on April 22, 2002
I bought this book and couldn't put it down until I was
done reading it, a pretty fast bittersweet read.
Celente does a great job of showing how the default culture
in America has really screwed things up - from the fake food
most folks now get to the phoney political system.
He laments what we lost in the breakup of the traditional
extended family without coming across as a sentimental
Zizi for president!
on March 28, 2002
A very light easy read that has it all from nostalgia, humor, sadness,to most of all- important messages to where America is today. If you find yourself in the eye of a stress storm being bombarded with today's events including no time for yourself and family this book is for you. Very insightful!
I picked this book to read because I know Mr. Celente's reputation for getting it right in identifying trends in his previous books. He called everything from the Dot Com demise to the end of the cold war well before the actual happenings.
on September 15, 2002
I liked the book! I had heard the author interviewed on NPR and was so impressed and intrigued by the premise of the book that I decided to order it here.I appreciated the semi autobiographical way in which Celente presented the conversations he had with his aunt. And, not being Italian myself, I found the insights into Italian-American culture of the thirties throuh the present very interesting.Zizi is presented as neither omnisciently wiser than anyone else, nor as a caricature. Her life experiences are presented from the viewpoint of a typical person of her era, living, learning, and doing the best she can throughout her long life. I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in sociological history, or just warm conversation with an older, wiser relative.
on April 15, 2002
Who hasn't wished that they had Aunt like Zizi? The lady makes great anise cookies, tons of delicious Italian fare and sends you home with all the leftovers!! She serves all her dishes with a healthy dose of common sense and insight gained from observing life the past 83 years. Through her Gerald Celente puts a human face on the trends that have been on the front page for the past twenty years and the new ones that will be on tomorrow. A great read and a great lady!
This is a quick read, but a heartwarming one, sure to spark memories in many Italian-Americans about life the way it used to be, in the days when several generations often lived together under one roof, when life was hard but laughter somehow came easy anyway. The photos which accompany the text will touch your heart.
But this isn't just a trip down memory lane but an examination and critique of modern life, as seen through the eyes of Zizi, a wise and loving Italian aunt. She happens to be author Gerald Celente's aunt and it is clear that she has been a pivotal figure in his life, offering support and comfort as he went through a traumatic divorce, dispensing wisdom and love as needed. In the hours Celente spends with his aunt, talking and enjoying the meals she prepares (some of the recipes are included in the book), he begins to think about life past and life present and takes the reader along for the ride.
After reading this book, you may find yourself thinking about the pitfalls of modern life and what has been sacrified in the pursuit of progress. You may also think about what the future holds for each of us.
on December 11, 2007
In this book, Gerald Celente pays tribute to his remarkable Aunt Zizi. In a series of conversations, the two make important points about our world today and the challenges of living in it. If you've wondered if the "good old days" really are better, read WHAT ZIZI GAVE HONEYBOY, and you'll not only be armed with information, but you'll be ready to do something about it. I buy up remaindered copies of the book and give them to my friends, who share my opinion of it once they've read it. It's a real "find" and a provocative and often very amusing read.
on May 11, 2005
OK, that may be a little exagerated, but I couldn't put the book down - and thoughts of "The Prophet" DID cross my mind at times. I only bought it for an easy read - it was that and more. It's a book that I expect to re-read and (selfishly) I won't loan it out - not for a long time. However, at the current price, I might buy extra copies to give away. Unlike one reviewer, I appreciated the author's commentary (and the statistics) using real life examples to illustrate ZiZi's wisdom. ZiZi (and the author) put into simple words what many of us have thought many times while observing present day events and then, the author's commentary and statistics, add new perspectives. I'm not Italian - and this book didn't make me wish to me. Plain & simple - it's a delightful book who's author (and his aunt) just happen to be Americans of Italian descent- and the book wouldn't be the same if they weren't. I'll definitely try out ZiZi's Anise Cookies recipe - maybe today!
on November 16, 2014
The author of this book is the founder of the 'Trends Institute’ which is currently run out of several beautiful and historic properties in downtown Kingston, NY. The Institute’s primary publication is the quarterly ‘Trends Journal’ which bills itself ‘History Before It Happens.’ I’ve been a subscriber for three years. For those unfamiliar with Celente’s background – he has made quite a living by analyzing various industries, markets, and events to forecast trends. For instance if you were involved in the jewel and gem trade, you could hire the Institute to investigate and prepare a report on what trends are shaping your trade. He has a stable of experts assisting in research and from the esteem Gerald Celente was held in back in the 1990’s – his track record in making predictions was stellar as his client list included many Fortune 50 companies as well as regular appearances on Television.
This changed when Celente forecast a massive trend shift in year 2001 to state to the effect that ‘2001 won’t be Americans year – Americans will not be safe at home or abroad’ – further commentary by Celente against US intervention in Afghanistan – primarily for the reason that intervention would cause more problems than it would solve and that the Bush Whitehouse was taking away American’s civil liberties in the guise of fighting foreign terrorism - It was Celente speaking his mind – (and now 15 years later he was right about it all) – that got him blackballed from all major news media and ostensibly, from a lot of his clients. Then, because another truism is that ‘it never rains but it pours’ – Celente went through a nasty divorce which, I would gather, put him through a round of depression. It was his elderly Aunt – who remembered Celente’s parents and what life was like in the 1950’s around the Italian hearth and home in Yonkers, NY – that pulled Celente through and that is part of what this book addresses.
In the process of picking up the pieces – Celente realizes that his 80+ year old Aunt knew more than just about anyone he knew – and her common sense and memory of people and events when times were more normal and healthier than they are now – that Celente credits with pulling him through. This book is written from that perspective as Celente and his Aunt have conversations over games of scrabble and Italian food at Aunt Zizi’s kitchen table.
Some of the topics that Zizi and Celente (Honeyboy) talk about are the depravity of the general public’s dress and manners, that there is little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, the decline in the general quality of the food people eat, and the fact that, as what happened to some of Celente’s neighbors back from when he was growing up, you can save money and work all your life and then, at retirement, be diagnosed with cancer and never live out what you always dreamt you would do when you retired. Advice to the reader: “Carpe Diem.” There is a lot of wisdom in these pages and you will no doubt hear your own grandparents’ quips and sayings echo in your head as you read this quick book. You will also learn what happened to Zizi’s first born son, languishing by himself in a hospital ward as per some Medical quack’s orders, for months until he died. As my grandmother used to say, and she was about the same age as Zizi when she died – “hospitals are a good place to stay out of.”
For anyone who grew up around an extended family through the 1900’s – with a grandparent who could remember the depression, with parents that largely stayed out or avoided the cultural upheaval of the 1960’s and then the hedonistic drug induced lunacy of the 1970’s and 1980’s – this book will resonate with you like a church bell going off 3 feet from your ear. Aunt Zizi could draw upon a time when horses were more commonly used than automobiles, through 2 world wars, through putting a man on the moon to the total change of everything in America which I feel characterized the early 1990’s period. Celente warns us that people like Aunt Zizi wont be around much longer as they pass away – he is right. Just since this book was published in 2002 – almost all our WW1 vets have passed and there are very few WW2 vets left - the proverbial wheel is turning.
In closing, Ken and Daria Dolan who hosted the Dolans radio program in New York for years – were some of the smartest and more decent financial commentators on the radio. They were from a different set the current radio ‘gang’ – and they give this book high praise as they are quoted on the back cover. In part “It took eight-plus-year-old Zizi to make us stop thinking tht we were either crazy or just growing old.” That is high praise.
This book has also been made into a short movie which will be appearing soon. I wish them great success! I hope I can hand this book off to my kids so that they will at least have some inkling of what life was like back in the 1950’s and such and how people dressed and behaved back then.
on April 18, 2014
I really admire Gerald and this book is a great example of the brick and mortar our countries foundation was built from. "Back in the day we had families with strength and pride!" Where did it all go?!
I highly recommend this book to any American over 50 that is nostalgic about about the past!
Also check out Gerald on Youtube. He will wake you up about where things are going.
on November 10, 2009
My wife and I both read this book over the past week, and we both loved it loved it loved it. Think Tuesdays with Morie, but less annoying.
The conversations between Zizi and Gerald (Honeyboy) are really just excuses for Gerald to pontificate on his favorite subjects, while giving them a patina of respectability by tying them to his aunt and her generation- the so called Greatest Generation.
The drug war, food politics, welfare, corporate welfare- you get Gerald's views on all of these, and his views are interesting and his facts often depressing. If you are already a part of the progressive-green-libertarian movement that he looks forward to in the 2002 volume,than much of this is old hat. If you are not, this book might change your mind on a number of topics.
There is recipe for cookies in here I have purchased the ingredients for already!