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Madame President: Book summary and reviews of Madame President by Helene Cooper

Madame President

The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

by Helene Cooper

Madame President by Helene Cooper X
Madame President by Helene Cooper
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  • Published Mar 2017
    336 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women's movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa's history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf's evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf's personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf's life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia's military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia's future.

Sirleaf's personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia's greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this "Oracle" of African women.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A riveting tale of civil war, political corruption, and personal ambition ... 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

"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." - Library Journal

"A brisk chronicle of a strong-willed, tireless, and determined leader." - Kirkus Reviews

"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

"With compassion, a depth of research and stunning detail, Helene Cooper tells the riveting story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ... 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

This information about Madame President was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Helene Cooper

Helene Cooper is the Pulitzer Prize–winning Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times, having previously served as White House Correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, and the assistant editorial page editor. Prior to moving to the Times, Helene spent twelve years as a reporter and foreign correspondent at The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of the bestselling memoir, The House at Sugar Beach. She was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and lives in the Washington, DC area.

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