An Unplanned Life: A Memoir


Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
New Press
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.6 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Franklin A. Thomas's career spanned many civic roles, from assistant U.S. attorney to president and CEO of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. In 1979, he was named president of the Ford Foundation, where he served until 1996. The author of An Unplanned Life (The New Press), he lived in New York City until his death in 2021.


Praise for An Unplanned Life:
"[Thomas's] vision is of an inclusive America, in which every generation works to see that the promise of America includes 'more and more of its people, that the American identity be rooted in a person's willingness to commit to the ideal of America and to work toward its realization.' That viewpoint alone makes this book worth reading."
--The Washington Post

"Thomas achieved an historic sociopolitical impact within the Black community, the United States, and on an international level. . . . Thomas's extraordinary life, lived in service to community, equality, and basic human rights, will inspire readers to accept the mantle of bettering society."
--Library Journal (starred review)

"In a memoir that privileges the public over the private, Thomas imparts the political, cultural, and economic milieu from which he emerged and the world he indelibly shaped. . . . A vividly detailed record of significant accomplishments."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Thomas's narrative is written in exacting detail. . . . This portrait of selfless civic duty will encourage readers to think beyond the limits of their ambitions."
--Publishers Weekly

"Few people can provide a better window into the transformation of modern philanthropy than Frank Thomas. And in doing so, Frank provides us all with essential lessons in ethical leadership."
--Lee Bollinger, president, Columbia University

"An Unplanned Life is both a vivid memoir and a rich history of New York--and America--at a critical turning point."
--Sharon Rockefeller, president and CEO, WETA

"Frank Thomas blazed a path like no other--through government, philanthropy, and civic life. This brilliant memoir perfectly captures the man whose impact on our lives is still felt today."
--Indra Nooyi, former chair and CEO, PepsiCo