The Measure of a Man

  • by Sidney Poitier
  • Narrated by Sidney Poitier
  • 8 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An Oprah Winfrey Book Club selection.
In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure: as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor. Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world. Without television, radio, and material distractions to obscure what matters most, he could enjoy the simple things, endure the long commitments, and find true meaning in his life.
Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Just a few years after his introduction to indoor plumbing and the automobile, Poitier broke racial barrier after racial barrier to launch a pioneering acting career. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition.
Here is Poitier's own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, price and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man in the face of limits - his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier.


What the Critics Say

Audio Publishers Association 2001 Award Winner, Nonfiction, Unabridged
Grammy Winner, Best Spoken Word Album, 2001
"Moving...Poitier writes with vivid emotion about [past] clashes and brings them blazingly alive." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


A boring and pretentious book. The saving grace is that it is read by Sidney Poitier himself. Any other narrator and I probably would have switched it off. If I had had to read it, I would have given up long before the end. Buy something else.
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- Amazon Customer

Slow and a good sedative!

I was interested in the book as Oprah had raved about it, I like to listen to them in the car, but not this one as his voice would put me to sleep. Towards the middle end of the book, his recounts of the movie era are interesting but I would say it was disappointing.
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- Nancy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 26-01-2007
  • Publisher: HarperAudio