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In his book Cory Booker recounts stories and the lessons he learned from people who have inspired him during his life. He went to Stanford University where he played football and majored in political science. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and studied sociology at Oxford. On returning to the United States he entered Yale Law School.
Booker begins his stories with the non-profit work he did with the poor while in Yale Law School. Upon graduation he went to work with a non-profit in a poor section of Newark. Over time he realized he could do more as an elected official so ran for City Council and won. As time went on he became the Mayor of Newark and currently is the Senator from New Jersey. He is the first black Senator from New Jersey.
The key item Booker emphases throughout the book is the need to work together across party, social and racial lines in order to accomplish the common good. The book is well written and moves along at a good clip. Booker seemed to have a major interest in the judicial system particularly as related to the blacks. Booker made no mention of the failed education experiment funded by Facebook founder that occurred when he was the mayor of Newark. I would have like to hear his viewpoint. There was a few times in the book, I felt that Booker was preaching at me, but that passed quickly. Overall, it is an interesting look at the life of a young black man and how he took advantage of educational opportunities and acquired the help from great mentors. Hope we elect more people to government who are willing to work together rather than just fight each other. Cory Booker narrated his own book.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
Normally an autobiographical book is dry or boring but Cory Booker managed to present a narrative that was both exciting and inspirational. While I don't agree with all of his politics, his process of becoming the person that we read about on the news is fascinating. I really appreciate how he told the stories of his mentors and friends. The analogies and old sayings that he used will be shared with family and friends for years to come. I even bought a printed version for my son to read before he heads off to college. The value of Senator Booker reading the book is priceless. The expression used as he spoke really conveyed his passion and commitment for the causes that he stands for. The only complaint is that the book did not seem to end on a strong note. While his life is ongoing and his time in the senate has been short, the transition from his personal story to the call to unity was not clear. While as a whole, it is clear that unity is needed to recover but it was not the clear summary of the book. The final chapter was as entertaining and insightful as the others but it did not end on that culminating call to action that should have been there. I know that I have work to do but I wish there would have been more emphasis. Overall though I highly recommend this book.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful