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Liberian President’s Remarkable Memoir

April 2, 2009

At the Daily Beast, Lynn Sherr has a book review of a new memoir by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected as head of an African state. In addition to the challenging political environment she faced,

she also writes about her heritage: three indigenous grandparents and one German grandfather; a checkered childhood that led her to break out of her traditional Liberian upbringing and earn a degree at Harvard; a career in public service; time spent in and out of government; and exile as political tyranny wiped out her homeland. After peace finally returned, she ran for office, and she writes that the women of Liberia urged her on: “‘Men have failed us,’ people said over and over again. ‘Men are too violent, too prone to make war. Women are less corrupt, less likely to be focused on getting fancy cars and fancy homes for themselves.’”

Her 2005 campaign thus inspired the voters—especially the women—and as she confirmed to me recently, her election has brought new hope to the people she serves. “That’s the one thing I can say is the best result of my presidency,” she said. “Hope to Liberian women, hope to Liberian children. And hope to Liberians generally.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Phil George permalink
    April 2, 2009 10:55 am

    President Sirleaf is doing a good job governing the country and I give her credit for all the progress taking place. However, she has not done enough to fight corruption as the recent audit reports suggest. Apparently the audit report is only validating what the public has been saying all along that some officials were corrupt. The goal should be to mitigate corruption by implementing systems and policies; in essence making it difficult to steal government funds.

  2. James Sirleaf permalink
    April 23, 2009 7:18 am

    In her plight to “create a better way to true democracy for her people” Ellen Sirleaf has placed her life at risk many times. What more sacrifice then that could one individual offer in such turbulent realities? It’s most important that people realize that in this book …she has told her simple truth.

    I personally was incarcerated by the Doe regime for no reason at all …..taken from my home in the middle of the night at gunpoint and placed in prison…where I was humiliated, etc and almost killed. They referred to the “killing hour” as “Zero hour.” I Yes! I had personal experience in 1985. The funny thing is FYI, I joined Citibank in Liberia on 15 June 1981 and stayed with this organization (IN LIBERIA) until May 1990…when forced to leave because of outbreak of war and out of fear for my life.

    I can asssure you that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a true, genuine patriot of our beloved Country. Nothing less.

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