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My American Journey by Colin L. Powell

My American Journey (1995)

by Colin L. Powell

Other authors: Joseph E. Persico

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I read this book nearly ten years ago, and his experience of seeing a Vietnamese monk perform a self-immolation in front of the US embassy still confounds me.

-In Service to Community Cooperation for All Humanity,
MEOW Date: Monday, May 20. 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era) ( )
  MEOWDate | Jul 15, 2014 |
Colin Powell is one of my heroes. I know he has his detractors left and right. Those on the left bristle that he served in the Reagan and both Bush administrations and blame him for the Iraq War. Those on the right that he endorsed Obama. I guess it tips my hat as to which team I root for, but no, I'm not particularly happy about the second, though I don't really blame him for what went pears up on the first. But however I felt about that, what he accomplished, especially given his background is still extraordinary.

This particular biography dates from before his period as the (first African American) Secretary of State, some readers may be disappointed it doesn't get into what some might find the most interesting and controversial period of his service. But it does cover his life from his early days to his formative time as an officer during the Vietnam War and his generalship during the Gulf War. The story I remember the best though comes from his teenage years, when he got a summer job mopping floors--and determined to be the best floor mopper he possibly could. Such a little thing--but said to me a lot about his character and the reason for his success. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 5, 2013 |
This book is written in very simple prose. But it is a door-stop (612 pages) and covers an enormous amount of US history - from Powell's Bronx boyhood to 1994. Powell offers an interesting insider's view of the Reagan, Bush and Clinton White House. ( )
  Sandydog1 | Jan 16, 2011 |
Dan Choi, American infantry officer in the United States Army, Iraq war veteran and LGBT rights activist, has chosen to discuss Colin Powell’s “My American Journey", on FiveBooks (http://five-books.com) as one of the top five on his subject - Don't Ask Don't Tell, saying that:

“…This is Colin Powell’s autobiography. The idea that Colin Powell was the first African American to be appointed as Secretary of State, and the highest ranking military man in America makes him a symbol. Even more important than what he was doing - is the idea that an American person can come from any background and go on to achieve so much. That’s a testament to what being American is…”

The full interview is available here: http://thebrowser.com/books/interviews/dont-ask-dont-tell-dan-choi ( )
  FiveBooks | Feb 5, 2010 |
Born in Harlem raised by immigrant parents from Jamaica, Colin Powell learned about life the hard way. In this autobiography one will learn about this mans challenges of poor schooling, racism, and the importance of family and church. Colin Powell served in the US Army 2 tours in Vietnam, Germany, Desert Storm, and into the Pentagon as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He takes you through his life as a child, marriage, joining the Army, from Vietnam through the Presidential administration of William Clinton. A great book that is easy to read and makes you feel as if you've known this man his entire life just by turning the pages.
This book was my first "autobiography", and it was a great experience that lead me to want to read more like it. Being a new military wife when I purchased this book in 1995, it gave me a positive insight to the life of the military, and also a great deal of gratitude to a man who went through so much and turned out to be such a great succes story. I own this book and have shared it with many.
As a classroom extentsion, I would explain how this man started facing many challenges in his life, yet he overcame them with a positive attitude. The students could do a time line with the details of Colin Powells life. Another activity could be listing other African American leaders, or listing other Generals in the Army.
  smyers | Mar 30, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Powell, Colin L.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Persico, Joseph E.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To my family ... past, present, and future
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I have had a great life, and this is the story so far.
There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportional to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine this Reader's Digest Condensed edition with the other books since this is a condensed/abridged version of the book.

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Colin Powell est l'incarnation du rêve américain . Né de parents jamaïcains , il a conni la jungle des rues avant d'entamer une brillante carrier dans l'armée puis a Washington. Le reste appartient à l'histoire.
Avec l'humour et le franc-parler propres à ce soldat exemplaire , il témoignegne des évènements récents dont il a été un des acteurs et célèbre la grandeur de l'Amérique et les chances que cette société multiculturelle sait encore offrir à tous , meme les plus humbles . Un exemple à méditer pour la France !
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Colin Powell is the embodiment of the American dream. He was born in Harlem to immigrant parents from Jamaica. He knew the rough life of the streets. He overcame a barely average start at school. Then he joined the Army. The rest is history--Vietnam, the Pentagon, Panama, Desert Storm--but a history that until now has been known only on the surface. Here, for the first time, Colin Powell himself tells us how it happened, in a memoir distinguished by a heartfelt love of country and family, warm good humor, and a soldier's directness. MY AMERICAN JOURNEY is the powerful story of a life well lived and well told. It is also a view from the mountaintop of the political landscape of America. At a time when Americans feel disenchanted with their leaders, General Powell's passionate views on family, personal responsibility, and, in his own words, "the greatness of America and the opportunities it offers" inspire hope and present a blueprint for the future. An utterly absorbing account, it is history with a vision. "The stirring, only-in-America story of one determined man's journey from the South Bronx to directing the mightiest of military forces.… (more)

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