The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

Kobo ebook | October 13, 2009

bySidney Poitier

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"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 the contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in selfquestioning. 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."

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 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 selfworth 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 who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition.

Here, finally, is Poitier's own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity, What emerges is a picture of a man seeking truth, passion, and balance 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.

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From the Publisher

"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 the contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in selfquestioning. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked back at a long and complicated life, with many twists and turns, how w...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 13, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061747483

ISBN - 13:9780061747489

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Biography of Sidney Poitier. A good read of his life and his thoughts. Things that we should do in our life
Date published: 2014-02-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Paperback poorly edited Mr. Poitier is a good story teller. But my copy was the worst edited book I've read in a long time. There were sentences and paragraphs that repeated themselves. The book started off with some great stories, and I was interested to read more, but I got the impression that the end of the book was rushed. The later chapters did not have the same heart as the first ones.
Date published: 2008-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Measure Of A Man This book outlines the humble beginings of Sidney Poitiers life and shows what one can achieve by perseverance and strength of character. What we learn when we are growing up is truly the "measure "which determines who we will be when we mature . Sidney Poitier the successful actor, the successful man is what he is today because of all that he learnt when he was growing up. That brings such a positive outlook for the younger generations. That is truly the embodiment of the "Secret". We do not have to be weighed down by a past that was filled with poverty and hard work.We can go ahead in life and turn it around by what we have learnt from that heavy past! The positive note in this book outcries everything else for me. I also love the way Mr Poitier has analyzed every little detail fro his past and measured it up to where it has helped him to be the man he has turned out to be. We can all write autobiographies about our lives but Mr Poitier has also given a message. I loved it
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mediocre memoirs of a good man These memoirs will be of interest to devout fans of Sidney Poitier. The author is a brilliant story teller. However, at times the memoirs are of a man at times in awe of himself, and a little more modesty would have made for a better story. Expecting a memoir of what Mr. Poitier thinks a man should be, I became bored towards the second half of the book reading about how great the author feels he measures.
Date published: 2007-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from EVERY WORD PULLS YOU IN... WRITTEN WITH A LOT OF CHARACTER AND POISE. IT WAS GREAT, COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN
Date published: 2007-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written When I first bought this book i was hesitant to read it, just because I was scared with was going to be just like every other book by a celebrity. IT WAS NOT EVEN CLOSE!!! This has to be one of the most beautiful books ever written.
Date published: 2007-02-08