Unbowed: My Autobiography Paperback – 6 Mar 2008
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"Wangari Maathai's memoir is direct, honest, and beautifully written - a gripping account of modern Africa's trials and triumphs, a universal story of courage, persistence, and success against great odds in a noble cause" (Bill Clinton)
"Renowned and admired throughout her native Kenya and across Africa for her pioneering struggle against deforestation and for women's rights and democracy, selfless and steadfast, Ms. Maathai has been a champion of the environment, of women, of Africa, and of anyone concerned about our future security" (Kofi Annan)
"Wangari Maathai is a prophet for our time and Unbowed is a call to arms for all of us who feel that the planet is overwhelmed by careless, corrupt or violent leadership. I have long suspected that the voice to lead us forward would come out of Africa, and it has - a voice of humor, sense, strength and compassion. Read this book and pass it on" (Alexandra Fuller)
"Wangari Maathai is the rare leader who knows how to create independence, not dependence. On the page as in person, her example makes each of us a little stronger, wiser and braver than we ever thought we could be" (Gloria Steinem)
"Compelling. . . A striking reminder that the peace award, more than any other Nobel honor, recognizes success achieved through tremendous adversity" (The Seattle Times)
The compelling autobiography of Wangari Maathai, Kenyan peace activist and environmentalist, who in 2004 became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In her own words, Maathai tells the story of her journey from rural Kenya, through the ivory tower and on to the murky waters of Kenyan politics during the oppresive regime of Daniel Arap Moi. There are detailed accounts of how her conservation group (the Green Belt Movement) was born and rose to prominence, and the many times she had to face brutal government repression as she stood up for the environment and human rights. In her life and her musings, the delicate links connecting the environment, poverty and human dignity are shown clearly to the reader. This is also a very human story. Maathai recounts many details of her personal struggles- discrimination at work, the bitterness of a public divorce, losing her job because of power politics, struggling with a bare existence, the fight to give her children a good life, regardless.
All these elements combine to make this book an inspiring story, reminding one of what one is capable of if persistence is added to a sincere commitment to professed values.
Raised in rural Kenya, Wangari Maathai never lost the deep connection with the land and its the natural beauty. Over the years, she noticed the changes and the increasing fragility of the environment. Trees for her became a symbol and a tool for protecting the vulnerable ecosystem and assisting rural population to stem the growing poverty.
Thanks to the intervention of her older brother and the support of her mother, she was able to attend school beyond the primary level, which was all girls at the time could reach for. As luck had it and, being a bright student, her convent school was one of those selected to send graduates to the US under what became known as the Kennedy Airlift: a program to send young Africans to American colleges for further education. These young people were being primed to become future leaders of their societies in the soon to be independent African states. Maathai returned to Kenya with a Master's degree in biology, a subject that for her combined her scientific interests with her deep love for her natural environment.Read more ›
As Bill Clinton puts it: 'Wangari Maathai's memoir is direct, honest, and beautifully written - gripping'.
The first few pages are a description of paradise lost. The rest of the book is the description of the fight to repossess that paradise. A fight we should all share in.
Very well-written. Simple and clear.
Ms Maathai has left us precious seeds we should tend to.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book arrived on time and as described. In perfect condition. A good purchasePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not the most comprehensive and well written. Wangari's life is so full though it is difficult to comprehend as you leap from one monumental incident to another. Read morePublished 8 months ago by EMC
This is the first autobiography I've read so it was a new experience. The beginning was a bit slow, but after her education it got very good and the work was amazing.Published on 21 Mar. 2014 by H Awan
This is a book from a Scientist from Kenya Africa and although she is revered by great statesmen the majority of people around the world do not know her. Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2014 by Ms. C. B. Mclaglen