Madame President (Hardcover)

The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

By Helene Cooper

Simon & Schuster, 9781451697353, 336pp.

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

BEST BOOKS of 2017 SELECTION by * THE WASHINGTON POST * NEW YORK POST *

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.


About the Author

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, and Madame President, a biography of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and lives in the Washington, DC area.


Praise For Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

PRAISE FOR MADAME PRESIDENT

"Madame President is more than the life story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who broke political and cultural barriers in becoming the first woman to be elected president of an African nation. It is the expansive and penetrating narrative of a country, Liberia, that sweeps across continents and time...It moves swiftly through decades, eventually addressing the Ebola crisis that became the nadir of Sirleaf’s two terms in office...[Cooper] writes vividly and with authority...her book is impressive for both its detail and the insight it provides into a historic figure. Throughout, she offers an unflinching look at the reserved Sirleaf’s personal life and presidency, which comes to an end this year, while also telling of Liberia’s pain and pride."
--Washington Post 

"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 

“Unspools like a novel, fitting for a life that is nothing short of mythic…It's filled with details that emerge from dogged reporting as well as an intimate understanding of Liberia's complexity and culture, which perhaps could come only from being a native daughter…Cooper's prose, witty, blunt and peppered with the Pidgin English spoken by the peoples of Liberia, immerses the reader in the fabric of that small, West African country…Madame President is a fascinating read to enlighten those who may know little about this woman and the nation she leads, and who will undoubtedly be left wanting to know much more.”
--USA Today (3.5 stars)

“A tour-de-force biography...a colorful and compelling portrait.”
--Essence 

"A riveting tale of civil war, political corruption, and personal ambition. Like her memoir, The House at Sugar Beach, this biography delves into Liberia’s modern-day travails. 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

"A celebratory biography of Africa's first female president and 2011 Nobel Prize winner...a woman of spectacular political achievement...A brisk chronicle of a strong-willed, tireless, and determined leader."
--Kirkus Reviews

“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. Recommended for readers who enjoy biographies of world leaders and African history.”
--Library Journal
 
“Cooper frankly describes Sirleaf's support for Taylor, her nepotism and other failings as president, while sympathetically laying out what she considers to be Sirleaf's extenuating circumstances. She regards Sirleaf as a flawed but still heroic figure, and though her view is persuasive, she also makes it possible for readers to develop their own opinions. Madame President is a valuable addition to the history of an iconic world leader.”
--Shelf Awareness

"An accessible and valuable portrait of one of the most dynamic women on the world stage."
--Booklist

"With compassion, a depth of research and stunning detail, Helene Cooper tells the riveting story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected woman head of state on the African continent, who survived war and coup to lead Liberia through the Ebola crisis and who won a Nobel Peace Prize. '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