January 26, 2019 · 7:28 pm
Realism. This is the word that summarizes why the film Roma is so great. It perfectly reflects the realism of Mexico’s class system. The indigenous people are at the bottom of the society, while light-skinned people who associate themselves with Europeans rule the land.
I well remember the servants I saw in Mexico. They were from the lower rungs of the ladder. One of my relatives was extremely poor and barely had the funds to survive. But somehow she always found some change in her purse. It was enough to hire neighboring ladies to do some house work; washing dishes or laundering or ironing clothes. The ladies would be extremely grateful as the change they earned might provide their family with food for a day.
Roma shows prosperous Americans what the life of an indigenous maid in Mexico is like. It also displays the role of politics in every Mexican’s life and how they react to and handle the current political situation. And, sometimes disturbingly, it shows the violence in the country that is never displayed on U.S. news programs.
In one situation, Roma shows how everyone helps in an emergency. The point is well made that we are all dependent upon each other as human beings, regardless of social status.
Roma is surprisingly good. I believe it has a solid chance to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. If it does it will break the glass ceiling in unique fashion and serve as a meaningful tribute to the lives of proud, striving and hardworking people.
Alejandro Reyes is a former production line supervisor for Procter and Gamble. Educated in Stockton, California, he is enjoying retirement in sunny southern California.
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Tagged as 2018 films, 2019 Academy Awards, Alejandro Reyes, Alfonso Cuaron, Best Director, best films, Best Picture, California, Chicago Film Critics Association, class system, discrimination, indigenous people, Joseph's Reviews, Mexico, movie review, poverty, realism, realistic films, recommended films, Roma, servants, Stockton, the Academy Awards, violence
September 17, 2013 · 3:00 pm
The Pitcher: A Novel by William Hazelgrove (Koehlerbooks, $15.95, 241 pages)
“I had a friend who was a big baseball player back in high school/ He could through that speedball by you/ Make you look like a fool, boy…/ Glory days, they’ll pass you by….” Bruce Springsteen, “Glory Days”
The Pitcher is Jack Langford, a 25-year major league baseball veteran, whose existence consists of watching games on television in his garage and drinking Good Times beer. Ricky, who lives across the street from Jack, is an aspiring pitcher on the cusp of high school with much more arm than control. Ricky’s mother is a noble soul, trying to raise her son and advance his future in the midst of racism, poverty, and violence.
The writing flows smoothly, the characters are interesting, and the story itself is intriguing. The Pitcher is clearly an enjoyable read, particularly well suited for young adult males. Its only detractors are those baseball purists who like everything in their baseball literature to 100% accurately reflect the game down to the smallest minutiae. From strictly a baseball standpoint, there are some technical inaccuracies (e.g., when Jack finally agrees to give lessons to Ricky and help him make the team, they are nothing like what pitching lessons would actually consist of). There are some others as well, such as description of the interactions between umpires and coaches, coaches and players, etc. However, this is fiction, and in all fiction one must be willing to suspend disbelief. If the baseball fanatic can get past some of that, there is much for them to enjoy here. The story will bring back feelings like hope or joy or disappointment for those who once played the game.
The premise of The Pitcher is strong. This reviewer cannot help but speculate how the major issues dealt with in the book (racism, immigration reform, how to live when one’s dreams seem to be over, domestic violence, access to health care, etc.) would have translated to a larger audience if not confined to a first-person telling by Ricky, whose 8th grade maturity level and vocabulary do not always do them justice.
All of that being said, The Pitcher is a worthy rendering of the age old theme of a boy, a ball, and a dream.
A review copy was provided by the author. Dave Moyer is an education administrator and a former college baseball player. He is also the author of Life and Life Only, a novel about baseball and Bob Dylan.
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Tagged as a novel, baseball story, Bill Hazelgrove, book review, book review site, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Moyer, dreams, fiction, Glory Days, Jack Langford, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Koehler Books, Life and Life Only, major league baseball, Nook Book, popular fiction, poverty, racism, recommended books, sports novel, The Pitcher, trade paperback, William Elliot Hazelgrove, William Hazelgrove, Wordpress book review site, YA story, young adult novel, youth sports
November 12, 2012 · 11:51 am
The Roundup – Some Quick Looks at Books
Wife 22: A Novel by Melanie Gideon (Ballantine Books) – Gideon’s creative novel is an all-too-much-fun story of a mid-life crisis wife who elects to take part in a marriage survey, and then decides that she might have fallen in love with the researcher assigned to work with her. “Soon I’ll have to make a decision – one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life.” Will Wife 22 sacrifice everything for a man she’s never seen or spoken to (and only exchanged e-mail messages with)? This is a story with an ending that the reader will never see coming – unless that reader just happens to remember a certain quite clever hit song from the year 1980.
“…when did the real world become so empty? When everybody abandoned it for the Internet?” Wife 22 is a novel about current times, in which human beings communicate by each and every means except true personal, face-to-face communication.
Jack 1939: A Novel by Francine Mathews (Riverhead Books) – Mathews came up with a great premise in this fictional account of a young John F. Kennedy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt secretly recruits JFK to be his spy in Europe during the period preceding the outbreak of World War II. The engaging, charismatic personality of JFK is here, but the intelligence of the future world leader is missing in action.
Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love and Loss by Rosemarie Terenzo (Gallery Books) – John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s former executive assistant tells us about what it was like to have the “dream job” of working for America’s Prince. It’s a fascinating account told by Terenzo, a young blue-collar Italian-American girl from the Bronx who became John’s scheduler and gatekeeper. The problem is that it feels like half a memoir; the deaths of John and his wife Carolyn Bessette in July of 1999 tragically interrupted the charged personal lives chronicled here. (Terenzo recalls that her final conversation with John was sadly banal.)
Discretion: A Novel by Allison Leotta (Touchstone) – Some readers will no doubt find this to be an exciting political-thriller about a young woman killed while visiting a U.S. Congressman’s hideaway office in the U.S. Capitol Building. But I was never able to suspend my disbelief in the main characters, especially the female protagonist, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Curtis. Curtis’s criminal investigation extends into the most sordid sexual aspects of the District of Columbia. It just seemed unnecessarily overblown.
The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande (Atria Books) – This is a sad, yet moving and life affirming true story of three impoverished children in Mexico whose parents abandon them in order to escape to “El Otro Lado” (The Other Side, the United States). Overcoming many obstacles, the two sisters and their brother eventually find their way to Los Angeles, where they discover that their parents are living apart from each other. Despite such a horrendous upbringing, the siblings survive and Reyna goes on to both forgive her dying father and to graduate from the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).
Review copies were provided by the publishers.
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Tagged as 1939, 1980, A Memoir, A Memoir of Life, a novel, Allison Leotta, Anna Curtis, Atria Books, Ballantine Books, book review site wordpress, book reviews, California, Carolyn Bessette, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, creative novel, crime novel, Discretion, District of Columbia, El Otro Lado, Fairy Tale Interrupted, FDR, fiction, five books, Francine Mathews, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gallery Books, immigrants, Jack 1939, JFK, John F. Kennedy, Joseph Arellano, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Los Angeles, love and loss, marriage novel, marriage survey, Melanie Gideon, Mexico, mid-life crisis, murder novel, nonfiction, Nook Book, political-legal thriller, poverty, recommended books, Reyna Grande, Riverhead Books, Rosemarie Terenzo, Some Quick Looks at Books, The Distance Between Us, The Other Side, The Roundup, the United States, thriller, Touchstone, UCSC, University of California at Santa Cruz, Wordpress book review site, World War II, young John Kennedy
August 30, 2012 · 2:35 pm
The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris by Mark Kurlansky (Riverhead Trade, $16.00, 352 pages)
The Eastern Stars, subtitled How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris, by Mark Kurlansky, chronicles the evolution of baseball in this town, the island in general, and – in some cases – the surrounding Caribbean islands.
At its conclusion, the book has a listing of the first 79 players from San Pedro de Macoris that made it into the U.S./Canadian major leagues. Many readers will likely assume this book has more baseball content and less history, and from the middle toward the end, baseball plays a more prominent role in the story. The beginning of the book is a long history lesson, which may prove to be quite frustrating for some readers.
The most interesting parts of the book are the tales of how the local men who did succeed in playing major league baseball viewed their hometown. The decisions they made during and after their careers relating to how they supported the needs of their families and brethren had outcomes ranging from remarkable generosity to outright dismissal.
Extreme poverty is the one common denominator affecting all. The subjects of steroids, scouts, and how MLB organizations handled their affairs in Latin America also permeate throughout.
The book dances between trying to satisfy the history buffs and the baseball fans and, thus, falls short in both areas. However, it does add up to a satisfying story, especially after it manages to leave the ground. Recommended.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Mark Kurlansky is also the author of the nonfiction books Cod and Salt.
Dave Moyer is an educator and the author of Life and Life Only: A Novel.
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Tagged as a novel, Audible Audio Edition, baseball, baseball book, book review, Caribbean Islands, Cod, Dave Moyer, Domincan Islands, How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Latin America, Life and Life Only, major league baseball, MLB, nonfiction, Nook Book, poverty, recommended books, Riverhead Trade, Salt, San Pedro de Macoris, satisfying story, Shine On, sports, The Eastern Stars, The Show, trade paperback, Wordpress book review site
August 29, 2012 · 4:27 pm
A review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris by Mark Kurlansky.
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Tagged as Audible Audio Edition, baseball, baseball book, baseball fans, book review, Carribean Islands, Coming Up Next, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Latin America, major league baseball, Mark Kurlansky, MLB, nonfiction, Nook Book, poverty, San Pedro de Macoris, sports, The Eastern Stars, Wordpress book review site
October 18, 2011 · 9:17 am
My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir by Mark Whitaker (Simon & Schuster; $25.99; 368 pages)
“Perhaps there was something buried in this memor that I kept missing, something that I kept searching for in vain. It may be buried somewhere…”
The best memoirs take off and soar as they take us on a journey through the writer’s life. This memoir by CNN Chief Mark Whitaker seemed to taxi on the runway from its beginning on page 1 until its conclusion 367 pages later. This reader never felt the presence of Whitaker’s mind or personality in an account that was overly flat and dry: “My mother taught and my father began writing his dissertation and I played with the other faculty brats in the spacious yard outside while my brother grew into a toddler.” The language, in fact, was so dry that I began to wish that this had been prepared as an “As told to…” or “With…” version with some energy to it.
It’s difficult to see what major statement about life was meant to be imparted by this work. Whitaker’s professor father divorced Whitaker’s mother when Mark was young; thus, he seems to view himself as a unique member of a group that “…had grown up without our fathers around and with very little money in the house.” That’s actually quite a large group in our society. Moreover, Whitaker reminds us again and again that he wound up at Harvard.
There’s simply far too much here about Whitaker’s time at Harvard, and the lifelong connections he made there. It seems that wherever Whitaker goes in the world, he meets people – primarily women – of whom he states, “She had also gone to Harvard.” It becomes a very clubby account, and it’s hard to see why this would be of interest to the general reader.
“Angry men don’t make great husbands.”
In an attempt to create a story of interest, Whitaker casts aspersions on his father who is portrayed as either “a cruel bully or a selfish baby.” Cleophaus Sylvester “Syl” Whitaker is also portrayed as a major alcoholic although it’s noted that he only missed teaching three classes in a long and distinguished academic career. (He once entered a rehabilitation center for treatment.) Syl held numerous impressive teaching and administrative posts at Swarthmore, Rutgers, UCLA (where he was a key assistant to Chancellor Charles E. Young), Princeton, CUNY and the University of Southern California (from which he retired, at age 60, as professor emeritus of political science and former USC College Dean of Social Sciences). He was never found asleep in a gutter or under a bridge, so it is hard to see how this squares with Whitaker’s notion that his father’s life was an “arc of blazing early success fading into self-destruction and financial hardship.”
Perhaps there was something buried in this memoir that I kept missing, something that I kept searching for in vain. It may be buried in a sentence such as this one, which I found to be a bit too clouded to understand: “It was as if the longer I was separated from my father, the more I lost touch with the outgoing child who had modeled himself after him.”
An advance review copy was received from the publisher. My Long Trip Home will be released on October 18, 2011.
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Tagged as A Family Memoir, A Memoir, angry men, autobiography, book review, Chancellor Charles E. Young, Charles E. Young, Cleophaus Sylvester Whitaker, CNN, CUNY, Dean of Social Sciences, divorce, dryly written, Expecting to Fly, father and son, hardbound release, Harvard, Harvard educated, Joseph Arellano, Joseph's Reviews, life's lessons, Mark Whitaker, memoirs, My Long Trip Home, new book releases, obtuse writing, October book releases, poverty, Princeton, Rutgers, Simon and Schuster, Swarthmore, Syl Whitaker, University of Southern California, USC, USC College
September 8, 2011 · 7:27 am
Good Graces: A Novel by Lesley Kagen (Dutton, $25.95, 337 pages)
“The almighty works in mysterious ways, ma cherie.”
It’s 1960. You’re a young girl living in a quiet suburb of Milwaukee, in a community whose foundation is the Feelin’ Good Cookie Factory (the closer one lives to the odoriferous factory, the poorer one’s family is), with your cunning sister Troo. The problem is that the adults in the community seem to be clueless to the problems in their midst, including juvenile delinquency. Troo’s reporting of the troublemaker known as Greasy Al means that he’s been sent to a juvenile detention facility, which seems like good news until you find out from your police detective step-dad-to-be (he’s engaged to your mother) that the evil kid has escaped. Now it’s up to Troo to come up with a perfect plan for dealing with Greasy Al’s imminent return.
As Troo’s sister, you know that she’s no amateur when it comes to this business. You previously had a problem with a male summer camp counselor, and Troo made him disappear from the face of the earth. So now you’re hoping that Troo’s plan for Greasy Al is not too efficient… And just when you’re dealing with this, you learn from other kids in the neighborhood that one of the respected pillars of the community is making young boys “do bad things,” which immediately changes everything. Now Troo puts Plan A on the back-burner while she develops a new plan to bring law and order to your town.
You and Troo must rely on a couple of other youngsters to help you – one male and one female – and you have to hope that they can keep their lips sealed forever if Troo’s new solution works. You both think you can count on Artie and Mary Lane, especially the latter since: “She’s been tortured by the best in the world – nuns. So detectives asking her a couple of questions wouldn’t bother her at all.”
Good Graces, written in a child’s voice, is simply one of the most enjoyable novels that I’ve read in years (at least three or more). Kagen’s ability to write in an adolescent’s voice is remarkable, and she has fun toying with the artifacts of the time, such as the TV shows Queen for a Day and Howdy Doody. Adult readers who grew up in less prosperous homes will identify with the characters, as will Catholics and lapsed Catholics. The young characters in the tale attend Catholic school and learn that the nuns can indeed inflict pain when it’s needed and otherwise.
At its base, this is a fine and fun morality play in which children save a community and the almost-brainless adults are never the wiser. It’s the sequel to Whistling in the Dark, and I can hardly wait for the third part of Lesley Kagen’s true justice trilogy.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. “Moving, funny, and full of unexpected delights… Kagen crafts a gorgeous page-turner about love, loss, and loyalty, all told in the sparkling voices of two extraordinary sisters.” Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You.
Good Graces was released on September 1, 2011.
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Tagged as 1960, a novel, adolescents, book review, Catholic school, Catholics, child protagonist, children's voice, Dutton, family novel, fiction, Good Graces, Greasy Al, Howdy Doody, Joseph Arellano, Joseph's Reviews, juvenile delinquents, Kindle Edition, Law and Order, Lesley Kagen, Milwaukee, New York Times bestselling author, Nook Book, nostalgia, nuns, Only the Good Die Young, poverty, Queen for a Day, recommended books, revenge, siblings, sisters, suburbia, television, the 60s, Troo, true justice, TV shows, Wisconsin
February 27, 2011 · 3:23 pm
Mrs. Somebody Somebody: Fiction by Tracy Winn (Random House; $14.00)
“Lucy Mattsen was nobody – like all the women I worked with – until the day the baby fell out the window.”
With that near-perfect opening sentence, Tracy Winn delivers a collection of short stories that promises more than they deliver. This is not a bad collection, it’s just that the stories are uneven in tone although they – in theory – are joined by being the tales of a group of individuals who lived in a dying mill town in the Northeastern region of the United States. These are stories about people in different walks of life: rich by inheritance and work versus the poor; old bloods versus immigrant arrivals; foppish people of privilege who live in dated but glorious mansions versus the people who live down in the boondocks in the abandoned mills.
What these individuals have in common is that of all the places to live in the world, in this country, they have chosen (or had chosen for them) to live in a place whose time has come and gone. There’s a sense that they are ghosts in the town where one mill operates in the place of the six that once made it a place of prosperity. And even that one remaining mill closes.
It is left to the reader to determine the time frame, the date, of each story. Generally the only clue provided by Winn is a mention of the make and model of an automobile (Chevy Bel Air, Chevette, Dodge Aspen). Other than this, there’s a sense of disorientation that occasionally may remind the reader of Audrey Niffenegger’s (Her Fearful Symmetry) prose.
Winn can write: “He imagined her taking long strides under the sprawling shade trees, past the trim hedges of sunny Fairmont Avenue… the lithe lines of her, the symmetry of her lean face, her pulse beating in the tender skin below her ear. She’d swing her bare arms, the hot sun on her face, her skirt swishing declaratively. She walked the way she thought, in a straight clear path. She sliced through life, clean-edged.”
The issue is that while Winn can build interest in her characters, to this reader they never felt like real persons, true human beings; the stories often have the feel of writing exercises, of something written for an academic assignment. Thus, we never come to feel at one with these individuals; these quasi-ghosts remain just that. (They are not persons we wish to spend much time with.)
The best stories in this group come at the end, as if Winn was beginning to warm up, to find her voice, the closer she came to completing the work. Tracy Winn surely shows her potential here, although the potential is largely unrealized. If you’re currently in the market for a collection of short stories, a preferable choice would be Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy (reviewed on this site on June 21, 2010, “Having It All”). But be warned that Meloy does not open her set with a near-perfect first sentence.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
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Tagged as Audrey Niffenegger, blue bloods, book review, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, debut author, Down in the Boondocks, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, fiction, Her Fearful Symmetry, immigrants, Joseph Arellano, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Lowell, Lucy Mattsen, Maile Meloy, Massachusetts, mill-workers, mills, near-perfect opening, Neil Young, northeast U.S., poor, poverty, Random House, rich, stories, symmetry, trade paperback, wasted potential, wealth
January 22, 2011 · 3:08 pm
Brooklyn Story: A Novel by Suzanne Corso (Gallery Books; $23.99; 336 pages)
Suzanne Corso’s Brooklyn Story is described on the back cover as being a true-to-life novel, which is something of an understatement, considering the acknowledgements open by stating, “The one thing that I know is that I am a survivor and was extremely determined to have my story told.”
This admission is good because without it, some of the storytelling would be confusing. The story is told in a very even and objective manner, but in the first person. The reader is inclined to believe this to be a personal tale. But when the detached narrative continues, it becomes difficult to understand how the main character, Samantha Bonti, can continue to be so naive as to follow along with her mobster boyfriend, Tony Kroon, seemingly oblivious to the obvious. The admission that the story is largely, if not entirely autobiographical, makes it easier to accept the human frailty associated with this young girl’s mistakes.
In the book Bonti grows up in Brooklyn and dreams of being a writer and crossing the Red Sea, or, in this case, the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan and an alternate lifestyle – one free of the curse of abusive males, crime and cyclical poverty. The life she dreams of differs radically from that of her mother, who, though pregnant young, poor, and addle-minded from years of drug and alcohol abuse, deeply wishes for her daughter to avoid these traps, despite her inability to adequately communicate that to her.
When Bonti falls under Kroon’s spell, thanks to her best friend Janice’s efforts to connect the two, Bonti’s life begins to unravel. Miraculoulsy, she narrowly escapes her mother’s fate.
Bonti’s grandmother is a kind soul who takes up residence with the two, both to take care of her daughter and, at the same time, shield her grandmother from her.
There are two redeeming male characters in the book, Samantha’s teacher, Mr. Wainright, who encourages Samantha in her writing endeavors, and Father Rinaldi. Both see the good in Samantha and encourage her to pursue a more enlightened path. Without either, she may have not made it beyond her circumstances. If she frustrated them as much as she frustrates the reader with her behavior. then they perhaps both should be up for sainthood, because Samantha’s escape is a near miracle. How desperate must one be to ask a priest for money for an abortion?
At least one passage serves more to provoke the reader or appeal to a certain readership than to actually advance the core themes of the story, but these are things that one must accept when digesting a story that is, for the most part enjoyable, though it did not elicit in this reviewer the emotional reaction that the author was likely shooting for.
This review was written by Dave Moyer, author of the novel Life and Life Only. A review copy was provided by the publisher.
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Tagged as a novel, abortion, abusive males, abusive relationships, admission, alcohol abuse, autobiographical, bad behavior, book review, books, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Story, chick lit, coming of age, Dave Moyer, debut novel, domestic violence survivor, drug abuse, emotional reaction, family novel, female protagonist, fiction, first person narrative, Gallery Books, Joseph's Reviews, Kindle Edition, Life and Life Only, life lessons, Manhattan, mistakes, mother and daughter, New York City, nonfiction novel, organized crime, Paul Simon, personal tale, popular fiction, poverty, recommended books, redeeming characters, review copy, Sail On Silver Girl, Samantha Bonti, semi-autobiographical, Simon and Garfunkel, storytelling, Suzanne Corso, true-to-life, violence, women's literature
January 14, 2011 · 10:05 pm
The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down by Andrew Young
That long title you just read is the best part of this account. Trust me on this. You should only read this book if you love sleazy things. In fact, you should only read it if you’d jump into a 400 gallon vat of sleaze, if such a thing existed.
“…I had time to reflect on my experience with a most charismatic and deceptive politician and the factors that made me vulnerable to his spell.”
Sigh. Vulnerable to the spells and charms of John Edwards? Yes, that’s how tacky this true tale is. The author is John Edwards’ well-educated aide (we know he’s well educated because he tells us so several times throughout the account), who assisted him at almost every step of his public and private deceptions. This Andrew Young – a law school graduate and not the civil rights leader – told the media that he was the father of the child that Edwards had with his mistress. Young then suffered mightily having to live with Edwards’ mistress in a $20,000 per month rental mega-mansion in Montecito – which is the Ritziest part of Santa Barbara County. Sad, isn’t it? Such virtually unimaginable suffering.
And how did Edwards acquire the funds to support the mistress and Young and his family? By telling heiress Bunny Mellon that they were using her millions to fund a poverty center based at the University of North Carolina. See what I mean about the sleaze?
What we do know is that the author told lies on his master’s behalf for months and years, and in order to believe the truthfulness of this account, you would have to believe that he’s telling “the truth and nothing but the truth” now. Uh, huh. Right.
“Barring a sudden surge of honesty, the only way we were going to get out of our commitment would be if Mrs. Edwards died.”
Nobody comes off well in this account, not Young, not Edwards – which is hardly a surprise – and certainly not Elizabeth Edwards. In fact, Young’s primary agenda here seems to be trashing her reputation. Elizabeth is portrayed not as a spurned and loyal woman who was admired by millions of Americans, stricken by disease, but as a… Well, I don’t need to say it.
I did appreciate one matter substantiated by Young, that Mr. Edwards sought to pattern himself after Robert Kennedy, but his act always seemed – to me – like a very bad actor’s version of RFK (left hand in jacket pocket, right hand stroking the air, combing his hair or fixing his tie). At one point, Edwards goes on a retreat and Young notices that every one of the books that our once self-anointed president-in-training took with him was either written by Robert Kennedy or was about RFK. But then Young gets some very basic things wrong. For example, at one point someone refers to Edwards as the Robert Redford of politics, and Young writes that the reference was to Redford as The Natural. Not at all, the reference was to Redford in the film The Candidate, about the photogenic candidate who gets elected to the U. S. Senate and then asks the question of his staff, “What do we do now?” The comment was likely meant to depict Edwards as an empty suit.
As the son of a preacher man, Young never gets around to identifying the message in this sad morality play. And it’s a play that has not finished its run yet (Is Edwards going to marry his mistress and the mother of his baby? Will he be charged with crimes?). But let’s be clear about this… This account by Andrew Young is not in any way equivalent to John Dean’s Blind Faith. Young is no hero. John Dean helped to rid the country of a cancer on the presidency. Young did his best, his very best, to put John Edwards in the White House.
Review by Joseph Arellano. This book was purchased by the reviewer, unfortunately.
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