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Publisher's Summary

In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure: as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor.

Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things, endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life.

Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition.

Here is Poitier's own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits - his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier.

Actor and icon: listen to more about Sidney Poitier. Or check out more selections from Oprah's Book Club.
©2000 Sidney Poitier (P)2000 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

  • Oprah's Book Club Selection
  • Audio Publishers Association 2001 Award Winner, Nonfiction, Unabridged
  • Grammy Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2001

"Moving...Poitier writes with vivid emotion about [past] clashes and brings them blazingly alive." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    90
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    38
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    19

Performance

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    23
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Story

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Ego driven & Unenlightened

An average story told overly theatrically. I was disappointed because I love his acting, however it comes across as pompous, arrogant and ultimately, selfish and unrelatable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow...What a Story

This was a real treat writen and read by Mr. Poitier. So much wisdom!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mr Portier's view is brilliant

There is so much to learn from Mr. Portier's life. We can all learn from one another, but some of the things that he spoke of in his book...are profound and apply to everyone, and every life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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informative and enlightening

Very well told story. I have always liked Mr. Poitier, but this book give me a humanizing image of him and his strong character. I really enjoyed this audio book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful well said. loved it, one of the best audi

Sidney Poitier was one point, passionate, descriptive, I felt like I was there with him.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed

If you could sum up The Measure of a Man in three words, what would they be?

This book was an amazingly told story of Sidney Poitier and his life. It discusses his challenges and triumphs. Very encouraging and motivational to be the better version of you! To break barriers and be more than average.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Insprational

Sydney is great. i wish he read more books. Great actor self taught insprational book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Great audiobook....Sidney Poitier's distinct voice is like a powerful drug enticing you to hang on every beautiful word!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Surprising Book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Measure of a Man to be better than the print version?

Yes, because it was read by the Sidney himself.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sidney if course, it is an autobiography!

Which character – as performed by Sidney Poitier – was your favorite?

Sidney

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes the book left me with a sense if profoundness. I think every man of african decent in america should read of listen to this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
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Loved it.

I hated for it to end. Mr Poitier's story and voice are soothing. A MUST read again!!!!!