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Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400069033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400069033
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

How did one family produce three such extraordinary sons? Ezekiel is a doctor, university professor, and special advisor on health policy for President Obama. Rahm is mayor of Chicago and a former White House chief of staff. Ari is a powerhouse Hollywood agent. Firstborn Ezekiel traces the genesis of the divergent achievements of the brothers Emanuel in this vivid, engaging, and thoughtfully analytical family portrait that illuminates the forceful personalities and “kinetic energy” of the Emanuels as well as 1960s Chicago. Their Israeli father, Ben, was consumed by his work as a community-minded doctor. Their mother, Marsha, a fearless activist, took her young sons to civil rights protests. The brothers fought constantly but always defended each other during street fights with anti-Semitic and racist bullies. Ezekiel’s loving, bemused, and incisive chronicle of Emanuel family dynamics and each brother’s struggles—his as an ambitious nerd; “fiercely intelligent” Rahm’s with sensitivity about his height; and natural-born entrepreneur Ari’s with learning disabilities—fizzes with surprising disclosures, alarming and hilarious incidents, and intriguing perspectives on the American dream, the nature-versus-nurture puzzle, and diverse definitions of success. --Donna Seaman

Review

“An endearing, honest and gripping account of an American success story.”San Francisco Chronicle

“A beautiful portrait of growing up Jewish in an urban environment during an era of profound social change.”Publishers Weekly
 
“This delightful memoir is a deeply personal tale of one family, but it’s also about much larger things: America and tribal identity, love and rivalry, and the moral lessons to be learned as you grow up.”—Walter Isaacson
 
“Fascinating . . . a classic tale of an immigrant family.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mighty entertaining.”—The Hollywood Reporter
 
“A clear-eyed, candid memoir that is unique and yet quintessentially American.”—BookPage
 
“A fun read.”—The Forward


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Customer Reviews

Just started reading it last night on my Kindle.
Ethel Mullin
This was a very good book about immigrant parents raising three boys in Chicago.
William O'Brien
This book is very well written and also is very funny.
a reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Raywish on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You might call the book what Marsha Emanuel put in her sons cereal. It tries to explain their phenomenal success as adults. But along the way it glosses over the relationship of sequential events. You are sort of left with many events that do not follow one another. Greatest depth is given to their sub-teen ager experiences in Chicago. Skimpier is their high school development in Wilmette a suburb of Chicago. Some random episodes of their College days. And finally almost bare statements of their three success stories. And most amazing is the neglect of an adoptive sister Shoshana. Her sole mention is a spot on the diagram of the Emanuel family tree. Why the neglect? Because of her handicaps she must of occupied the adoptive mother's time as well as influenced the high school days of the brothers. Yes the Emanuels deserve in depth biographies. This book did not meet my expectations of such fascinating people.

Ray Wishner
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Constant weeder on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Despite the author's expressed thanks to his editors, the book doesn't appear to have been edited by anyone who read the whole thing. It is a collection of anecdotes, individually fascinating, contradictory, and/or pointless, strung together by semi-chronological connectives. One of many oddities is that the author has a sister as well as the two brothers and parents who are presented as the entire family. One learns this only from the family tree included after the end of the text.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SumoGirl on April 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Good tales of achievement and mischief. However, I was ultimately left feeling empty--as though I had just read the BS version of the lives of the Brothers Emanuel. What was it REALLY like Zeke? More importantly, why was Shoshana purposely and somewhat sadly left out of the equation of what makes these guys tick? Are we to believe an adopted sibling--a female at that--was of no influence whatsoever on the brothers? Or was she just a coincidental boarder not fully accepted in this house of mirth? That's the story I want to read--the one that rings true and encompasses the good with the challenging. On top of that, how were Ari and his brothers affected by the name calling Ari endured as a child with a darker complexion than his classmates? Did he grow up with a commitment to diminishing racism--for example, systemic racism in Hollywood where the numbers don't lie--or has he become one of the many who pay lip service to ending discrimination without truly getting involved? Certainly Zeke and his brothers grew up fully cognizant of the commitment their mother made to those less fortunate and victimized by racism. This book was a good read but could have included more substance--something deeper that was missing from the overall message of success. Perhaps another book is warranted? One where life's true challenges and the nature of humanity has evolved as I hope the Brothers Emanuel have over the years.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By terry on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought the mother was in need of medication, letting her young children
roam the streets and bringing them to rallys. The Emanuel brothers family
may have come from another country but they were wealthier than most
normal middle class families. I too grew up in that time, my grandparents
were immigrants from Italy and I did not have the priviledge of going to
Europe in the summer. He has slightly skewed memory of a "free being"
childhood.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald G. Schofield on November 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a friend to Rahm and his Chicago politics but I though it might be interesting to read about these four kids. Well, it wasn't.

First of all, no mention of the sister that had to have had a huge impact on how they lived. None....it's so obvious that he didn't want this "selfie" to have anything negative in it. It's as though he went through his and his brother's files and took out anything controversial or negative....including his sister. It's certainly not a "Tell All" book....it's more like a "I'll tell you what I want you to know" book....Don't bother.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By gerard bruneau on October 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
just another self serving rag ..don't waste your money about as exciting as watching lint fall. Stick with books about real life people ,not the elite. sad
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. byron on June 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not realize that this was mostly an early childhood memoir, including much of author's parents childhoods.
i would have preferred learning more of the brother's adulthood, rather than their parents, and less attention given to constant
fighting between the young brothers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Loew on May 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would have enjoyed hearing about all the brothers, not just the author's reactions and memories. I expected some real warmth and feeling and not such an dry story telling. When it says the Brothers Emanuel, one expects to hear from the brothers not one brother.........and not the most humorous either!!!! Guess I should have noticed the single author. Searching for the "rest of the story."
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