Synopses & Reviews
In January 2006, after the Republic of Liberia had been racked by fourteen years of brutal civil conflict, Ellen Johnson SirleafAfrica's "Iron Lady"was sworn in as president, an event that marked a tremendous turning point in the history of the West African nation.
In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice. She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the United States to her work as an international bank executive, to campaigning in some of Liberia's most desperate and war-torn villages and neighborhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken polihis quick paced and solid debut novel has all the drama of real high school. Think Glee, only with chamber music." -- Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author
“This is the incredible story of a woman who spent her life talking tough to the lunatics surrounding her. It is an accessible walk through Liberian history, told by someone who was somehow always in the center of the political storm.” New York Times Book Review
“An inspiring inside look at a nation struggling to rebuild itself and the woman now behind those efforts.” Booklist
“Exceptionally well written, a true story that seems as much a thriller as the remembrances of an ambitious and brave woman. . . . This timely book, essential for anyone who hopes to understand West Africa in general and Liberia in particular, is a lesson in courage and perserverance.” Washington Post
About the Author
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, began her groundbreaking career in the 1970s, when she became Liberia's first woman minister of finance. After the military coup of 1980, she served as president of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, vice president of Citibank's African regional office in Nairobi, senior loan officer at the World Bank, vice president of Equator Bank, and assistant administrator and director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa, with the rank of assistant secretary-general of the United Nations.
She was one of the seven internationally eminent persons designated in 1999 by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to investigate the Rwandan genocide, one of the five commission chairs for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, and one of two international experts selected by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to investigate and report on the effects of conflict on women and women's roles in peace building.
She has received several awards, including the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by an American president; the Ralph Bunche International Leadership Award; and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom of Speech Award. She holds a master's in public administration from Harvard University, a B.A. in accounting from Madison Business College, and a certificate in economics from the University of Colorado, in addition to honorary doctorates from nine universities in the United States and Africa. President Sirleaf lives in Monrovia, Liberia.