Item description for The Faith of Condoleezza Rice by Leslie Montgomery...
Overview Explores Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's faith journey, discovering how the spiritual seeds planted in her early life helped her grow through heartache and struggle into spiritual maturity.
This is not a book about politics. It is a book about a little black girl who was born into a Christian home in the racially explosive town of Birmingham, Alabama, during the throes of the Civil Rights Movement. It's about two parents who quietly defied discrimination, stood against injustice, clung to their faith, and raised their child to follow the Lord they themselves served. They believed wholeheartedly that she was a gift from God born for such a time as this and that he had a special plan and a purpose for her life-a plan for good, and not for evil, a plan to give her a hope and a future-all this despite what the world shouted at them through hatred and prejudice that hovered over them mercilessly.
Condoleezza Rice has built her life and career on defied expectations. She defied the shortsighted guidance counselor who advised her parents that their daughter wasn't college material by earning not only a Bachelor's Degree, but then a Master's and a Ph.D. She took on roles that a black female had never held before-provost at Stanford University, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State-and performed these roles skillfully. Once you read her story, you will recognize that even more than her vast intellectual capacity, ambition, and strong work ethic, it has been God's leading in her life-and her willingness to follow his call-that has allowed her to come so far. In Condoleezza Rice we have a true spiritual hero.
She's been called the devil's handmaiden, a history-maker, a rock star, Bush's secret weapon, the most influential woman in the world, a rising star, and a race traitor-among other things. Regardless of which opinion people come to about who she is or what label they've placed on her character, everyone knows there's something uniquely different about the 5′7″ African-American woman who currently serves as our Secretary of State.
Condoleezza Rice has a mysterious stability, an enigmatic air, and an inexplicable confidence that is devoid of pride-a trait that is hard to find in the world, let alone in the slick world of politics. Her impenetrable strength and unshakable temperament are evidence of three defining characteristics-a faith that runs deep in her heritage, a personal passion for God, and moral convictions that stem from both.
No matter what your faith, to know and appreciate the character of Condoleezza Rice, you must learn about hers. To understand her passion for peace, you must become personally familiar with the chaotic state of the nation in which she was born. To fully grasp her heart and what has motivated her to far exceed the limited expectations that enslaved both her race and her gender for generations before her, you must examine her roots. To taste the inspiration for democracy that flows like a river from her heart, you must learn what it is that feeds her soul. The Faith of Condoleezza Rice reveals all of this and more.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Faith of Condoleezza Rice by Leslie Montgomery has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 03/05/2007 page 22
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.88 lbs.
Release Date Mar 7, 2007
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581347995 ISBN13 9781581347999
Availability 0 units.
More About Leslie Montgomery
Leslie Montgomery has been the Director of Publications, Managing Editor, and a staff writer for the American Association of Christian Counselors. She has also been a writer for Focus on the Family for over seven years and has authored the books Were It Not for Grace and A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare. www.lesliemontgomery.com
Reviews - What do customers think about The Faith of Condoleezza Rice?
Provocative and Enjoyable May 14, 2007
Being a political aficionado, I am always intrigued about the faith (and supposed faith) of popular politicians. Condoleezza Rice is particularly intriguing because of her rising prominence, first in Bush 41's administration, and now in the second term of Bush 43's administration. In addition, she was the Provost of Stanford University when my wife Marni attended the school. I went to the rival (I mean, superior) school, the University of California at Berkeley. But even though she was in Washington, DC while I was in graduate school at Berkeley (2000-2004), Dr. Rice was a known figure among Christian circles. So when I saw Tim Challies' review of this book, it naturally perked my interest.
The book is an entertaining and interesting read. It spends several chapters looking carefully at Rice's upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama, tracing her deeply Christian roots back to her grandparents (and maternal great-grandmother). A dogged perseverance seems to have marked each of her ancestors as they sought to resist slavery. Rice's father (John Wesley Rice) was a Presbyterian minister and a dedicated family man. Condoleezza was their only child, and her parents poured love, time, and money into her intellectual, musical, and athletic development. For example, Condoleezza had piano and ice skating lessons (both rarities for African American girls of that era).
The future Dr. Rice experienced racial prejudice in her childhood, but her parents refused to let it get them down. While her parents were friends with civil rights leaders, it seems they themselves were not particularly involved in protests and the like. Rather, they wanted Condi to "beat the system" by being more educated and thereby more accomplished than others, and to never let her race be an excuse for failure. I was impressed by the tireless can-do attitude of her parents, and it seems to have obviously shaped Condoleezza.
She began her college years majoring in music, but realized she could not compete with younger, more talented pianists. So she shifted to another passion --- international politics, and Russia in particular. Interestingly, she was mentored by Josef Korbel, a Professor at the University of Denver who was simultaneously mentoring his daughter Madeline, who later took the surname Albright by marriage. Two future female Secretaries of State mentored by the same man.
A bit about Dr. Korbel: He had been an advisor to exiled Czech president Edvard Benes, who lived in London until the Nazis were defeated in WWII. Korbel then moved back to Czechoslavakia, became an Ambassador to Yugoslavia, but was forced to flee when the Communists captured the nation. He was tried and sentenced to death in absentia, but fortunately obtained asylum in the United States.
Through her reputation as an expert on Russia, she eventually impressed key people in President George H.W. Bush's administration, which led to an appointment. The current President later tapped her for a more prestigious position, and in between she was the Provost of Stanford.
A member of the PC-USA, Condoleezza's faith in Christ strikes me as deep, sincere, and genuine. However, the last chapter reveals a somewhat swirling manner of expressing her spiritual pilgrimage. She tends to see a dichotomy between faith and reason, as if one hinders the other. In her own words, she "needs to have a better unity of faith and reason" in her personal life, in her personal relationship with God (p. 198). I found myself wanting to send Dr. Rice the text of John Piper's excellent message on this topic from the Ligonier Conference this past March.
Overall, the book is a fun, stimulating read. If you are at all interested in what has shaped Condoleezza Rice, I think you will find it worthwhile. Montgomery gives readers a fuller picture of Rice's personal history by interweaving critical historical events (e.g., in the Civil Rights Movement) with the various junctures of Rice's life. I only wish more treatment was given for how Rice came to her own political convictions, which (as I understand them) tend to be conservative on fiscal and military issues, but more moderate/liberal on social issues. For example, I would really like to know more about how Rice views affirmative action, and how she defends her pro-choice position as a Christian.
A FRESH VIEW ON DR. RICE Apr 26, 2007
If you are looking for a new view on Dr. Rice this is the book to read. What an unexpected delight! It is rich in history and gives detailed information about Dr. Rice's life (including her childhood). The author interviewed most of Dr. Rice's family and friends and even got the Secretary of State to sign off on the book after reading it herself. Montgomery is carving out a niche for biographies and I will anticipate her next book with great fevor.
Couldn't lay this book down. Apr 18, 2007
Condoleezza Rice has shown us an all business side in the world of politics. It is nice to know that the decisions she makes every day are made by a woman who's faith is of the utmost importance to her. The author has done a remarkable job bringing us the facts in a book that I couldn't lay down. I have read all of Leslie Montgomery's books and she just continues to keep me interested and wanting more.
An Interesting Read Mar 27, 2007
It is easy to be skeptical about the faith claims of politicians. It is rare for a politician to claim to be anything other than a Christian and yet so few of them show any real evidence of the faith they profess. Of course there are undoubtedly some who rise to power that truly are genuine Christians. In The Faith of Condoleeza Rice, Leslie Montgomery shows Condoleeza Rice to be one of these.
Though this is a book about a woman who has made her mark as a politician, it is not a book about politics. Rather, it is about the faith the of Condoleeza Rice and the legacy of faith that was passed down to her by her family. Growing up in a family of Presbyterians, many of whom were clergy, Rice seems to have always considered herself a believer. She was born into a remarkable family, the only child of parents who gave everything they had to give her everything she needed to be one of the most influential people in the world. As the book traces Rice's life, it also traces the history of racial tension and reconciliation in the United States. Rice was born into the geographic and chronological heart of the Civil Rights Movement. While her parents kept her largely sheltered from the strife surrounding them, she certainly did notice the world changing around her.
I was intrigued by the intellectual nature of Rice's faith. While in many ways she has a simple faith and says she has never doubted the tenets of her faith, at the same time her faith has become remarkably developed in her mind as she has reflected on the Bible. The parts of the book in which the author discusses the particulars of Rice's faith, and especially those that are drawn directly from interviews with her, make for fascinating reading. While the book attempts to portray Rice as a spiritual hero I am not so sure that the author succeeds at this. She certainly appears to be a Christian, but to consider her some kind of a spiritual giant would seem to be overstating it. After all. Rice's faith, while certainly driving and motivating her, is not what she is known for. Her faith is an important part of who she is, but it is something she must necessarily keep in the background much of the time.
The book moves quite quickly and, thankfully, unlike many biographies, does not dwell upon things like the books Rice has written. While they are mentioned, the author (rightly, no doubt) assumes that readers will have no interest in knowing just what Rice had to say about Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft. It is well-written, fast-moving, and is certainly an enjoyable read.
So while I would not be likely to read this book as an attempt to peer in the life of a spiritual hero, I would gladly recommend it as an interesting glimpse into the life of a woman who is extraordinarily gifted and who has not risen to a position of great responsibility and great authority despite her faith, but, it would seem, because of her faith.