The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club)

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9780061355431: The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club)

In this beautifully written, candid memoir, legendary actor Sidney Poitier reveals the spiritual depth, passion and intellectual fervour that has driven his remarkable life. Poitier credits his childhood of poverty on idyllic Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of self-worth, family values and simple ethics that he has never since surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke countless barriers to launch a pioneering career portraying important, dignified characters in some of the most morally significant films of the late 20th century. His engaging memoir spans a time in American history from segregation, through the early Civil Rights conflicts, to present-day cultural struggles. Poitier shares his provocative thoughts on racism in Hollywood, consumerism and the media, illness and mortality, honouring a higher consciousness and paying the price for artistic integrity. This book is a powerful testament to the rewards of being true to one's self, acting passionately on one's convictions and boldly walking on the edge.

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Review:

Sidney Poitier wrote The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography because he "felt called to write about certain values, such as integrity and commitment, faith and forgiveness, about the virtues of simplicity, about the difference between 'amusing ourselves to death' and finding meaningful pleasures--even joy". Yet Poitier's book does not speak from on high; its tone is conversational and endearingly self-critical: Poitier begins the first chapter by recounting an evening spent channel-surfing and wondering, as most of us do at one time or another, "What am I doing with my time?" The spiritual reflections in The Measure of a Man are non-sectarian; Poitier's faith is clearly influenced by his experience in Christian churches, but is not, strictly, Christian. Though idiosyncratic, his faith is disciplined and rigorous, and is informed by leaders as diverse as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Poitier's love--for himself, his family and the world--infuses his recollections of his early life on Cat Island in the Bahamas, and his memories of his stage and film career (including his Oscar-winning role in Lilies of the Field). Poitier has been rich and poor; he has been popular and despised; and his extremely varied experiences have made him a wise man, as he demonstrates with statements like this one: "[W]hat we do is stay within the context of what's practical, what's real, what dreams can be fashioned into reality, what values can send us to bed comfortably and make us courageous enough to face our end with character."

Review:

'.. the rumblings of conscience he raises here will prick the memory long after the last page is turned' -- SUNDAY INDEPENDENT (DUBLIN)

'A beautifully written and often humorous book - Poitier's passionate struggle against adversity will be an inspiration for anyone' -- MANCHESTER METRO

'This remarkable book is not your conventional Hollywood biography... a very intimate account of a memorable life. A delight' -- SATURDAY TIMES (GLASGOW)

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2007. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. 147 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New. I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I ve suddenly come up with the answers to all life s questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in self-questing. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how well I ve done at measuring up to the values I myself have set. --Sidney Poitier In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure--as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor. Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. In the kind of place where I grew up, recalls Poitier, what s coming at you is the sound of the sea and the smell of the wind and momma s voice and the voice of your dad and the craziness of your brothers and sisters.and that s it. Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things, endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life. Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates to who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition. Here is Poitier s own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits--his own and the world s. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780061355431

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2007. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. 147 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New. I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I ve suddenly come up with the answers to all life s questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in self-questing. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how well I ve done at measuring up to the values I myself have set. --Sidney Poitier In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure--as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor. Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. In the kind of place where I grew up, recalls Poitier, what s coming at you is the sound of the sea and the smell of the wind and momma s voice and the voice of your dad and the craziness of your brothers and sisters.and that s it. Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things, endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life. Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates to who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition. Here is Poitier s own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits--his own and the world s. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780061355431

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2007. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. 147 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New. I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I ve suddenly come up with the answers to all life s questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in self-questing. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how well I ve done at measuring up to the values I myself have set. --Sidney Poitier In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure--as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor. Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. In the kind of place where I grew up, recalls Poitier, what s coming at you is the sound of the sea and the smell of the wind and momma s voice and the voice of your dad and the craziness of your brothers and sisters.and that s it. Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things, endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life. Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates to who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition. Here is Poitier s own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits--his own and the world s. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780061355431

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Book Description Compact Disc. Book Condition: New. 136mm x 20mm x 147mm. Compact Disc. "I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I've suddenly come up with the answers to all life's questions. Quite that contrary, I began this book as .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 7 pages. 0.181. Bookseller Inventory # 9780061355431

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