Top positive review
81 of 96 people found this helpful
Overall, an educational and inspirational read
on July 30, 2013
There's no doubt Wil Haygood is an experienced journalist and writer who can craft a fine story. He certainly does so in telling the story of Eugene Allen, the exceptional man who served as a White House butler for thirty-four years under eight presidents. In the first section of the book (Allen's story), I was cheering on both Allen and Haygood. The final section of photos showing Allen with family members and dignitaries adds to the appeal of the book. Reading about the years of work to get "The Butler" filmed got me pumped to see movie when it's released in a few weeks.
There were a couple of things about the book that I didn't care for so much. First, it seemed like a long PR roll-out for the movie. Second, it's a good review of the history, roles and successes of African-Americans in the last sixty or so years, but the sections seemed cobbled together to make this 112-page book. The first part is Allen's story. The second part is the movie's story. The third has one-and-a-half-page summaries of the five presidents Allen's fictional version serves in the movie. I can only guess that this part is meant as a primer for movie-goers to read beforehand.
Overall, "The Butler: A Witness to History," is an educational and inspirational read on a subject that we Americans--regardless of color--frequently don't handle well.