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The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation Hardcover – September 25, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; First Edition edition (September 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593156022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593156022
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description

In 2000–2001, Michael Jackson sat down with his close friend and spiritual guide, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to record what turned out to be the most intimate and revealing conversations of his life. It was Michael’s wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him. The resulting thirty hours are the basis of The Michael Jackson Tapes. There has never been, and never will be, anything like them. In these searingly honest conversations, Michael exposes his emotional pain and profound loneliness, his longing to be loved, and the emptiness of his fame. You discover why he was suspicious of women and how only children provided the innocence for which he so desperately longed. In his own words, he takes us into the jarring moments of his childhood and speaks of the measures he took to try and heal. He divulges how he came to be alienated from his strong religious anchor and describes his views on the nature of faith. Michael brings us into his tortured yet loving relationship with his siblings. He opens up about his father and his yearning for a time when they might finally reconcile. He talks about his most personal friendships and shares with us his terror of growing old. Despite his unprecedented fame and recent death, there remain unanswered questions about his life. The answers, presented here in The Michael Jackson Tapes, will both intrigue and move you. You will be surprised, riveted, and troubled as you peer into the soul of a tragic icon whose life is an American morality tale and whose flame was extinguished much too early.

More About the Author

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is one of the world's leading relationship experts and spiritual authorities. His twenty-one books have been bestsellers in seventeen languages, and his award winning syndicated column is read by a global audience of millions. He is the host of TLC's award-winning Shalom in the Home and was Oprah Winfrey's love, marriage, and parenting expert on Oprah and Friends. He served for eleven years as rabbi at Oxford University, where he built the Oxford L'Chaim Society into the University's second largest student organization. Today, Newsweek calls him the most famous rabbi in America. The winner of the highly prestigious London Times Preacher of the Year award, Rabbi Shmuley is also the recipient of the National Fatherhood Award and the American Jewish Press Association's Highest Award for Excellence in Commentary. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Debbie, and their nine children.

Customer Reviews

Can't come to that conclusion by reading this book!
THE MICHAEL JACKSON TAPES by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is a book I was really excited about.
J. Kaye Oldner
You don't even have to read this book to know that Michael never wanted it this way.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

442 of 466 people found the following review helpful By Cookie on September 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book because I wanted to know Michael Jackson the person, although it didn't feel right to pry this much into someone's private life. I wish I hadn't.

I had read Shmuley's thoughts about MJ on his blog and knew what was coming, and indeed he didn't disappoint. Shmuley's writing is not so much a reflection of who Michael Jackson was, but more a reflection of how judgemental he himself can be. Instead of letting Michael speak for himself, he has to tack on his own interpretation to everything that Michael said and did. An interpretation that is judgemental, biased and sanctimonious to the extreme. He's so holier-than-thou, he even puts himself above the court of law!

He delights in pointing out Michael's 'faults', and sees faults where there are none. I find it ironic that someone who always tried to see the good in others would seek help from a counsellor who always tries to find bad even in the good. This speaks more of Michael as one who always believed that there is good to be found in EVERYone. This is not megalomania, as Shmuley would put it. It is love. Something that Shmuley is sorely lacking.

Michael said that people do evil because they had not known love as a child. If their hearts were filled with love, they would not feel the need to hurt others. Clearly, nobody loves Shmuley.

He openly flogs Michael and uses Michael's 'failings' (at least in his mind) to illustrate his preachy "morality tales" of just what is wrong with society. (I wonder why he never writes about the morality of discussing other people's personal failings in public?) He even does this to some who are still living. If he gets a lawsuit out of this, he richly deserves it. Certainly there is a way to make a point without demeaning people like this.
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130 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Mockingbird on September 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is indeed sad that this brilliant artist's life ended so soon. It is also indeed sad that as respectful and humble as he was, no one thought life worthy enough to help Michael Jackson fight his addiction and heal his troubled soul. No one would put aside their hurt egos and busy lifestyles long enough to help a brother, friend, patient, child of God.

I, like the few who purchased this book to date, after having enough of reading the incredible news stories wanted to "hear it from the horse's mouth" some hint in his own words that would prove to me at what point Michael's life was spiraling out of control. What was the true cause of all this sadness in such a beautiful brother. When did we fail this extremely talented and giving soul. After reading this book...I guess we'll never know...

To be fair, I don't believe (as some say) what was quoted as Michael's responses during the conversations was not true because Michael had addressed many of the topics in past interviews. But I confess, as I turned the pages, my mind became suspicious about how quickly this 300-page book was produced in the two months following Michael's death. I could almost picture Dictaphone tapes from 2003 sitting in a safe or closet being dusted off and pages upon pages being churned out to meet some sort of deadline.

I find disturbing that the author writes that Michael was "...perhaps guilty of serious, terrible sins for which there might not be any redemption..." It is unclear whether he is inferring that the molestation charges were true; and if he is, he contradicts this thought when on earlier pages he defends Michael since having been at the very stage where it all began.
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful By E.Cheung on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I rushed off to the bookstore to grab a copy of this book because I wanted to hear Michael in his own words. I have refunded the book on the same day after realizing the author's intention to exploit Michael Jackson. There's no way I would support such an unethical cause. The author was supposed to be a spiritual advisor to Michael Jackson. This book contains transcripts of the conversations between Jackson and the author that were taped during their counselling sessions. I would think that it is illegal for a counselor to expose his client's private thoughts, due to the breaching of confidentiality. Half of the book is filled with the author's own (inaccurate) interpretations of Jackson's words.

After some research, I also found out that this rabbi/author is not a credible person. Jackson and the rabbi collaborated on the "Heal the Kids" foundation back in 2000-2001 and the rabbi was appointed the overseer of this charity. However, Jackson soon cut off ties with the rabbi after finding out that he has misappropriated the funds in the charity. In fact, the rabbi and his wife have been busted for misusing the funds of other charities as well. He was also ousted from his synogogue. Jackson and the rabbi haven't spoken since 2001.

If anyone wants Michael in his own words, there is no shortage of interviews on YouTube. The interviews with Geraldo in Jan 2005 and with Rev Jesse Jackson in March 2005 (conducted in the midst of the trial when he was under the most challenges) will give you pretty good picture of Michael's very stable state of mind. His interview with Ebony magazine in 2007 also revealed his true state of mind and undying passion for life. If you want to read a book, then Aphrodite Jones' book "Michael Jackson Conspiracy" is a must-read. Also, Michael Jackson's "Dancing the Dreams" provides an excellent look at his innermost thoughts through his poems and essays.

Don't support this book.
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