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QUOTES & REVIEWS

The Praise for Power Concedes Nothing by Connie Rice:

“A powerful new memoir from a prominent attorney for America's disenfranchised."
"A rallying cry for social justice leaps off the pages of this fierce memoir from Rice, a crusading attorney for America's disenfranchised (and, yes, a cousin of Condoleezza). With a caustic tongue and a quixotic passion for upending intractable bureaucracies, she has braved the battlegrounds of Los Angeles's unforgiving gang subculture as well as its scandal-prone police department, jump-starting a hopeful new era for both through hard-won trials and landmark reforms. What's most remarkable about Rice, though, is her dry-eyed idealism, her contention that her work is not done ‘until every child from Harlem, East L.A., or Looxahoma, Mississippi, no longer faces the likelihood of living unhealthy, ignorant, and poor.’ Could one expect anything less from a lawyer who named her cat Jaws?”
— More Magazine


“Rice, a civil rights lawyer (and cousin of Condoleezza) describes her strange and remarkable journey from prosecuting important civil rights cases and suing the LAPD for civil rights violations to allying with ‘good cops’ to fight rampant violence in neighborhoods where ‘guns and gangs ruled, not civil rights.’ She is surprisingly open and insightful about herself as well as about the workings of the virtually impregnable institutions she challenges. The most interesting part of her account, and the most visceral and difficult to read, is the inner workings of L.A. gangs: Rice describes shocking details of violence, abuse, and dysfunction. Her descriptions of the intransigence and institutional flaws of the LAPD are almost equally disheartening. There are flashes of progress to be optimistic about, and Rice’s own powerful voice when attacking the myriad problems that poverty and neglect cause for children, cities, and the nation. Readers will be appalled by the evils Rice fights, but astounded by the energy and intelligence she brings to the battle.”
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)


“Civil rights attorney Rice makes a comparison between LA street gangs and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, raising the question, how do you provide security amidst despair? How do you provide safety for people with no hope? She recalls that in her career spent fighting the LAPD and sheriff department on behalf of the poor and minorities, Rice formed alliances with street gangs to address those questions. Drawing on her experience working with gangs, she served on the L.A. city council commission on gangs and helped change the city’s law enforcement and outreach to gangs. Rice parallels the threat of gang violence and the threat of bad schools that lead to diminished opportunities and vulnerability to gang recruitment. She intersperses her career as a civil-rights litigator with personal recollections of growing up a military brat and black American princess, the daughter of an air force general bent on breaking down racial barriers and providing broader opportunities for his children. This powerful memoir offers vivid accounts of the fight for social justice from the streets to the courtroom. An excellent read.”
— Booklist

"Writing with conviction, Connie Rice’s narrative vividly portrays her life’s work and her unyielding commitment to our shared family values— the power of education, a dedication to improving the lives of others and a belief that it does not matter where you came from; it matters where you are going."
— Condoleezza Rice

“Connie Rice’s engrossing memoir, Power Concedes Nothing, is a story of a life dedicated to creating positive and lasting change in two of the most significant issues facing our society, civil rights and gang violence. Gandhi once said, to create change, you must become the change. There is nobody in America today who has brought so much positive change to these two issues than Connie. Her story is one of hope and optimism where so many others saw only despair and pessimism. Anyone who cares about democracy and its true potential needs to read this book.”
—William J. Bratton, former chief of police for the Los Angeles Police Department and former New York City police commissioner

“Connie Rice is one of the few great progressive figures and voices whose love of poor people is visceral and whose commitment to justice is unstoppable. Don’t miss this powerful story of a grand prophetic witness!”
—Cornel West, Princeton University

“Essential reading for civic leaders, soldiers, and statesmen alike. One of our most thoughtful and dynamic leaders lays out how a holistic approach is required to address some of our nation’s most complex problems.”
—General Stanley A. McChrystal, retired

“Connie Rice is the most brilliant legal mind I’ve encountered in my twenty-year broadcast history. I hang on her every word.”
—Tavis Smiley

"Connie Rice, a Los Angeles civil rights attorney, writes about their plight in a powerful new book, “Power Concedes Nothing: One Woman’s Quest for Social Justice in America, From the Courtroom to the Kill Zones.” She tells the story of how she and her colleagues have worked to free poor neighborhoods of the evils of gang killings, police brutality, poorly run schools and bad health. They are doing it in a civil rights organization with a hands-on approach called the Advancement Project."
—Bill Boyarsky
 

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