My Book World
My partner and I watch CBS Sunday Morning every week. It is sort of our church. One of my favorites personalities is Mo Rocca, who, of late, has begun to produce podcasts called mobituaries, in which he eulogizes a personality who has been underrated, underappreciated, or completely forgotten. Having listened to his podcasts religiously (not a pun), I just had to give his book a go!
In some ways, each mobituary in the book reveals as much about Rocca’s demented but lovely mind (he and I should stage a love-in for Barbra Streisand to see who adores her the most). He moves easily from forgotten politicians to forgotten men and women, such as early the earliest African-Americans to win seats in Reconstruction-era Congress. He memorializes actors, his one of Audrey Hepburn just killing me, because, having been born the same year as my Dutch aunt, 1929, the same years as Anne Frank, Hepburn’s story only deepens my understanding of that period. Mo Rocca is witty and gay (in every sense). I love the child-like intensity with which he pursues his work, ferreting out all he can about his subjects. I have to confess that I probably love his podcasts better than the book, because there he interviews a variety of people, and he uses a variety of audio clips to broaden his portraits. He jokes with these folks, jokes with listeners, yet always maintains a seriousness about, and, most of all, an empathy for his subjects. Still
. . . I love his book, and everyone should read it (I gave copies as Xmas gifts). In his own wacky way, Mo Rocca portrays personalities that are courageous, winsome, and in most cases bold. As is he.
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