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The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
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Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Hardcover – March 7, 2017
by Helene Cooper (Author)


"Madame President is more than the life story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who broke political and cultural barriers in becoming the first woman to be elected president of an African nation. It is the expansive and penetrating narrative of a country, Liberia, that sweeps across continents and time...It moves swiftly through decades, eventually addressing the Ebola crisis that became the nadir of Sirleaf’s two terms in office...[Cooper] writes vividly and with authority...her book is impressive for both its detail and the insight it provides into a historic figure. Throughout, she offers an unflinching look at the reserved Sirleaf’s personal life and presidency, which comes to an end this year, while also telling of Liberia’s pain and pride."
--Washington Post

"Cooper, who grew up in Liberia, tells the Nobel Peace Prize winner's personal story and examines her leadership of the Liberian women's movement, promising a look at one of the few women to run a nation not only in Africa, but anywhere."
--Washington Post

“Unspools like a novel, fitting for a life that is nothing short of mythic…It's filled with details that emerge from dogged reporting as well as an intimate understanding of Liberia's complexity and culture, which perhaps could come only from being a native daughter…Cooper's prose, witty, blunt and peppered with the Pidgin English spoken by the peoples of Liberia, immerses the reader in the fabric of that small, West African country…Madame President is a fascinating read to enlighten those who may know little about this woman and the nation she leads, and who will undoubtedly be left wanting to know much more.”
--USA Today (3.5 stars)

“A tour-de-force biography...a colorful and compelling portrait.”

"A riveting tale of civil war, political corruption, and personal ambition. Like her memoir, The House at Sugar Beach, this biography delves into Liberia’s modern-day travails. Its heroes are women—not only Sirleaf, the first democratically elected female president of Liberia (and its current president), who earned a Nobel Peace Prize and handled the 2014 Ebola crisis, but the ordinary market women who threw their influence behind her."
--Publishers Weekly

"A celebratory biography of Africa's first female president and 2011 Nobel Prize winner...a woman of spectacular political achievement...A brisk chronicle of a strong-willed, tireless, and determined leader."
--Kirkus Reviews

“Cooper presents an eye-opening account, holding nothing back. Slipping in and out of Liberian English, she creates a vivid portrait of life in Liberia, illustrating the odds and struggles Sirleaf faced. Powerful and thoroughly researched, Cooper's narratives are haunting and cinematic in their level of detail. Recommended for readers who enjoy biographies of world leaders and African history.”
--Library Journal

“Cooper frankly describes Sirleaf's support for Taylor, her nepotism and other failings as president, while sympathetically laying out what she considers to be Sirleaf's extenuating circumstances. She regards Sirleaf as a flawed but still heroic figure, and though her view is persuasive, she also makes it possible for readers to develop their own opinions. Madame President is a valuable addition to the history of an iconic world leader.”
--Shelf Awareness

"An accessible and valuable portrait of one of the most dynamic women on the world stage."

"With compassion, a depth of research and stunning detail, Helene Cooper tells the riveting story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected woman head of state on the African continent, who survived war and coup to lead Liberia through the Ebola crisis and who won a Nobel Peace Prize. 'Madame President's' universal themes of courage, resilience and fortitude are a wonder and an inspiration."
--Isabel Wilkerson, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
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