Cover image for From rage to reason : my life in two Americas
From rage to reason : my life in two Americas
Cohen, Janet Langhart, 1941-
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Dafina Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
x, 310 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4874.C64 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN4874.C64 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
PN4874.C64 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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From her humble beginning in the projects to her life as a respected journalist and the wildly popular "First Lady" of the Pentagon, Cohen shares her candid and inspiring autobiography, explaining how she used her anger over racism to fuel positive change.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Cohen describes two Americas in her remarkable memoir. One is that of a poor black girl growing up in the projects in Indianapolis and reaching womanhood in the racially turbulent 1960s. The other America is that of the wife of a powerful white Republican former secretary of defense. Between those poles, Cohen was a fashion model and television journalist, taking full advantage of the opportunities that were only beginning to open for blacks. Along the way, she is encouraged, counseled, and advised by black leaders, entertainers, and sports stars, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Muhammad Ali, as she struggles against racial limitations and fights to control a rage at those limitations. Facing the challenges of an interracial marriage in powerful circles, and the demands of being First Lady of the Pentagon, Cohen finds renewed strength in her faith in the nation's ability to overcome its troubled racial history but also brings a clear-eyed perspective on the work that remains to be done. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The opening line in Langhart Cohen's reflective autobiography reveals the core of her struggle as an ambitious girl from Indianapolis in the 1940s: "You're pretty for a colored girl," a young playmate told her. It was one of Langhart Cohen's first lessons in racism and certainly wasn't her last. Although her mother attempted to instill self-esteem in her daughter, Langhart Cohen faced numerous struggles, including poverty and estrangement from her father. She recounts anecdote after anecdote illustrating how she beat the odds. There was the time she visited a charm school with hopes of acquiring the polish needed to pursue a modeling career; the instructor told her that engaging in such a course would be futile because she'd never employ the skills she acquired. Triumph was sweet when Langhart Cohen was invited to model for Marshall Field & Company department store and got to participate in the Ebony Fashion Fair, a touring company of models. Langhart Cohen's grace and style helped later, too, when she was introduced to and formed friendships with Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, and greeted American troops in Bosnia alongside her husband, Clinton's secretary of defense, Bill Cohen. The author vividly recounts an exciting journalism career, recalling her interviews with Rosa Parks, David Duke and Arnold Schwarzenegger (who, she asserts, had her fired from Entertainment Tonight for asking about claims that his father was a Nazi). Langhart Cohen's engaging account takes readers on a journey beginning with the hate that hate produced and ending with pride and love for her country. Agent, Mel Berger. (May) Forecast: A marketing blitz including TV, radio and print publicity, trade ads, and a campaign targeting African-American reading groups will kick things off for Langhart Cohen. The book carries blurbs from Tom Brokaw, Ken Burns, Richard North Patterson and Jack Valenti. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved