The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris
I wanted to read this book, The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris – An American Journey, because I heard on TV again and again that Kamala Harris is the first Black-Asian woman to be Vice, as in, first black, first Asian, and first woman. I didn’t hear anything else besides the colour of her skin and her gender, so I wanted to know about her. Of course, my readers from US are familiar with her reputation. I realized that I read only books by Democrats – Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, and Michele Obama. None got 5 stars, but I gave 5 stars to Harris’ book.
I liked the book a lot, she writes lovely and thus it is very similar to a novel, not boring at all. She starts at the beginning, describing her Indian mother and her Jamaican father, their lives and achievements. It was nice to read about them. It was also interesting to see how she sees moments from her past and what interpretation she gives to them, for example, this passage:
“I invited both of my parents to come to my graduation, even though I knew they wouldn’t speak to each other. I still wanted them both to be there for me. I’ll never forget sitting in the first couple of rows of the auditorium, looking out at the audience. My mother was nowhere to be found. “Where is she?” I thought. “Is she not here because my father is?” We were about to get started. And then, all of a sudden, the back door of the auditorium opened and my mother—who, most days, wore jeans and tennis shoes to her lab—walked in wearing a very bright red dress and heels. She was never one to let the situation get the better of her.”
She sees her mother as a strong woman, as the last sentence shows. For me, her mother (at that moment, it is not a swiping statement of her as a whole), showed a passive-aggressive egoism and a lack of caring for her daughter.
She goes on to talk about her political career and, from that point of view, she is making a political statement with this memoir too, which is to be expected though. I liked how she explained her position and views. I don’t agree with many of the things she said. In my view, people should assume responsibility too. For example, climate change can’t be solved by the government, people need to stop eating meat twice each day (as in reducing meat and that includes fish), stop changing things that work because they are not the latest model which the neighbour has, stop building huge houses, get huge cars, and so on. She is putting the burden of solving everything on the government, which is absurd.
But, as Harari said, a politician telling the whole truth would never be elected.
Reading about the banks, the for-profit universities, the medical system, it made me sad. She is giving data, backing up what she said. Nevertheless the picture is pretty grim and, unless everyone pulls together to solve these issues, they will never be solved. I hope I’m wrong.
I enjoyed the book and I recommend it. Her personal stories are, most of them, really lovely. I just love the way her husband proposed to her, what a lovely and genuinely romantic story. I liked how she talks about her relationship with his two children, before getting married. For me, she would have been a much better president than Biden, especially with his awkward answers to the first press conference.
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris
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My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Bodley Head
Year it was published:
About the author: Kamala D. Harris is a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader, and is currently serving as a U.S. Senator from California. She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, then was elected District Attorney of San Francisco. As California’s Attorney General, Kamala prosecuted transnational gangs, big banks, Big Oil, for-profit colleges and fought against attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Harris also fought to reduce elementary school truancy and pioneered the nation’s first open data initiative to expose racial disparities in the criminal justice system and implemented implicit bias training for police officers. The second black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate, Kamala has worked to reform our criminal justice system, raise the minimum wage, make higher education tuition-free for the majority of Americans, and protect the legal rights of refugees and immigrants.
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