Nationally syndicated columnist and prolific author Walter E. Williams recalls some of the highlights and turning points of his life. From his lower middle class beginnings in a mixed but predominantly black neighborhood in West Philadelphia to his department chair at George Mason University, Williams tells an “only in America” story of a life of achievement.

Williams describes the influences of his early years—such as the teachers who demanded his best efforts and made no excuses for him—and tells how his two years in the army became an important part of his maturation process, despite the racism he encountered. He recounts his early time getting established in Los Angeles—getting his BA, going on to grad school at UCLA, and beginning his teaching career. And he tells how his subsequent move to the Urban Institute in Washington opened his eyes to how decisions are really made in DC.

When he recounts ultimately accepting his professorship appointment at George Mason University, the author marvels that “I never thought I’d be working there thirty years later.” And throughout the book, Willams refers to the immeasurable contribution of his wife of 48 years, who shared his vision through hard work and love.


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