Customer Reviews for

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Excellent reading

Should be read by all - young and old.

posted by hearyehearye on May 7, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Measure of a Man

¶ The Measure of a Man, by Sidney Poitier, is an interesting autobiography about his life growing up as an African-American in a world of prejudice. He doesn't experience racism until he moves to Nassau as a boy, and soon learns that he's on the bottom of the food chain...
¶ The Measure of a Man, by Sidney Poitier, is an interesting autobiography about his life growing up as an African-American in a world of prejudice. He doesn't experience racism until he moves to Nassau as a boy, and soon learns that he's on the bottom of the food chain. In order to work his way up, he must leave the Bahamas and move to the U.S and find work.
¶ In the U.S, Sidney soon learns that it is also difficult for people like him to find wealth, so he eventually finds a Negro acting guild. He eventually talks to the right agents, and finds himself a few plays.
¶ To be completely honest, this book just didn't capture my attention the whole way through. It was was awfully slow for me, and was a nonstop bore for many,many pages. I love the authors tone of writing, and the story of his life, but it didn't have much of a climax. This is only my opinion, so i still recommend the book to readers interested in Sidney Poitier and his life story.

posted by 878150 on January 22, 2009

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Good story of Sidney Poitier's life--pretty remarkable --he had to have stamina and talent and a whole lot more to get from where he was to where he is--an interesting journey

    Always admiring Mr. Poitier, I picked this up as an Audio Book. Sidney Poitier read the book himself, so you get a better sense. Had he not been a long time actor, we might have gotten a better feel--he has learned to modulate his voice and inflectons to suit his will. This makes the book real and interesting, but there are no blips to "read behind the scenes" what he's "really" like. Being a successful long time actor, I would have expected him to read well and he did.

    This book chronicled his life from early childhood hardscrabble in the Bahamas on a remote island, thru moving to Nasseau, Miami, then New York and Hollywood. He started in abject poverty and he worked his way up--it was not an easy climb and you know without him telling a single shred of detail--that he grew up with extreme prejudice--that was the era in the US--he started acting in the mid-fifties. It's remarkable what he's achieved. His acting career started out as no more of a fluke than him washing dishes in New York.

    The book is a slow read--in that Sidney's voice is slow and modulated--lovely--but still a bit slow. The last chapter or the last CD is the slowest--I kept wanting to take it out, but thougth I might miss something key. It was an interesting story, well told, and I got a sense of who this man was, and how he was shaped to become the man he did. I really respect this man's achievements, and knowing what this might have taken behind the scenes. Now that I've listened to the book, I have a much clearer picture of the man.

    This is portrayed as a spiritual book, and that I did not see. It did not seem to be a spiritual book, but one of a man explaining how he came to be who he was, and also with a bit of introspection.

    Buy it as an audio.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    Excellent reading

    Should be read by all - young and old.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Good Reads

    I am a big Fan of Mr. Sidney Poitier and it was really great to read his quest to fame.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting read

    I enjoyed this book. I could literally hear Mr. Poitier's voice as I read it, and couldn't put the book down. First of all, I read it since Oprah recommended it. It just had to be good! And I was able to use the library, so I didn't have to commit to buying it! I have since "talked it up" to anyone who asks about it, so much so, that my mother-in-law has just put in a request to have me locate a large print version for her so she can keep it forever. (Yes, my word is golden). For some, I'm sure this book will not touch them as it did me, but my first "feel" for this man was watching him with my favorite actress, Katharine Hepburn, and from then on, he was a draw. This book gives a deeper "measure" of who Mr. Poitier is in the first person.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    The Measure of a Man

    ¶ The Measure of a Man, by Sidney Poitier, is an interesting autobiography about his life growing up as an African-American in a world of prejudice. He doesn't experience racism until he moves to Nassau as a boy, and soon learns that he's on the bottom of the food chain. In order to work his way up, he must leave the Bahamas and move to the U.S and find work.<BR/>¶ In the U.S, Sidney soon learns that it is also difficult for people like him to find wealth, so he eventually finds a Negro acting guild. He eventually talks to the right agents, and finds himself a few plays. <BR/>¶ To be completely honest, this book just didn't capture my attention the whole way through. It was was awfully slow for me, and was a nonstop bore for many,many pages. I love the authors tone of writing, and the story of his life, but it didn't have much of a climax. This is only my opinion, so i still recommend the book to readers interested in Sidney Poitier and his life story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 1, 2014

    I have given this book as gifts to young friend going off to col

    I have given this book as gifts to young friend going off to college, new husbands and new fathers. This book is a story of character; how it is sourced, how it is built and how it is lived. It should be required reading for all high school males. It could serve as a good partial remedy to the poor character standards that seem all too common today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    One of my favorite books ever!

    Simply one of the most candid and revealing autobiographies ever written. I own an original hard cover edition and it is one of my most treasured possesions. I learned so much about this remarkable man. His secret love affair with Diahann Carroll made me swoon! Its a love affair that deserves its own book or movie alone. Sidney Poitier captured me with his story. I'm a fan for life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    The book would have been a five star if he had not used one very

    The book would have been a five star if he had not used one very offensive word all through the book. I have always liked his movies and admired him as a person. I will still watch his movies.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Awesome Book!!

    Wonderful depiction and story of how he so humbly carries himself with such dignity and a sense of humility. Reading Sidneys' story help me to see appreciation and faith through a new lense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Spiritual

    READ

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  • Posted February 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    you must check it out!!

    I Loved this Book.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Wonderful treatment of a worthwhile subject

    Breaking through all sorts of barriers, Poitier was the first black actor to win the Academy Award. The Measure of a Man sheds light on the much admired man who was born into poverty and emerged with a grace and dignity not often seen in Hollywood or among those who "make it."
    In reading this autobiography, his tone and style are easy and pleasant. Well worth reading and might I suggest as a gift for young people struggling with their own trials and challenges?

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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    Beautiful Book!

    I loved this book! Everyone should read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    I LOVE this honest book

    Since I was a boy, there was something about Sidney Poitier, a class, a real person of honor, that, when I didn't know what honor meant, drew me to him. I was too young to understand all of his movies, but, his presence, his demeanor was magnetic even to me as a young boy. And now an adult, the admiration of his words, the courage to make challenging movies of his kind at an unfriendly time, cause me to pause and wonder what kind of man could he have been to not only be bold enough to say and do what could not and would not be said and done, but to win the confidense of others to invest so much into this young black man of distinction? A man of powerful and exotic presence. I love the honesty of this book. I love that he is a real person speaking in a language that is real to him, and making his advice more real and more sincere in my heart. His point drives home for many men and women today attempting to wake up in the world day today and find the encouragement to dream, chase those dreams or even to just get out of bed and live. Sidney Poitier's measure of a man should be an example for us all to find some honorable way to measure ourselves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A reviewer

    The main conflict in the Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier is that Poitier had a hard time trying to find a job as an actor. But, before Poitier was trying to find a job owned his own business called the Rib Joint. And then one day he went down to an audition for a big part in a play and became the understudy for the part. The night of the opening the original person to play the part got sick and couldn¿t make it so Poitier had to fill in and lucky for him there was a BIG time casting director in the audience who loved him and Poitier got himself an audition on a movie called ¿Guess Who¿s Coming to Dinner¿ and he got the leading role. I really did like this book because of two reasons. The first reason is because I like the way he wrote the in the language that I can understand. And it also helps me go by his methods how he became an actor. My second reason was because his book is in Oprah¿s Book Club and if Oprah likes the book then I like the book. But really this book is amazing and everybody should read it because theirs a surprise twist.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    Steadfastly Sidney!

    As the consummate Actor, Mr. Poitier's body of work has always been passionate, elegant and thought-provoking. As a writer, he has made no exception with this book. What a gift to us! I must say that it was particularly enjoyable to hear him read his book to me via the audio book CD! No one could have read it better! Thank you, Sidney!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    In my world spiritual people do not use such filthy language.

    Always enjoyed Mr. Poitier's movies and hearing him speak. He has always used elegant and articulate language without the use of filthy vocabulary. I was very disappointed to know in real life he uses such a nasty word. It became so offensive I was unable to finish. The book had great potential but oh so disappointing!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2007

    Mr. Poitier deserves it all!

    In her attempt to erase the memory of the disgraced James Frey, then Oprah Winfrey couldn't have made a better pick for her book club than a memoir by Sidney Poitier. Winfrey ended a year-long hiatus in her club by announcing Friday that she had chosen 'The Measure of a Man,' a spiritual autobiography by one of Hollywood's most admired actors - for whom the word 'dignified'. I am rather ashamed to admit as a young black Haitian-American living in FL that I knew very very very little about Sir Sidney Poitier. I toroughly enjoyed his candid despiction of his boyhood (as he so passionately refers to it), his family, relationships and his extraordinary career. I think O. Winfrey says it best: 'It (the book) really is about what makes character, what makes you be who you are. He is the measure of one of the greatest men I think who has ever been on our planet.' It took me awhile to get to this book even after Oprah had made it her first book after resuming the O Book Club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2007

    Uplifting Spiritual Memoir

    In this memoir, the respected actor Sidney Poitier who broke down many barriers in his life reflects on his life and career from the perspective of integrity. He asks whether he has upheld personal values and this introspection and reflection forms 'The Measure of A Man.' He measures himself in different roles, not just his public life as an actor but in his private life as a husband and father. Ultimately, he assesses himself as a man. Poitier credits his upbringing on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for infusing in him his moral values. Poitier offers a wonderful description of his childhood there: 'In the kind of place where I grew up. 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.' It was a quiet, simple life that allowed him to develop his character. His character informed the positive roles he would play as an actor. Poitier explores many important themes in THE MEASURE OF A MAN, including the importance of commitment, humility and forgiveness. He also points out the difficulties he went through in keeping artistic integrity. The final portrayal is of a man both with limits and possibilities. His humility comes through this memoir and he makes it clear the intent of his autobiography: '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 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.' Poitier offers many insights through this reflective look at his life and career.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2007

    Enjoy learning little-known facts of a famous man and find your spirit up-lifted.

    Mr. Poitier writes in an appealing manner that held my attention and moved me on the way to an early passage where he gives his reasons why he declined a certain role at a critical, early point in his career. After his comments about the refusal - and the affects on his temporary agent, a Hollywood insider, I was glued to the book convinced I held in my hands a rare book of spirituality and humility. This promise was well kept in the remaining text. This book did not leave me feeling ho-hum or cynical about the human condition. Nor did pretend to have people's answers to deep religious issues. It left me feeling good about being a human, without pandering to my sense of self righteousness.

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