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A Hand to Guide Me Hardcover – October 3, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

We all get where we're going with a push from someone who cares, says acclaimed actor Washington. A national spokesperson for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, he tells how he found his own mentor in the Mount Vernon, N.Y., Boys Club and celebrates the organization's 100th anniversary with this collection of 70 celebrities' accounts of how as youngsters they were guided by a caring adult. Among the contributors are actors, athletes, authors, artists and former presidents. Retired basketball coach John Wooden remembers his hardworking father, a farmer, making the time every night to read poetry and Scripture to his children. Gloria Steinem describes how she saw a commitment to women's rights in the novels of Louisa May Alcott. Whoopi Goldberg credits her mother with teaching her empathy the day she abandoned her best friend to hang out with the popular kids. Bill Clinton was influenced by a great-uncle, an undereducated man who not only taught him to value people's differences but to refrain from making judgments. Washington has produced an anthology that will inspire successful men and women to help and empower the next generation. B&w photos. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Meredith Books; 1st edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0696230496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0696230493
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Paisner is one of the busiest collaborators in publishing. He's written over sixty books, on topics ranging from business and sports, to politics and popular culture, including eleven New York Times best-sellers.

His work has been profiled in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN: The Magazine and on National Public Radio. (In a recent New York Magazine article on how to write someone else's memoir, he was referred to as the "most prolific living ghost" - a title that may or may not have been meant as a back-handed compliment.)

He is co-author of best-selling books with tennis champion Serena Williams; MSNBC News personality Mika Brzezinski; real estate developer and co-star of "Celebrity Apprentice" Ivanka Trump; Ohio governor and Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich; former New York City mayor Ed Koch; and, Academy Award-winning actors Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg and Anthony Quinn, among others. He is currently completing projects with NFL great Ray Lewis, former New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling and "Shark Tank" co-star Daymond John, the founder of the groundbreaking FUBU clothing line.

He has also collaborated on books with former world champion longboard surfer Izzy Paskowitz, legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley and the brilliantly potty-mouthed comedian Gilbert Gottfriend.

Over the years, Paisner has worked with dozens of "ordinary" individuals with extraordinary stories to tell, including Krystyna Chiger, whose chronicle of her family's horrific ordeal in a Polish sewer during the German occupation, "The Girl in the Green Sweater," makes an important contribution to the literature of the Holocaust. The story is the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film, "In Darkness," from director Agnieszka Holland.

Perhaps his most notable collaboration has been the best-selling account of a New York City firefighter's epic tour of duty at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, "Last Man Down," written with FDNY Battalion Commander Richard Picciotto. The book was #1 on the London Times best-seller list, and remained a top ten seller in the U.K. for over six months; it reached the #1 spot on the Amazon.com.uk "Hot 100" list.

Paisner has also written several books of his own, including "The Ball: Mark McGwire's 70th Home Run Ball and the Marketing of the American Dream," which was hailed by Amazon editors as one of the best sports books of the year. If you want to really make him happy, consider reading one of his novels, "Obit" and "Mourning Wood."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This story is filled with stories from people from all different occupations, and the special individuals who have influenced them to achieve their dreams. Actor Denzel Washington was influenced by a professor named Bob Stone, whose letter of recommendation gave him the confidence he needed as an actor. I loved the contributions from people who are not famous like Kelly Zimmerman Lane. She learned the importance of hard work from her single mother, an incredible woman who worked three jobs to support her three daughters. I enjoyed the story of Notre Dame president Reverend Edward Malloy, whose love of learning and reading was instilled in him by his grade school teacher.

There are numerous stories of people who belonged to a Boys and Girls club. This wonderful organization has influenced so many people to succeed in life. I enjoyed the story of surgeon Patrick Kelly. He learned the value of patience and staying calm from a fellow doctor. He also learned to cultivate these traits from his childhood mentor at a Boy and Girls club. Attorney Socrates De La Cruz learned the importance of setting goals from a special person at the Boys and Girls club named Steve Kelly.

There are many contributions from famous people in this book. I loved the contribution from Olympic gymnast Dommique Dawes. She learned the value of hard work and discipline from her coach. Singer Bonnie Raitt learned the importance of maintaining relationships with people and staying healthy physically from the excellent example her parents provided for her. Actor Daryl Mitchell learned to how continue to enjoy life from fellow actor Christopher Reeve, after a motorcycle accident made Mitchell physically disabled. All the stories in this book are so touching and inspirational. I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a compilation of personal stories about the men and women who have mentored some of the best and brightest people in America. Much of the profit of this book go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. It's really a testiment to true role models in life.

There are stories in here about Bill Clinton, Tara Lipinski, Whoopie Goldberg (it really covers all kinds of celebrities and non-celebrities). He looks at some of his friends even, like Debbie Allen, and he Antwone Fisher. It is so amazing and interesting to see what and who has influenced people and helped them on their way. There are little personal glimpses in Denzel's own life. His push in the world came at the Boys Club in Mount Vernon, NY. Billy Thomas ran the Boys Club there and he was a helping hand in Denzel's life. He talks about how we are all destined to leave a mark in the world and that we might miss that mark from time to time unless we get a little helping hand from people we know.

You must go and get a copy of this becaus it really is fascinating and inspirational. It makes you realise that no one in the world makes it on their own - they all have had a helping hand whether it has been big or small and being that we recognise a lot of the people in the book, it is great to see how they have gotten to where they are now and how their lives have changed due to people they've known. I really love this and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the most inspirational book I have read in a long time that was not written by a well known religious person. The book gives one a rewarding experience that anyone can accomplish anything in life if you have confidence in yourself and trust those who continually encourage you to go forward with your life. There were so many people that I didn't know had common people behind them pushing them along the way. I was very surprised at the celebrities not being ashamed of telling their stories. This book would be a great asset for teens who are struggling with their lives to read. This book gave me confidence on some of the things that I have tried and did not believe that I made a difference in the young person's life. This book just makes me have even more respect for Mr. Washington on his views on life and his contributions to the young people. I will continue to be involved in the lives of other young people and help them acheive their goals as nuch as I possiblity can just as Mr. Washington. I wish him many more blessings from God and keep up the fantastic work. Remember that not only is God watching but many young males and females are watching yuou also. God Bless you and your family.

M. Buntin
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good book to give as a gift to a young man you would like to influence. It indicates how important it is to have a hand to guide us in our development. Most of our patterns are learned from those we give attention to in our lives. It is crucial that these role models be positive and affirming.
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Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful surprise reading through the pages of Denzel Washington's 'A Hand To Guide Me' is! Writing with humble fluidity, Washington shares with the world, and perhaps himself (?) how we all are connected to one another, and so, have a significant responsability to help those around us, with great emphasis paid attention to children. Through the Boys and Girls Club of America, Washington openly shares that he was able to find his own way, with the assistance of kind hands by others. The role of 'Mentoring' our youth is all about what this wonderfully inspirational book is all about, and Washington shares some unique stories about other high-profilers who have particiapted as mentors - which, in its own way, places seeds of activism in the mind of his readers. In a certain sense, this book helps clear the record of one of the world's greatest actors as being self-centered: clearly Washington is a private man with a giant heart and kind intent towards children. Well done.
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