Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir Hardcover – October 18, 2011
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
“This is one of the most beautifully written and skillfully reported memoirs I have ever read. Searching to unlock the puzzle of his parents’ lives, Whitaker writes with empathy and insight, shifting seamlessly between a child’s recollection and an adult perspective. This story will capture your heart from start to finish.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
“I picked up Mark Whitaker's My Long Trip Home and I couldn't put it down. He brings his gifts as a journalist and ultimately, his deep compassion as a human, to shed light on his own unique and very moving family story. Spending time with these characters, himself included, reminded me of some of my favorite nights in the theater.”
—Anna Deavere Smith, playwright and performer, author of Fires in the Mirror
"Mark Whitaker has given us a deeply personal, instructive and unsparing story of life in a contemporary bi-racial American family. It's all here—the love, pride, anger, confusion and achievement from a man who rose to the top ranks of American journalism."
—Tom Brokaw, journalist, author of A Long Way from Home and The Greatest Generation
“[a] poignant memoir…Whitaker is unsparing in his account of his father's sins and the scars they inflicted…but the author filters his profile through a rich reflection and understanding. Like Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father, Whitaker's memoir is in many ways an iconic story of the post–civil rights era, one in which transcending racial barriers liberates people to succeed—and fail—in their own peculiar ways.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A deeply moving history of family relations and racial identity.” —Booklist (starred review)
“…a thoughtful account of growing up bi-racial at a point in this country’s history when racial identities are in flux and when people of mixed race are ever more common…. . For the most part Whitaker’s tone is objective, almost reportorial, which permits the reader to see his story clearly rather than through the mists of hyperventilated emotion. It’s a good book.” —Washington Post
“A heavily detailed and highly readable account of the author's lineage…the writing comes across as honest and wholly engaging. A fascinating personal treatise on racial identity and complicated father-son dynamics.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Told straightforwardly, Whitaker's stories of life and work in proximity to power will appeal to government and media junkies…The parallels to another high-achieving, mixed-race public figure are hard to ignore. Whitaker's retelling of his journalistic triumphs and missteps will remind readers that the face of America's elite is changing.” —Library Journal
“A book filled with as much family tumult as Jeannette Walls described in The Glass Castle and a racial factor to boot. . . . Mr. Whitaker . . . is well justified in thinking that his family’s unusual history warrants book-length treatment. My Long Trip Home is full of remarkable stories.” —The New York Times
About the Author
Mark Whitaker is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, My Long Trip Home, and Smoketown. The former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, he was previously the Washington bureau chief for NBC News and a reporter and editor at Newsweek, where he rose to become the first African-American leader of a national newsweekly.
Top customer reviews
But what happened to the editing? No one thought to review the French? The (missed) hyphenations, the comma use? I understand: we are not supposed to comment negatively on writing errors on the Internet - it's taboo nowadays to portray yourself as a grammar critic online. But surely actual books should still be held to the old-fashioned standards of grammar. Just an idea for the next edition.
But in this "family" there was one member who never quite fit in. Mark's father, Syl Whitaker, was a brilliant man who made his mark in academia at the highest levels. For an African-American, of course. Married three times, the first to Mark's mother Jeanne, with whom he had two sons, and then two other marriages later in life. Syl was an alcoholic with charm and dash and elan who could go from brilliance to drunken despair in the course of an evening. A self-destructive man when drunk, he wasn't easy when sober. His relations with his older son, Mark, were fitful and mutually hurtful when Syl left his wife and sons after a few years of marriage and contributed little economically to the family. Jeanne made a valiant effort to give her two sons a steady home life, but she was plagued with periods of depression while raising the boys in college towns where she was lucky to find teaching jobs. As a result, Mark Whitaker, to a large extent, raised himself. He did a pretty good job of it, it seems. Now in his mid-50's with a wonderful family and a career that has included jobs at the Washington Post, Newsweek, NBC/MSNBC, and now, CNN-International.
Mark Whitaker's memoir is best when he tries to figure out that strange being who was his father. Dominating Mark's life even when not present, Syl Whitaker was the push/pull that influenced many of Mark's life decisions. Not wanting to turn out like his father, wanting to avoid his father's mistakes. But many of Syl Whitaker's "mistakes" came from HIS identity and HIS personality. No two family members - even father and son - are the same, and Mark was able to realise that his father's life did not need to be his. Whitaker's writing is strong and so's his family. An interesting bunch of people to get to know!
(Ie his French relatives and their influence on the family).