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Hardcover The Courage to Survive Book

ISBN: 1597775681

ISBN13: 9781597775687

The Courage to Survive

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New


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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Absolutely Riveting

I cannot recommend this book enough. I am, admittedly, a big supporter of Kucinich. What this book did for me is convince me, if I wasn't sure already, that Dennis Kucinich is the real deal. He's as genuine as they come. Seeing how he grew up and how he was influenced, it's all very clear how he became the person he is. This book is captivating from the beginning. He writes of his very troubled childhood and all the unmentionable heartache he and his family endured. Through it all he never gave up and never quit trying. He was always working to make extra money for this or that including paying his Catholic school bills along with those of his siblings. He took on a lot of responsibility, being the eldest of 7 children. The part I loved most was his account of starting out in politics. I could just imagine how going from door to door, listening to countless people with legitimate problems could make you very empathetic. Or, it could make you bitter and cynical. Lucky for all of us he chose the former.


So compelling, I read it in 24 hours! When Congressman Kucinich was on The Tonight Show in September (2007), Jay Leno said that he had read the book and loved it, and Jay's expression reflected a deep and uncharacteristic reverence. At the time, that seemed odd to me. But now that I have read the book, I completely understand the look on Leno's face. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the eldest of seven children, Kucinich and his family lived in 21 places--including a couple of cars--by the time he left home at 17. Without a hint of victimization, Kucinich writes a mesmerizing account of a childhood filled with a smorgasbord of violence and poverty, and how he held onto the glimmers of hope that helped him survive. His environment was punctuated with death, suicide, theft, traumatic illness, alcohol and guns; and I lost count of how many times his little brothers got hit by cars. But through his youthful faith and courage, he transformed his formative years from stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Kucinich writes about a brief but idyllic period that his family spent on a relative's farm, a time when he delighted in observing the little polliwogs in the brook as they grew up to be carefree frogs. And one gets a foreshadowing of the compassionate politician he will become, one who authors the kinds of bills that would make health care available to every American, and domestic violence a thing of the past. (In contrast, it is interesting to note that George Bush's childhood relationship with frogs was much different - he amused himself by stuffing lit firecrackers down their throats.) Knowing Kucinich's story, and seeing the Congressman in action now, it becomes clear that he has not only survived, but has thrived, gaining inspiration for policy from those early experiences. He successfully transformed his childhood challenges into the launching pad from which he has become a respected public servant. Refreshingly honest and matter-of-fact, The Courage to Survive is a sobering, yet inspiring look at growing up on the outside of the American Dream, looking in--and how one young boy found his way to the other side. -Meryl Ann Butler

Words Fail Me

What can I say that could possibly convince the world to read this book? If there was a simple answer, we would all be better off. Amazing. Life-changing. Please vote Kucinich in '08. The world needs him.

Destined to be a Classic

Everyone who knows anything about Kucinich knows he had a tough upbringing but I had no idea how tough it really was until I read this book. Many other Presidential candidates were born into privileged backgrounds and many are millionaires. They may say they understand what ordinary Americans go through, but they haven't lived it. When Kucinich says it, it's true. Not only is Dennis an electrifying public speaker, he is also a great writer. It is hard to put the book down once you start reading it, until you've finished it. Overall, the book is very inspiring and some parts will bring you to tears. No wonder Kucinich is never fazed when someone calls him a longshot. When you spend a portion of your youth living in cars in some of Cleveland's worst neighborhoods, you already know what a longshot is. When your Mother gets sick and you and your siblings are whisked away to an orphanage and separated, not knowing whether the family will ever be reunited, you understand what it's like to be a longshot. The book is highly recommended to anyone. Buy a few extra copies as XMAS gifts, a library donation(designate it as a Memorial to someone) or any other ideas you come up with. Humanity is at a crossroads. We need someone of Kucinich's wisdom and character to become president to restore what remains of our democracry. Dennis will have to write a Courage to Survive II that covers his days as a City Councilman, Mayor, his refusal to sell the city's low-cost electrical system to an Enron-style takeover and the decade-plus he was out of politics.


Though Dennis Kucinich is running for President, very little of this autobiography is about politics. It's the story of how life's circumstances shaped one man's values and forged his resolve that he could do anything and that nothing is impossible. Through beautifully written dialogue, Dennis paints pictures of the Cleveland he grew up in and the family, friends, teachers and coworkers who impacted his life. While the book spans only his first 22 years, in that short time Kucinich faced more adversity and personal challenges than most face in a lifetime. Rather than becoming bitter or negative from those experiences, as might a lesser person, those tests of character steeled his determination and optimism. As one who has long admired and respected the Congressman Dennis has become, this book went a long way in helping me understand how he came to be the person he is--one of great compassion, common sense, determination, intensity and optimism. He has restored my faith in America and made me proud to be an American for the first time in many years. His candidacy gives me hope of a world that `could be', if we treat each other with respect and exercise proper stewardship over the planet we call home. Whether one is politically inclined or not, this book is highly recommended as an inspiration in courage and humanity. I've been honored to meet him on two occasions and though he is small in stature, he is a giant among men. My only wish is that the book continued on to cover the recent years. I guess I'll just have to wait until President Dennis J. Kucinich pens his memoirs.
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