A nice book by Tracey Kidder

A nice book by Tracey Kidder

One of the first books I ever remember reading was A Soul of a New Machine by Kidder when was I about 12. Okay, I am sure I read Dick and Jane before that. It was given to me by my uncle who was one of the first people I was around who was very educated. He spent most of his life in the Military and they continued to educate him through a couple a masters and a phd.   Not bad for a boy from Fairhope.   His education and what he was accomplishing through it (all the way up to working with the Joint Chiefs) and the books he gave me inpired me that education was my ticket to opportunity.  Soul of a New Machine was about entreprenuers building something and I think it was one of the first books I shared with another young entreprenuer who came out from the South and lived in my home a bit while he got his Silicon Valley feed under him.
This new Kidder book, Strength in What Remains, took me back to overcoming something else I have always focused on overcoming.   The pain and hatred that comes from racism.

As I have mentioned before, I have seen it.  Although nothing like the blind hatred that stired the genocide that occurred in Burundi.  While the background of the hate was interesting, and his escape was fantastic, how this young man came to New York with nothing and made it happen through his own work and the caring of others what the core of the book.
One of the interesting learnings I had in the book was that it not clear that there really is any race difference between Hutu’s and Tutsi’s.    It was something created over time for political reasons and not based on any real differences.  It shows the distructive power of racism.  Even when there is no difference it came be used to create hate

About Ben T. Smith, IV

Founder of, investor in and advisor to technology and media companies
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