Monday, December 30, 2013

My Beloved World - Sonia Sotomayor

In general, I am fascinated by the memoirs/biographies of Supreme Court Justices - it's such an incredible accomplishment to be named to the Court and the work ethic of each justice, even the ones I don't agree with politically, is bound to inspire.  Sotomayor's book chronicles her life up to her Supreme Court nomination, so does not include details about the intricacies of the Court, which probably wouldn't be appropriate so early in her tenure.  This is amazing story of a Latina growing up on the wrong side of the tracks with distractions all around her and no expectation of her amazing achievements.  At times, I was a little disappointed in her writing style - it seemed a bit too sensational, and her portrayal of herself as a naive girl from a small town in the shadow of the Ivy League towers was a bit incredible at times.  While I have no doubt that going to college was an incredible culture shock, some of her "humble-brags" were a bit annoying.  That being said, I loved this book for the consistent examples Sotomayor noted of her benefactors and mentors.  She contrasted the sacrifices made by her mother for her education, with the opportunities provided to her cousins.  It made clear that so much goes in to achieving this level of success- it is not simply luck, or affirmative action, or whatever excuse people want to give for discounting her incredibly hard work - or denying the opportunities they themselves are given every day, but may or may not take full advantage of.  Sotomayor is an absolute role model and inspiration - not just for minority girls growing up in New York, but for all of us who strive to be better and who are constantly evaluating what it takes not just to be a great person, but to also be a good one.

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