An energetic new voice in American politics, United States Senator Cory Booker sounds a stirring call to reorient our civic discourse around the principles of empathy and solidarity. Telling candid, inspiring stories from his life and career and imparting lessons learned from people who motivated him to serve, he speaks of rising above discord, tending to our shared resources, and embracing our common destiny.
©2015 Cory Booker (P)2015 Random House Audio
"As narrator, [Booker] brings the same energy and enthusiasm that he does to his personal appearances and speeches. He reads with passion and conviction, and he uses his voice to urge listeners to take action on the issues he discusses." (AudioFile)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
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.
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.
Say something about yourself!
As part of the local News media, and assigned specifically to the Newark area, I had the pleasure of capturing many of the stories he shares in this book so it's was interesting having some background that wasn't available at the time, or privileged to the media.
Easy to be cynical about semi autobiographic work of a politician but this book challenges that perception.
Any Stanford and then Yale Law grad who chooses to live in a Newark public housing project called Brick City for several years instead of heading to Wall St is likely to have a different perspective on our problems and solutions.
Booker offers them through a rich set of stories from his years living and serving there. In this season of frequently inane political rhetoric it's a refreshing change
Booker's passion for public service and helping the disadvantaged and his personal humility are the perfect antidote to the low tone and behaviour of certain candidates for higher office in an election year. While he certainly has an ego he acknowledges not only mistakes of policy but also those he made of inexperience and character, something all too rare in a politician's autobiography.
I'm glad he read it himself and I'm glad I listened to this rather than read it as his tone and obvious passion made the content much more engaging than it would be otherwise.
I feel the promise and hope of the future through this presentation. My prayer is that we survive until the day when more leaders (all of us) join Senator Booker and all he has shared.
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