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Promises I Made My Mother Hardcover – April 28, 2009
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What would my mother say? How would she want me to handle this situation? How can I make this tough decision and stay true to myself?
What would my mother say?
Sam Haskell still asks himself these questions every day.
When Haskell was young, his devoted mother, Mary, instilled in her son the values of character, faith, and honor by setting an example and asking him to promise to live his life according to her lessons. He did, and those promises have served Haskell consistently from his Mississippi boyhood to his long career at the venerable William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.
In this inspiring memoir full of touching stories and amusing anecdotes, Haskell reveals how he kept his pledge to his mother to live a decent life–even in the shark-infested waters of Hollywood, where he handled the hottest stars and packaged the highest-rated shows–by refusing to become the cliché of an amoral agent. Here is Haskell as a child in Amory, Mississippi (pop. 7,000), discovering the power of hope as he waits for an unlikely visit from the “Cheer Man” (a representative of the detergent company who gave ten dollars to anyone using the brand), learning humility after pursuing an eighth-grade “Good Citizenship” award he cockily assumed he’d win, confronting the complications of human character when a near-fatal car crash exposed his judgmental father’s true nature.
Years later, in Hollywood, Haskell would rely on his mother’s teachings–honesty, self-reliance, and belief in God–as he swiftly rose from the William Morris mailroom to eventually become the company’s Worldwide Head of Television. His capacity for friendship and his insistence on living his version of the Golden Rule (being “thoughtfully political”) allowed him to handle various client crises and the tense negotiations that nearly scuttled the last years of Everybody Loves Raymond and the entire existence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Haskell has achieved success through self-respect, and from his story we learn how we, too, can maintain our dignity when faced with life’s challenges. This stirring memoir is a testament to mothers everywhere who instill in their sons the lasting values they need to become good men and devoted fathers.A Look Inside Promises I Made My Mother
“My friend Sam Haskell’s Promises I Made My Mother is a portrait of character—something mothers and sons should read together while celebrating one of the greatest bonds that exist in the world today!”—Lily Tomlin
“Sam Haskell is an anomaly in Hollywood. He brings to this book his humor, his honor and his unique perspective on how to live life. He is a great friend.”—Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS
“I’ve always wondered how Sam Haskell survived in Hollywood, a viper’s nest that would make any asp jealous! Sam always treated everyone with respect and behaved with honor. Now having read Promises I Made My Mother, I understand that Sam found success by being true to himself and keeping his promises to his mother. It’s all in the breeding, and for you, it’s all in the reading!”—Doris Roberts, actress, Everybody Loves Raymond
“My friend Sam Haskell has revealed aspects of his life that even I didn’t know…Promises I Made My Mother is an eye opening read for anyone who has the capacity to dream.”—Dolly Parton
“It has been over 30 years since I signed on as Sam’s first client right out of the mail room at the William Morris Agency. He has kept his promises to his beloved mother and to all the rest of us who owe him so much. This book is a must read for anyone who hopes to find ‘true’ success in any field…the kind that lasts forever.”—Kathie Lee Gifford
Read an exclusive essay by Sam Haskell, the author of Promises I Made My Mother [PDF].
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
this compromising world. Haskell throughout the book engages the reader on a journey of choices and decisions he made all based on lessons learn early in life from his mother. The stories and examples given, run the gambit of emotions. Some made me cry and some made me laugh out loud--all good!!
Great to know there are still good men in this world who can make it to the top. To quote Haskell, "We must look in the mirror often, both literally and figuratively,and have the strength of character to be honest with ourselves about what we see. Otherwise our lives become compromised and we are left forever incomplete."
Don't miss this delightful and worthwhile book!
mr. haskell has realized the american dream by "staying in his light" (living truthfully to himself)...he has had the most incredible exchanges with some of the most incredible people in the entertainment business over his years at william morris....and has kept them as friends! he has kept his faith at the center of his life in a town that God is often prayed to for "things" and then God is often forgotten about when Sunday rolls around. he honors his mother by keeping her lessons alive each and every day....all this while also honoring the "man in the mirror" and not losing sight of his dream, his potential nor his passion!
i have passed this book on to my youngest daughter, she will pass it on to my husband and then it will be sent to my wonderful parents....i have recently purchased three additional copies...one for each of our other two children and one for a dear friend who, i know, will be as touched with each page as i was!
do yourself a favor...RUN, don't walk to your nearest bookstore, purchase this book and start reading....i think it will be the most discussed, thought about and heartwarming book you will read this summer!
Little did I know that I held a compass for guiding my own 10 year old through these early years. I never imagined the impact I had in my child's life until Promises. I want him to "shine in the light" and I am going to help him get there. An important read for single moms.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tried to understand it and the reason for publishing the book, but it may come to me soon.Published on November 18, 2013 by Mike Mooney
Took some time to get through it. Too Hollywood...too much name dropping.
Was hoping for more personal testimony from the heart. Sorry, I was disappointed.
This is a very good book about the influence of a Christian mother. There are a lot of names dropped form Sam Haskell's experiences as an agent and evential head of television for... Read morePublished on July 3, 2012 by Posey
This should be MANDATORY teaching in schools. Who cares about Shakespeare or Huckleberry Finn - these are the types of books that can change someone's life. Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by NM
I absolutely love this book by Sam Haskell. I've learned more from it than any other book (and I read a lot). I am re-reading this book now. Read morePublished on November 30, 2010 by Katya Malinina
This is excellent! There is something for everyone in this audiobook. I really loved listening to it. Sam is a very inspirational person. Read morePublished on October 10, 2010 by L. BLOUIN
With Southern charm and a Mississippi accent, Sam Haskell celebrates the love and wisdom of his dearly loved mother. Read morePublished on June 28, 2010 by L. Williams
When you get in a reflective mood - and want to "re-ground" yourself, this is a perfect book to read. Here is a Man who was not raised in the easiest of situations. Read morePublished on September 20, 2009 by Jennifer Rohm
I found Sam Haskell's "Promises I Made My Mother" just flat out wonderful! Written with grace and skill, it is a joy to read, highly inspirational and makes you feel... Read morePublished on July 12, 2009 by atomictiki