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The Book of Rudy: The Wit and Wisdom of Rudy Boesch Paperback – September 1, 2001
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
About the Author
RUDY BOESCH is a popular television personality and 73-year-old retired Navy SEAL Master Chief. Mr. Boesch performed 45 combat operations during his years of service and earned numerous distinctions, including a Bronze Star and the Defense Superior Service Medal. In 2000, People magazine rated him as one of the "sexiest men in America." Mr. Boesch is a resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he lives with Marge, his wife of 45 years.
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But Herman's presentation is grandly stilted, presenting himself as more refined than Rudy (as if we couldn't already imagine that he probably was) and "clarifying" Rudy's answers even when they don't need it.
It's unlikely, for example, that Herman used "et al." (Latin for others; in the phrase "Washington, Jefferson, et al.", on p.135) in a question, but he prints that in the book, instead of printing the question as he probably asked it ("...and others"). Conversely, when Rudy mentions "The Mole", Herman sees fit (on p.40) to add in "[TV show]" even though the answer is clearly about TV shows, and even though the question includes the phrase "reality shows on TV".
Herman's comfortable asking the Vietnam-related question (on p.67) "Did the North have good soldiers?", but apparently needs to clarify Rudy's answer with a bracket: "They [the Vietcong] were worthy opponents." But if "the North" suffices as a reference to the political entity of northern Vietnam, then "They" suffices as a reference to "good soldiers". Herman's editing makes it look like Rudy is ambiguous or insufficient. He isn't.
He even gets some basic concepts wrong, such as (on the first page) saying Rudy is "well into his seventh decade". (Rudy's in his seventies, and so well into his *eighth* decade.)
Despite Herman's slant and ego, Survivor fanatics will enjoy spending a bit more time with Rudy. You won't be enlightened, and you won't learn much. (You probably already know that he was one of the first SEALs, and there's scant detail about that.) But it was a good quick read I kept in the bathroom and finished in three days over the course of short breaks.
However, I was surprised to discover this was ot the case. What we have here is Rudy Boesch answering questions about basically every controversial topic that interviewers Jeff and Deborah Herman could come up with, from abortion to gun control and from Vietnam to George Bush, Jr. Some of the answers are brief, to the point, and probably surprising to anyone expecting standard conservative rhetoric (e.g., Rudy thinks abortion should be up to the woman). Others are more involved, evidencing that the man does not spout off about everything at the drop of the hat. He only talks in detail about things he has thought about it depth.
There is obviously some sort of agreement regarding the publication of books that Rudy Boesch signed when he did "Survivor," because the show is never mentioned, just the idea that we have seen Rudy of TV. A chapter on "Survival" is conspicuously barren of anything regarding living on an island in the South China Sea for a month. However, Rudy is here to talk about bigger and better things than some television show. I would have liked to have read more about Rudy's live in the SEALS, but you know the man is not going to talk about that, right? This one is quite simple: if you enjoyed listening to Rudy's abrasive comments on "Survivor," you will find more of the same but with considerably more depth and heart than what we say edited for television.
Steve Waterman, author of JUST A SAILOR