Posted by: istop4books | September 13, 2009

Big Russ and Me by Tim Russert

tim russertBig Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life Big Russ and Me: Father and Son–Lessons of Life by Tim Russert

I have to preface this by saying that I was a huge Tim Russert fan.  Timmy Russert as he was called  at my house was king of the political interview and Sunday morning’s Meet the Press. I liked him, his interview tactics and his ebullient down to earth personality. I miss him, and mourned his early passing.

OK, so on to the book. This was a mixed bag for me. I found it to be sweet to the point of sugar coated, and light to the point of being superficial, it glanced over way too many subjects that should have been dealt with in a more serious and complete manner. On the other hand, I found myself tearing up over the absolute love and affection he felt for his father; it showed in every way possible that this man had not so much a close relationship, but a deep love for this hard working, uneducated, highly moral man. But the flip side of that coin, is that I don’t think his mother is mentioned 5 times in the entire book, I think if he had had a kind housekeeper there would have been more mention. Even though his father worked 2 and 3 jobs through Tim’s childhood, and by association, the kids must have spent a lot of time under mom’s care and tutelage, she’s just not mentioned. His two sisters are barely mentioned as well. Now I realize that the name of the book is not Big Russ, Mom and my sisters and Me, but come on! If there was a problem, it wasn’t mentioned – so was she “mommie dearest”?

This is where Tim Russert shined!

This is where Tim Russert shined!

And then, his Catholic school upbringing. Tim made it sound all wonderful. I too went to Catholic School, and it was anything but wonderful. Most of the nuns were clueless as to real life, there were a couple who were cruel and bitter and old and shouldn’t have been in a classroom. Didn’t Tim encounter one of these nuns? Or were they just all sent to my school? And what about the priests? He went to school in the 1960’s in the heyday of the clergy molesting altar boys – it was glanced over very superficially.

What I did like was the ending, the letter to his son. Beautiful, heartfelt and genuine and made me shed a tear again. I will always have a soft spot for Timmy Russert and we miss his political commentary which was so much on the money – but I can’t say I’ll remember reading this one fondly!

View all my reviews >>


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