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Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons Hardcover


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Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons + Tim Russert, We Heartily Knew Ye: Wonderful Stories from Friends Celebrating a Great Life
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (May 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064809
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Surprised by the overwhelming and heartfelt reception to Big Russ and Me(2004), Russert follows that memoir of his relationship with his father with a collection of letters he received recounting relationships between fathers and their sons and daughters. Russert, host of NBC's Meet the Press, received 60,000 letters and e-mails from readers with their own touching memories of filial love. Interspersed throughout, Russert recollects moments as a son and as a father, as well as conversations with famous figures, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and news reporter Maria Shriver, about their fathers. But the contributors are decidedly ordinary Americans, many with recollections that highlight generational differences of a time when fathers were less than demonstrative. Many recall taciturn fathers who couldn't bring themselves to tell their children they loved them but showed it in myriad ways. Many write of lessons learned about honor from fathers. A man recalls going to a New York Giants game with his father, who passed up an opportunity to sell extra tickets to scalpers and instead sold them--at cost--to another father with his son. Women recall how ties to their father set the tone for later relationships with men. One contributor recalls her father's tolerance as she and her sisters practiced applying makeup on him, going so far as to paint his toenails. Once again, Russert celebrates the relationship between fathers and their children in this heartwarming book. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Tim Russert is the moderator and managing editor of Meet the Press, and the Washington bureau chief of NBC News. He is married to Maureen Orth, and they have one son, Luke.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 137 customer reviews
This is a very well written, easy to read book that I enjoyed very much.
Maureen L. Heath
Tim Russert was inspired to write this book based on the avalanche of e-mails and letters he received in response to his book about his own father, "Big Russ & Me."
Alan L. Chase
Wisdom of Our Fathers is filled with moving stories about fathers, and I loved it.
Robert G Yokoyama

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By SUPPORT THE ASPCA. on July 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book is 297 pages & is divided into 21 chapters. The most crucial ones for me were "Honor, Being There, Forgiveness, Missing Dads, The Protector, Discipline, & 75 Reasons."

What was so refreshing about this book was the theme of basic normalcy & decency that most people seem to have. This book should appeal to most people, but it is not only or truly a book about a "father-son relationship." It came across more as a memoir of intimate vignettes, some of which are negative. One of a son whose father missed out being a a dad because of his drug addiction which eventually killed him.

Two of the more positive stories were when a father comforted his son after he told his dad that he was gay, & Kerry a girl who grew up with a stutter, whose dad held her hand & told her "it's ok". There are many life lessons in these stories that are very applicable to people regardless of their own individual backgrounds, beliefs, & experiences. All in all a very inspirational & intimate read.
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95 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Beth DeRoos HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok a book like this may seem sappy, but trust me there are enough stories and variety to speak to everyone. Personally I loved his chapters on fathers titled Forgiveness, The Protector, Baseball, Mr. Mom and Daddy's Girl.

Reminded me a great deal of Tom Brokaws book from people who wrote him after his excellent book The Greatest Generation which is also a must read book in my opinion.

Mr. Russert is such a gifted writer. The kind that you pray will write another book, and then another. There are enough stories of such a wide variety that the book will appeal to males as much as it will to females.

Great gift for Dads as well as their kids. Though provoking and so much wisdom that one comes away a wiser person. A wiser parent.

Mr. Russert and his wife Maureen have one son but having read Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life and then this book, one comes away wishing a dozen more had been dropped on their porch.
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65 of 75 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book by "The Grand Inquisitor" of Meet the Press, is largely what you would expect - a variety of touching vignettes from sons and daughters throughout America written about both big and little moments with their fathers that became big life lessons for them. Most of them are largely positive - a father telling his daughter that he would marry her if he could to help her get over a break-up with her boyfriend, the touching response of another father to his son telling him that he was gay, one son even using memories of learning to shave with his dad as a child to get over the post-traumatic stress of being a crime victim - specifically the scars from the attack that he saw on his face each morning as he was shaving. However, don't let that make you shy away from this book even if your father was not a great person. There are other letters where the writer has had a terrible role model, such as one man whose father was largely absent from his life due to his chronic drug addiction who ultimately died in a hotel room of an overdose when the man was still a child. The lesson that this son got from his father - "My father missed out on getting to know a terrific son". Thus, there really is something in this book for everyone no matter what your relationship with your father is or was. I highly recommend it, especially if you liked Russert's book about his relationship with his own father - "Big Russ and Me", since it was the publishing of that book that caused all of the people with stories in this book to write to Russert describing their own experiences with their fathers.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaff on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of what one thinks of Tim Russert (I happen to think he is a quality journalist and very simply, a good man), WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS is an incredibly touching, diverse, and fulfilling book. Russert's previous effort, BIG RUSS AND ME, was superb also.

Russert fields and publishes the letters he received as a result of those reading BIG RUSS. These letters are personal, intimate portraits of readers' relationships with their fathers. Whether it was what your father told you, the lessons learned, a touching moment, or just the great times, the outpouring of emotion and storytelling from readers of BIG RUSS is moving.

Russert has indicated in many of his interviews that readers saw BIG RUSS as an invitation to tell the story of their dad, and the avalanche of those telling those stories was daunting. This abundance of interest was what pushed Russert to publish the letters in an effort to share these moving, sad, and funny stories.

This book is not just for fathers, it is for all to read and enjoy. There are a number of lessons applicable to all in all walks of life. I am not going to share any of the stories in this review because I cannot do the letters justice. I would strongly suggest this book as a gift for most anyone, but more than that, I would suggest that everyone get a copy of this book and read it. I rarely recommend a book this strongly, but I certainly do recommend this one.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jon E. Easter on June 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Tim Russert, the best in the biz when it comes to political interviewing, has shown his softer side again with this book. The book will draw out all emotions from the reader. Happiness, sadness, nostalgia, and much more are just some of the things you'll experience when you read this one.

Russert stays out of the way for most of the book, but his introduction is brilliant. Tim loves his dad and his son. It's evident from this book.

I guarantee, you'll find your dad in this book.
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