Condi: The Condoleeza Rice Story

By Antonia Felix

Condi The Condoleeza Rice StoryCondi: The Condoleeza Rice Story : I had the satisfaction the other day of having finished a book. Yes, you would think that those of us who write for a living would be great readers. Some of us are, some of us aren’t. I probably am fairly well read overall, but that covers magazines, newspapers, articles, and the like for the most part…especially if they can be found online!

My wife picked up a book for me this past Christmas and she hit it right on the mark — Condi: The Condoleeza Rice Story. Written by Antonia Felix, the book traces the remarkable life of now Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice from her days living in highly segregated Birmingham, Alabama during the 1950s and 1960s through her years as an academic scholar, college professor, and university provost, all the way up to her present work with the Bush Administration. Written in 2003, the book still has Condi as National Security Advisor to the president, but in 2004 Condi replaced Colin Powell as the Secretary of State.

The book delves into Condi’s life and doesn’t hold back on much. No, not much to criticize about this consummate overachiever, rather plenty of praise for a role model who has triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds, let alone overwhelming adversity.

Condi is not just a leading scholar, but she is an expert in Soviet {Russian} affairs, an accomplished pianist, and an avid football fan. Driven? Oh, yes! But, not in the “possessed” or “obsessed” sense of the word. As a black woman working in a mostly white male environment Condi has established herself on her terms and not on someone else’s. “Twice as good” was the mantra passed down to Condi by her parents who believed that black children had to do everything twice as well as white children in order to be considered equal in a segregated society.

I won’t give all the details of the book away, but there are some highly interesting aspects about Condi that some people probably just don’t know. Personally, I don’t think Condi will run for president on the Republican ticket in 2008 as some desire — instead, she aspires to be president of the NFL — but whatever Condi chooses to do beyond her time working with President Bush will more than likely include breaking new ground and setting the trend for all who come behind her.

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I’m Not The BOSS, I Just Work Here

By Howard Jonas

Im NoT The Boss I Just Work HereI’m Not The BOSS, I Just Work Here : Howard Jonas, founder and chairman of IDT Corp., was 14 years old when he started selling hot dogs on a street corner in the Bronx. Today, he runs a multibillion dollar telecommunications company that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. What is the secret of his success?

The answer, he says, is in his religious commitment and the title of his most recent book, “I’m Not the Boss, I Just Work Here.”

Jonas recalls that as a little boy his father told him how the biblical Joseph, a slave of Egypt, rose to be a master of Potiphar’s house.

Potiphar was the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph, a lowly Hebrew slave, had one of the simplest jobs in the household – sweeping the floor. Yet, taking a break when more work could be done didn’t seem right to Joseph.

One day Potiphar showed up particularly late and all of the servants had left, except for Joseph. Joseph was sweeping the floor just one more time. Potiphar realized that Joseph was a man he could trust because if this slave wouldn’t “steal” a moment’s rest from him, he certainly wouldn’t steal from the household.

“I’ve kept this Joseph story in mind as I’ve built my company,” Jonas writes. Jonas believes that people who not only accept but embrace life’s challenges are truly actualizing God’s will for humanity.

Personally and professionally, Jonas has had enormous success. “Success is not a reward,” he writes. “Sometimes it’s just a sign of having tried hard and often.”

But he also has had more than his fair share of failures as he reveals in “I’m Not the Boss, I Just Work Here.” Jonas candidly shares with readers a time in his life in which he struggled with severe depression. Jonas says he wrote this book hoping to inspire and encourage others by the example of his response to adversity and the strength of his relationship with God.

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