Book Review: Kamala’s Way by Dan Moran, Fountaindale Public Library

Kamala Devi Harris is sworn in as Vice President of the United States by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, history was made when Kamala Devi Harris was sworn in as Vice President of the United States. In doing so, she became the first woman, first African-American person, and first Asian American to hold the office.

Appropriately enough, she was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court. In a triumphant and telling moment on the world’s biggest stage, she was sworn in with two Bibles. One belonged to Regina Shelton, who was a family friend and viewed as a kind of surrogate mother to Kamala. This Bible meant a lot to Kamala as it was also used when she first took the oath of office as the California Attorney General and as a U.S. Senator. The second Bible belonged to the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American member of the Supreme Court, who was also a lifelong political role model to Kamala.

Book Review: Kamala’s Way by Dan Moran, Fountaindale Public LibraryDan Moran’s book, Kamala’s Way: An American Life, was published just eight days before this momentous occasion and historical event, on January 12.

The book examines some of the trials and tribulations Kamala faced in her life, as well as her triumphs. It also details the various roles she has taken in her life. We start with Kamala Devi Harris, being born on October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California and raised by a single mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who emigrated from India at the age of nineteen. Her mother was a cancer researcher who was no-nonsense and driven to obtain a better education. Kamala’s father, Donald J. Harris, was a Jamaican-born economics professor. Her parents divorced when she was seven.

Although her parents’ relationship didn’t last, their sense of social justice did. It was this that proved to be the defining trait as well as the biggest influence on a young Kamala. She grew up to be smart, quick-witted, tough and demanding. She also had an intense work ethic, strong attention to detail, and something that would define her for all her life. She had a knack and a talent for getting around doors that would usually be and normally were closed.

Book Review: Kamala’s Way by Dan Moran, Fountaindale Public Library

Kamala, or as she is known/nicknamed by her family “Momala,” is pictured with stepson Cole Emhoff, husband Douglas Emhoff, and stepdaughter Ella Emhoff.

You see the various roles she becomes as she navigates throughout her career, from humble beginnings to becoming an activist, from the fast-rising prosecutor to the shrewd strategist, from the risk-taker to the comeback queen. You also see the private life of Kamala Harris outside of the spotlight from becoming a Stepmother as well as the one taking care of those who make up her little-known but undeniably important members of her longtime and informal political family. All the while living by the philosophy and credo that was passed down and along by her mother: You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.

Kamala’s Way is available for checkout as a hardcover book in English and Spanish, an eBook and an eAudiobook. Find a copy now!