Condoleezza Rice, Naked Ambition by Marcus Mabry

English: An official portrait of Condoleezza R...

This was THE book of 2012 for me. Apologies as I have shamefully slacked in writing a review on each of the books that I read in 2012 but I have changed my ways and from this moment onwards, I will definitely blog about every single book I read (so help me God). Right, now that the housekeeping is out of the way, onto the review!

Naked Ambition is an amazing biography; it was a riveting read and unlike some biographies, it was easy to follow, momentum was kept up and rather than just tell a story, aspects of Condoleezza’s life was described animatedly in order to drive home a salient point. I have a handful of role models and Condoleezza Rice is most certainly one of them. So when I discovered this book, I wasted no time in ordering it (whoever created Amazon – THANK YOU).

What this book eludes to more than anything is that despite growing up in adverse conditions (and in the case of Condoleezza Rice this is segregated Birmingham – one of the most segregated states in America at the time and also the home to Martin Luther King) self-determination, hard work and confidence always pays off. However, it also shed her in a new light; it revealed her to be somewhat mechanical and almost void of emotion to some degree which slightly threw me. Albeit that’s not to negate the fact that she is still the embodiment of self-determination, hard work and confidence and I was literally leaping off of my seat as I raced through each page. I made a list of some of the most inspiring statements to share with you all as I read it; definitely one to put on your reading list! Enjoy!

  • Condi never conceived herself as a stranger to the corridors of power. She believed she belonged.
  • A black woman in an elite white mans world, she gives no hint of feeling out of place or ever in doubt.
  • She was very self assured. She would remember her mothers bout with breast cancer as another lesson of how to be strong in the face of adversity.
  • There was no room for a sense of inferiority or doubt in Rice’s conscience even at the moment that she was judged as less than perfect.
  • To meet a twenty six year old Assistant Professor who had that much poise and self possession was pretty unusual. She had a very self-confident manner without being overbearing or arrogant…
  • She managed to grow to adulthood without any real sense of limitation cognitive or otherwise.
  • With Condi it’s almost never a question of should I do this or do I have the ability? It’s do I want to do this?
  • She was ambitious but yet not with any particular ambition…
  • John and Ann (her parents) instilled in Condoleezza that she was a superlative individual and second that race would not limit her horizons.
  • Her parents taught her to be twice as good and whilst she may not be able to eat at the lunch counter with other white folk, she could however become President of the United Stated if she wanted to. (Sorry I had to interject here to say what an amazing dichotomy!! This blows my mind every time)

Rating: 10/10


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