Family
  • By: Condoleezza Rice
  • Narrated by: Condoleezza Rice
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-12-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (315 ratings)

Regular price: $31.93

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Publisher's Summary

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 - not because she wouldn't have loved to, but 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. Condoleezza's father, John, a minister and educator, instilled in her 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.
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. 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, and of two exceptional parents, and an extended family and community, that made all the difference.
©2010 Condoleezza Rice (P)2010 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"[R]ecords a thrilling, inspiring life of achievement."( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Steve on 03-03-11


From Michelle Carver - I rarely write reviews but I simply had to with this book. This book is not a political book about her term under President Bush. And you don't need to agree with her politically to find yourself absolutely enthralled by this book. As the title suggests, this is a memoir of her family history, how she was raised, the choices her amazing parents made to help her become who she is today. Besides being a very engaging writer, I thoroughly enjoyed her narration as well. I found myself completely sucked into the book unable to turn it off even late into the night, like a good fiction novel might capture me. She was raised in Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights movement and her completely thorough description of everyday life as a black family carving out a piece of happiness through those tumultuous times was simply astounding. The details she recalls paint a completely clear picture, I could see what she was describing and it was terrific, every stage of her life fascinating. She's completely amazing and I hope she writes more, I'll definitely read it. Two thumbs up!!!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Balakrishna on 10-29-10

March without a march

A wonderful story of march of 3 people marching to end segregation without marching in public. An inspiring story about human struggle, focus and determination. Must listen.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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