The definitive Condoleezza Rice memoir, “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family” was released this week, giving eloquent insight into the life and times of the Bush-era Secretary of State. Find out more, and see photos and videos of the former politician below!

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By far the most powerful African-American woman in the history of the Executive branch of the United States, her book covers everything from her racially charged upbringing, to the political environment of the late 90’s. Despite the negative press Bush received toward the end of his Presidency, the former Secretary of State says she relishes the memory of her time served.

“I look back on those eight years fondly,” she says. “I’m glad I got to serve in a time of tremendous consequence. We did some things well. Some things not so well. But I’m a big believer that history has a long arc. We’ll have final determination on things we did long after I’m gone. And that’s fine.”

But the Condoleezza Rice memoir is not merely about her time in the White House. Originally setting out to write her auto-biography, she says she had to change gears when she realized she couldn’t tell her own story without talking about the lives of her parents. “People often ask me, ‘How did you get to be who you are?’ And I always say, ‘You had to know my parents.”

The Stanford graduate describes her life growing up in a segregated society, and explains the influences her parents had on her childhood. But it wasn’t all bad, she says, admitting her fast track to Stanford was the result of an over-compensating affirmative-action law.

“I cannot re-create myself as a white male and see how far I would have gotten,” she says. “But I always felt I was taking on things I was plausibly prepared for. And it was a good thing that these institutions were reaching out to other channels to find people who were prepared. What I don’t favor is ‘We need 25% of this and 10% of that.’ Quotas will lead to bad things. Affirmative action should be access to opportunity, not outcome.”

While she is proud to have served time in the White House, the former Secretary of State says she is glad to be done with the high-pressure job. When news breaks, she no longer has to do anything about it. Now, her involvement in politics is limited, occasionally giving advice to Hillary Clinton when called upon.

An accomplished pianist and improving golfer, some wonder if the Condoleezza Rice memoir effectively closes the book on the Stanford graduate’s accomplished political career. Were you a fan of the Bush-era Secretary of State? Let me know in the comment section! And check out the pictures and video of her below!

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Photos: Hugh Dillon, Carrie Devorah, Apega