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Will Rogers: A Biography Paperback – April 15, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the greatest virtues of the book is that it does not, like many books on Rogers, engage in hagiography. Will Rogers was a very good, compassionate, honest man. Any book on his will show that. He had his faults, but as presented by Yagoda, they do not diminish the man, whatever it may do to the myth. For instance, Yagoda insightfully points out that while Rogers was rightfully lauded for his wisdom and insight, his thought was marred by an inability to comprehend genuine evil. One is left wondering what Rogers's response to Hitler's behavior in the years just after Rogers's death, and what he would have been able to say about the moral complexities of the Second World War. On the other hand, I would very much have welcomed Rogers as a voice of reason during the days of the Communist Witch Hunts.
Anyone interested in Rogers is strongly encouraged to read this book. I would also like to recommend the first chapter in Lary May's THE BIG TOMORROW. This book is a study of the social dimensions of American cinema from the thirties through the fifties. The first and best chapter is about Will Rogers, and remains the best thing that I have read about Will Rogers. I strongly recommend both books.
Yagoda employs worn out liberal-liar techniques for transmogrifying Roger into a man after his own liberal heart. First, he claims what while it is true that Rogers always resonated well with his Christian audiences, Rogers only did so to ensure his own appeal. The truth, according to the Yagoda, is that Rogers was an atheist. Second, Yagodo tries to make the case (a very flimsy case) that Rogers was an FDR progressive. Finally, the author points out that a Will Rogers speech about unemployment, delivered by Rogers in 1931, was very well received when re-presented at The Democratic National Convention that nominated Bill Clinton for president in 1992. The fact of this old Will Rogers speech supposedly resonating at a Democrat Party convention 57 years later is supposed to be proof that Rogers was a Bill Clinton-type liberal, who no doubt would have voted for Obama.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read. Learned a lot about Will Rogers and the entertainment environment at that time.Published 12 months ago by Catherine Geissler
One of the most informative and and researched biography I have ever read. The talent and wisdom of Will Rogers is amazing. Beautifully presented and a page turner.Published on January 31, 2011 by Tzadik
I really enjoyed the story he's such a well rounded person. He's always has been one of my idols. I loved his philospys of life. Read morePublished on October 26, 2010 by mary jones