Felix presents a well-written, highly readable portrait of national security adviser Condoleezza "Condi" Rice. It's hard to resist the story of a black woman born in segregated Birmingham, Ala., in 1954, who broke down every barrier to excel in an arena dominated by white men. Felix (Laura: America's First Lady, First Mother) credits an extraordinary upbringing-parents wholly devoted to their only child's achievement through education and public service. Her father, John Rice, a Presbyterian minister and academic, was her primary role model, while her mother, a pianist and teacher, instilled in her a continuing love for piano playing. Felix explores the woman behind the powerful position: her diverse passions, from football to music, weight training to Russia; a fluent reader by age five and at 38 the first black, first woman and youngest person to become provost at Stanford University; the first woman national security adviser. Although Felix didn't interview Rice, this informative biography draws on a thorough list of secondary sources and on interviews with family, friends and colleagues. Because her media profile has risen dramatically since September 11 and there has been talk of her running for office in the future, those wanting to find out more about the most prominent woman in foreign policy today won't be disappointed with this thorough and engaging profile.