galleryCondoleezza Rice10.11.10galleryCondoleezza RiceFormer Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s new memoir is a fascinating look into her childhood and reveals a much misunderstood woman, says bestselling author Stephen Carter.10.11.10 1:21 PM ET"I spent the first three years of my life living with my parents in a small apartment in the back of Westminster Presbyterian, my father’s church.""I started to play the piano at 3. The little organ pictured here didn’t have enough keys in the bass, so after I learned “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” my parents found the money one day to rent a real piano. I began to play at recitals throughout the city. Here I am playing for the new teacher’s conference. I still don’t understand my mother’s decision to have me wear that fuzzy white hat.""Here I am standing outside the White House during a family trip to D.C. My father said that I proclaimed, “I will work in there some day.” I don’t remember saying that, but my parents did have me convinced that even if I couldn’t have a hamburger at Woolworth’s lunch counter, I could grow up to be president of the United States.""My school was selected to participate in the city’s first integrated book fair at the Tutwiler Hotel. Here I am displaying my reading project. Mrs. Green, our teacher, was very proud to say that our presentations were far superior to the 'shabby' ones of the white kids."Courtesy of St. Mary's Academy, 1969-1970 Yearbook"The rigorous academics at St. Mary’s Academy prepared me well for college. Life also revolved around trying to attract the boys at our brother schools, Mullen Prep and Regis High. Plaid skirts, bobby socks, and saddle shoes were part of the uniform. ""I received my Ph.D. in August 1981 with a job offer from Stanford in hand. That morning, Daddy gave me a set of classic books that Granddaddy Rice had purchased during the Great Depression, despite his modest means. It remains one of the proudest moments of my life."George Bush Presidential Library and Museum"I first flew aboard Air Force One while working for President George H.W. Bush. Here is my maiden voyage in April 1989 on the way to the president’s historic speech in Hamtramck, Michigan, welcoming revolutionary events in Poland."Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff"I first met Gen. Colin Powell while I was working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He was serving as deputy national security adviser for President Reagan, and this first meeting gave rise to a friendship that I value to this day. "George Bush Presidential Library and Museum"After returning to Stanford, I provided on-air commentary for ABC News about Soviet affairs. I was pleased to learn that the president, pictured here at Kennebunkport, was still interested in my advice. "George Bush Presidential Library and Museum"Here I am greeting Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during the 1990 Washington Summit. Gorbachev was losing control of the revolution he had unleashed; the Soviet Union would cease to exist less than 18 months after this picture was taken.""President Bush successfully led the United States and its allies through the uncharted territory of ending the Cold War. He and Mrs. Barbara Bush have been wonderful mentors and friends. Here we enjoy a common love of tennis while vacationing at his summer home in Maine. "Mai, Time Life Pictures / Getty ImagesPresident George W. Bush discusses the latest developments in China with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in the Oval Office of the White House, 2001.Getty ImagesNational Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice listens to President George W. Bush speak on global climate change in a Rose Garden of the White House 11 June 2001. Brendan Smialowski / Getty ImagesNational Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice briefs media at the White House January 9, 2004.Pablo Martinez Monsivias, AFP / Getty ImagesU.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in the Oval Office of the White House, May 2002.Charles Ommanney / Getty ImagesCondoleezza Rice walks alongside President George W. Bush on his ranch August 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas.Frederic J. Brown, AFP / Getty ImagesU.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice waves on arrival in Beijing, 20 October 2006 from Seoul, where she said a day earlier that North Korea must abandon all nuclear weapons after testing an atom bomb, but stressed that the door for negotiation was still open.