Condoleezza Rice's story, her experiences, and her contributions to our society, offer a unique opportunity to consider the social and historical discourses of our times, both past and present. Rice, a descendent of slaves who rose to become one of the most influential women in the world, represents many of the hopes, conflicts, and questions that characterize the beginning of the 21st century in American society. Her story allows the telling of many others that have intersected with Rice's across the course of American history. The time period covered in this book (1954-2005) was a time of struggle for many in the United States and around the world. Civil rights, equal rights, the Cold War, civil wars, the war on drugs, illiteracy, and terrorism, all played out around the world as Rice moved into increasingly powerful and influential posts. By the time Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State, she was clearly one of the most powerful women in the world, a 'rock star' politician whose name was recognized the world over. She was featured on the cover of magazines and newspapers around the world, and commentators ted her clothing and sense of style as much as they did her politics. With sharp intelligence and fierce loyalty to President George W. Bush, Rice exerted a key influence on many of the international policies that affected our times. A timeline describes significant events in Rice's life, and a bibliography lists print and electronic sources for additional research.
JACQUELINE EDMONDSON is associate professor of education at Pennsylvania State University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in language and literacy education, and she researches and writes about education policy. She has a scholary interest in biography and the role of biography in education, and is author of Venus and Serena Williams: A Biography (Greenwood, 2005).