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On the Shelf at CCBC Libraries: Recent Individual Autobiographies
A Promised Land by A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making--from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post * Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times * NPR * The Guardian * Marie Claire In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil. Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office. Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden. A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective--the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible. This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.
Call Number: E908 .A3 2020
The Truths We Hold by A New York Times bestseller From Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, one of America's most inspiring political leaders, a book about the core truths that unite us, and the long struggle to discern what those truths are and how best to act upon them, in her own life and across the life of our country Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris's commitment to speaking truth is informed by her upbringing. The daughter of immigrants, she was raised in an Oakland, California community that cared deeply about social justice; her parents--an esteemed economist from Jamaica and an admired cancer researcher from India--met as activists in the civil rights movement when they were graduate students at Berkeley. Growing up, Harris herself never hid her passion for justice, and when she became a prosecutor out of law school, a deputy district attorney, she quickly established herself as one of the most innovative change agents in American law enforcement. She progressed rapidly to become the elected District Attorney for San Francisco, and then the chief law enforcement officer of the state of California as a whole. Known for bringing a voice to the voiceless, she took on the big banks during the foreclosure crisis, winning a historic settlement for California's working families. Her hallmarks were applying a holistic, data-driven approach to many of California's thorniest issues, always eschewing stale "tough on crime" rhetoric as presenting a series of false choices. Neither "tough" nor "soft" but smart on crime became her mantra. Being smart means learning the truths that can make us better as a community, and supporting those truths with all our might. That has been the pole star that guided Harris to a transformational career as the top law enforcement official in California, and it is guiding her now as a transformational United States Senator, grappling with an array of complex issues that affect her state, our country, and the world, from health care and the new economy to immigration, national security, the opioid crisis, and accelerating inequality. By reckoning with the big challenges we face together, drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, Kamala Harris offers in THE TRUTHS WE HOLD a master class in problem solving, in crisis management, and leadership in challenging times. Through the arc of her own life, on into the great work of our day, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values. In a book rich in many home truths, not least is that a relatively small number of people work very hard to convince a great many of us that we have less in common than we actually do, but it falls to us to look past them and get on with the good work of living our common truth. When we do, our shared effort will continue to sustain us and this great nation, now and in the years to come.
Call Number: E901.1.H37 A3 2020
Still Standing by Still Standing reveals how an unlikely governor is sparking a whole new kind of politics--and introduces the exciting possibilities that lie ahead. As the rookie Republican governor of deep-blue Maryland, Larry Hogan had already beaten some daunting odds. A common-sense businessman with a down-to-earth style, he had won a long-shot election the Washington Post called "a stunning upset." He'd worked with cops and neighborhood leaders to quell Baltimore's worst rioting in 47 years. He'd stared down entrenched political bosses to save his state from fiscal catastrophe, winning praise from Democrats, Republicans and independents. But none of that prepared him for the life-threatening challenge he would have to face next: a highly aggressive form of late-stage cancer. Could America's most popular governor beat the odds again? The people of Maryland, with their "Hogan Strong" wristbands, were certainly pulling for him, sending him back to the governor's office in a landslide. As Governor Hogan began his second term cancer-free, his next challenge went far beyond Maryland: bringing our divided country together for a better future. And in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed that future forever, Hogan was once again called to rely upon his bold, open-minded approach to problem-solving to lead and serve in a time of unprecedented turmoil. In his own words and unique, plain-spoken style, Larry Hogan tells the feel-good story of a fresh American leader being touted as the "anti-Trump Republican." A lifelong uniter at a time of sharp divisions. A politician with practical solutions that take the best from all sides. An open-hearted man who has learned important lessons from his own struggles in life. As we face a future full of questions, Hogan offers some surprising answers. Still Standing is a timely reminder that perseverance in the face of unexpected obstacles is at the heart of the American spirit.
Call Number: F186.35.H64 A3 2020
Becoming by An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY * OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK * NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER * ONE OF ESSENCE'S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations--and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Call Number: E909.O24 A3 2018
Cubed by The first book by the reclusive inventor of the world's most iconic puzzle THE RUBIK'S CUBE. Erno Rubik inspires us with what he's learned in a lifetime of creating, curiosity, and discovery. Erno Rubik was a child when he first became obsessed with puzzles of all kinds. "Puzzles," he writes, "bring out important qualities in each of us: concentration, curiosity, a sense of play, the eagerness to discover a solution." To Rubik puzzles aren't just games--they're creativity machines. He encourages us to embrace our inner curiosity and find the puzzles that surround us in our everyday lives. "If you are determined, you will solve them," he writes. Rubik's own puzzle, the Cube, went on to be solved by millions worldwide for over forty years, become one of the bestselling toys of all time, and to be featured as a global symbol of intelligence and ingenuity. In Cubed, Rubik covers more than just his journey to inventing his eponymous cube. He makes a case for always being an amateur--something he has always considered himself to be. He discusses the inevitability of problems during any act of invention. He reveals what it was like to experience the astonishing worldwide success of an object he made purely for his own play. And he offers what he thinks it means to be a true creator (hint: anyone can do it). Steeped in the wisdom and also the humility of a born inventor, Cubed offers a unique look at the imperfect science of creation.
Call Number: QA491 .R83 2020
More Myself by An intimate, revealing look at one artist's journey from self-censorship to full expression As one of the most celebrated musicians in the world, Alicia Keys has enraptured the globe with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache--over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection. Since Alicia rose to fame, her public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it? More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia's journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia's path, from her girlhood in Hell's Kitchen and Harlem to the process of growth and self-discovery that we all must navigate. In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth--about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia's artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity.
Call Number: ML420.K3745 A3 2020
They Called Us Enemy: Expanded Edition by George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his magnetic performances, sharp wit, and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the terrors and small joys of childhood in the shadow of legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's tested faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins cowriters Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.
Call Number: D769.8 .A6T356 2019
My Own Words by The New York Times bestselling book from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg--"a comprehensive look inside her brilliantly analytical, entertainingly wry mind, revealing the fascinating life of one of our generation's most influential voices in both law and public opinion" (Harper's Bazaar). My Own Words "showcases Ruth Ginsburg's astonishing intellectual range" (The New Republic). In this collection Justice Ginsburg discusses gender equality, the workings of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book's sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams, who introduce each chapter and provide biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. Witty, engaging, serious, and playful, My Own Words is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most influential women and "a tonic to the current national discourse" (The Washington Post).
Call Number: KF373.G565 G56 2016
A Son of Africa
The Interesting Narration of the Life of Olaudah Equiano created a sensation when it was published in 1789. Written by ex-slave Equiano, the autobiography vividly described the horrors of being kidnapped from Africa, the Middle Passage, and life in captivity, and fueled the growing abolitionist movement. This program employs dramatic reconstructions of this slave narrative, archival material, and interviews with scholars such as Stuart Hall and Ian Duffield to explain the social and economic context of the 18th-century slave trade. (28 minutes
On the Shelf at CCBC Libraries: Collective Autobiographies
My Future Is in America by In 1942, YIVO held a contest for the best autobiography by a Jewish immigrant on the theme "Why I Left the Old Country and What I Have Accomplished in America." Chosen from over two hundred entries, and translated from Yiddish, the nine life stories in My Future Is in America provide a compelling portrait of American Jewish life in the immigrant generation at the turn of the twentieth century. The writers arrived in America in every decade from the 1890s to the 1920s. They include manual workers, shopkeepers, housewives, communal activists, and professionals who came from all parts of Eastern Europe and ushered in a new era in American Jewish history. In their own words, the immigrant writers convey the complexities of the transition between the Old and New Worlds. An Introduction places the writings in historical and literary context, and annotations explain historical and cultural allusions made by the writers. This unique volume introduces readers to the complex world of Yiddish-speaking immigrants while at the same time elucidating important themes and topics of interest to those in immigration studies, ethnic studies, labor history, and literary studies. Published in conjunction with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
Call Number: DS135.E89 M9 2008
Written by Herself by The bestselling author of The Road from Coorain presents an extraordinarily powerful anthology of the autobiographical writings of 25 women, literary predecessors and contemporaries that include Jane Addams, Zora Neale Hurst, Harriet Jacobs, Ellen Glasgow, Maya Angelou, Sara Josephine Baker, Margaret Mead, Gloria Steinem, and Maxine Hong Kingston.
Call Number: PS647 .W6 W75 1992
Online From CCBC Libraries: Collective Autobiographies
It's My Country Too by This inspiring anthology is the first to convey the rich experiences and contributions of women in the American military in their own words--from the Revolutionary War to the present wars in the Middle East. Serving with the Union Army during the Civil War as a nurse, scout, spy, and soldier, Harriet Tubman tells what it was like to be the first American woman to lead a raid against an enemy, freeing some 750 slaves. Busting gender stereotypes, Josette Dermody Wingo enlisted as a gunner's mate in the navy in World War II to teach sailors to fire Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns. Marine Barbara Dulinsky recalls serving under fire in Saigon during the Tet Offensive of 1968, and Brooke King describes the aftermath of her experiences outside the wire with the army in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In excerpts from their diaries, letters, oral histories, and pension depositions--as well as from published and unpublished memoirs--generations of women reveal why and how they chose to serve their country, often breaking with social norms, even at great personal peril.
Publication Date: 2017
I Am Where I Come From by "The organizing principle for this anthology is the common Native American heritage of its authors; and yet that thread proves to be the most tenuous of all, as the experience of indigeneity differs radically for each of them. While many experience a centripetal pull toward a cohesive Indian experience, the indications throughout these essays lean toward a richer, more illustrative panorama of difference. What tends to bind them together are not cultural practices or spiritual attitudes per se, but rather circumstances that have no exclusive province in Indian country: that is, first and foremost, poverty, and its attendant symptoms of violence, substance abuse, and both physical and mental illness.... Education plays a critical role in such lives: many of the authors recall adoring school as young people, as it constituted a place of escape and a rare opportunity to thrive.... While many of the writers do return to their tribal communities after graduation, ideas about 'home' become more malleable and complicated."--from the IntroductionI Am Where I Come From presents the autobiographies of thirteen Native American undergraduates and graduates of Dartmouth College, ten of them current and recent students. Twenty years ago, Cornell University Press published First Person, First Peoples: Native American College Graduates Tell Their Life Stories, also about the experiences of Native American students at Dartmouth College. I Am Where I Come From addresses similar themes and experiences, but it is very much a new book for a new generation of college students.Three of the essays from the earlier book are gathered into a section titled "Continuing Education," each followed by a shorter reflection from the author on his or her experience since writing the original essay. All three have changed jobs multiple times, returned to school for advanced degrees, started and increased their families, and, along the way, continuously revised and refined what it means to be Indian.The autobiographies contained in I Am Where I Come From explore issues of native identity, adjustment to the college environment, cultural and familial influences, and academic and career aspirations. The memoirs are notable for their eloquence and bravery.
Publication Date: 2017
Latino Leaders Speak by "People do not define you," Soledad O'Brien's Cuban mother repeatedly told her children. "You define yourself." And so this mixed-race, first-generation Latina American would go on to succeed in her field, ultimately becoming an anchor for CNN. O'Brien's remarks, like the others included in this volume, reflect on what it means to be Latino in the United States. For her, "It's succeeding, fulfilling the dream and then turning around and grabbing everybody else and making it happen for them too."The importance of education is a common refrain in the lives of the leaders represented here. Many reference one particular teacher or mentor who made a difference. The late Reverend Father Virgilio Elizondo, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, said his fifth-grade teacher changed his life. She taught him to love school and learning. Others remember the sacrifices made by parents so that their children could have more opportunities for a better life. In all, these writings are both a testament to perseverance and a guide to life, for readers of all backgrounds. Originally presented at the Latino Leaders Luncheon Series in Washington, DC, and other major cities, the personal stories included in this book are all by successful Latinos involved in a variety of occupations, from politics and sports to education and activism. Contributors include former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; former general manager of the New York Mets, Omar Minaya; and Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa, the Chancellor of the University of Texas System. Their words will inspire readers of all ages to follow their dreams and help those less fortunate.
Publication Date: 2017