Autobiographies equals boring? Maybe not after all… The measure of a man by Sidney Poitier

Reading autobiographies is not really that much fun because it does not easily “transport” you into the “magical world”. So I use to not care much about reading autobiographies until I picked up Sidney Poitier’s The Measure of a Man. It was cleverly written as it does not come across as your typical autobiography but more like a life-changing inspirational and yet spiritual story.

You can feel every emotion in every sentence Poitier portrays to us. He bares his soul to the world in this autobiography. He takes us on a journey from his childhood (growing up on Cat Island in the Bahamas) to adulthood (moving to the States and becoming a legendary actor), what made him the Sidney Poitier he is today. He tells it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, leaving no stone unturned. It shows Poitier’s own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifices and commitment, the price he paid for artistic integrity and humility and rage and racism in Hollywood and from the media he endured through his journey of life.  His book is actually a testament that shows that one must be true to oneself through all circumstances.

A few of my favourite quotes in The Measure of a Man:

“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.”

“Forgiveness works two ways, in most instances. People have to forgive themselves too. The powerful have to forgive themselves for their behavior. That should be a sacred process.”

“I am the me I choose to be.”

The Measure of a Man can only but make you feel humble and inspired after reading it. And if I should rate it? Well, I would give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Image source here


4 thoughts on “Autobiographies equals boring? Maybe not after all… The measure of a man by Sidney Poitier

  1. Pingback: Book Reviews {Moving} « My Life in Rouge

  2. “I am the me I choose to be” – A simple, yet very inspiring quote. So many people tend to conform to what they think others would approve of.

  3. This is on my list of books I want to read! I’m glad to hear it’s a good one! I actually think that there are many biographical books out there that are enjoyable, it’s just about finding the right ones! For instance, I thought I would dread reading one of Maya Angelou’s biographies (because she wrote a million of them) but she’s actually led a very interesting life (surprise to me!).

  4. @Rebecca, I totally agree with you. I have read Richard Branson’s “Screw it, Let’s do it.” It’s not so much an autobiography but more on his own lessons he applied in his life to his business and personal life. And it was very interesting. I will blog a review on it. I will definitely give one of Maya Angelou’s biographies a go 🙂

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