Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life

Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life

4.6 37
by Tim Russert
     
 

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Tim Russert is perhaps the most admired man in television news. As NBC's senior vice president and Washington bureau chief, he has helped shape the way today's news is reported and analyzed. As producer and moderator of Meet the Press, he has created and sustained the longest running TV news program of all time with panache and dedication. And as the anchor

Overview

Tim Russert is perhaps the most admired man in television news. As NBC's senior vice president and Washington bureau chief, he has helped shape the way today's news is reported and analyzed. As producer and moderator of Meet the Press, he has created and sustained the longest running TV news program of all time with panache and dedication. And as the anchor of The Tim Russert Show, he has garnered a huge and growing fan base with his quick wit and straight-talking candor. And every Tim Russert fan knows that Tim's #1 hero, hands down, is his dad—Big Russ.

BIG RUSS & ME offers a charming, down-to-earth look at Russert's roots, growing up a hometown guy in working-class Buffalo in the 1950s. From the indelible bond that links him to his father, to the lessons learned from his old-fashioned Catholic upbringing, from his passion for the Buffalo Bills, to the importance of patriotism in everyday life, Russert's reflections hit the very epicenter of American values.

Rich with personal anecdotes and Russert's easygoing style and straight-talking charm, BIG RUSS & ME will be embraced by his myriad fans—and will delight dads across the country on Father's Day and for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What Tom Brokaw did for South Dakota, Russert will do for Buffalo. There's only one Tim Russert, and he's got a lot of clout. [This is] the Angela's Ashes of Buffalo."—The New York Post

Meet the Press host Tim Russert serves up tough questions to the likes of Ted Kennedy and Dick Cheney, but for his mom, his dad, and his Jesuit teachers back at Canisius High, he has only the kindest words. Every confirmed Russert fan will enjoy this collection of gentle nostalgic pieces about his boyhood in blue-collar South Buffalo.
Publishers Weekly
Meet the newsman's father in this stupendously entertaining book. The senior Tim Russert served in WWII, married and settled in South Buffalo, N.Y., worked days for the Sanitation Department, drove a night truck for the local evening paper and raised four kids. The younger Russert's memoir begins as a tribute to his dad and the lessons he taught through the years, but also takes ample time to tell how Russert junior grew up and became the moderator of Meet the Press. His neighborhood in the 1950s was tightly knit, Irish Catholic and anchored by the institutions of marriage, family, church and school. Nuns and Legionnaires shaped young Russert's character; in high school, his Jesuit instructors strengthened and solidified it. John Kennedy's short life and career still resonated when Russert began law school in 1970. He worked on Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1976 campaign, then on the senator's staff. A friend of Moynihan provided the link that brought Russert to NBC and the Today show. He first appeared as a panelist on Meet the Press in 1990, becoming moderator in 1991. Throughout his private and public life, Russert continually turned to his father for advice, and the older man's common sense served the younger pretty much without fail. The memoir is candid and generous, so warm-hearted that readers should forgive the occasional didactic touch (and it's a soft touch). There are hard ways to learn life lessons; fortunately, readers have Russert to thank for sharing his with them. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, Bob Barnett. (May 10) Forecast: Ads in the national press as well as the Buffalo News, along with TV satellite and radio drive time tours, and a 17-city author tour, should help Russert's memoir to take off. Readers of Tom Brokaw's books will enjoy it, as will dads of all ages. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Journalist Russert gives a warm tribute to his father, a Buffalo garbage man, World War II veteran, and one-man greatest generation, whose simple lessons of hard work, humility, and consideration for others guided his son through his Catholic school upbringing, his political education at the feet of Sen. Daniel Moynihan, and success as the host of TV's Meet the Press. Russert's good-natured, anecdotal style bobs amiably along at the surface of events, excitedly relating various brushes with greatness and enthusing over fried chicken, football, and faith. Although one suspects that the author might have provided a more textured reading of his own life story, David Guion's sincere tone and earnest, plain-spoken delivery serve the material well. Nothing crucial is lost in the abridgment; either version should prove popular in all libraries as an upbeat choice for multigenerational listening.-David Wright, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The gimlet-eyed interlocutor of Meet the Press is a pussycat when it comes to matters of family and faith. Russert, the kid from blue-collar South Buffalo who now grills the prominent and powerful, writes in a style as unadorned as the snow in the land of the Bills. Uncle Fran was a police detective and a great ballplayer. Big Russ, Tim's father, supported his family by driving a newspaper truck and collecting garbage; he instructed young Tim (Little Russ) in decent behavior and how to wrap trash considerately. Little Russ served as an altar boy, tended his paper route, and took a summer job on a garbage truck-he still seems to recognize garbage when he smells it, even if it's wrapped in the finest political fustian. The author fondly recalls hours with Dad at the Legion Hall, the nuns in grammar school, and his Jesuit teachers at Canisius High. In college, Tim booked speakers and entertainers for the University Club. A fan of both John F. and Robert Kennedy, he went to law school, then worked for Pat Moynihan, his intellectual father, and for Mario Cuomo. At NBC, he booked the Pope, no less, for Today before moving up to oversee the Washington news bureau and the Sunday morning talk shows. Russert offers little about the news business or his work on Meet the Press, eschewing the talking-head mode to speak from the heart in a particularly American way. (Check out the chapter titles: "Respect," "Work," "Faith," "Baseball," and "Cars," etc.) This memory piece is primarily a devoted tribute to Dad, and if Big Russ doesn't seem much different than anyone else's father, that's fine. As portrayed by his son, he's the best national Pop since Robert Young in Father Knows Best. And Little Russseems to be a pretty nice Dad himself. A largely self-effacing souvenir and a fulsome, sincere Father's Day greeting. (16 pp. photos, not seen)Author tour. Agent: Bob Barnett

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739377475
Publisher:
Diversified Publishing
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
640,758
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

TIM RUSSERT is NBC-TV's senior vice-president and Washington Bureau Chief, the producer and moderator of Meet the Press, contributing political analyst for The Today Show, and host of his own weekly news program on MSNBC. He holds the Walter Cronkite Award for journalism and the American Legion Journalism Award. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, writer Maureen Orth, and their son, Like, and was named "Dream Dad of the Year" by Parents magazine.

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Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
excellent warm read; took me back to the way it used to be; gifted all my children with this book
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HiLighter More than 1 year ago
Old fashioned values that are timely today. Was going to buy the book when Tim was alive, wanted to read it even more after he passed away. I really admired him and love "Big Russ". Well worth the time and fun reading about all the folks he met in his very public line of work.
ECS_3-11-33 More than 1 year ago
I was always a fan of Tim Russert, and have been greatly saddened by his passing earlier this year. Much too soon for a man with so much to give. I bought this book for my Mom when it first came out and she loved it. I lost her last year and cried when I read what I had written inside when I gave it to her for Christmas in 2004. Reading this book brought tears to my eyes several times, however it is actually a very uplifting book, written in the language he spoke, for the "every man". His tremendous love for his father Russ and his son Luke are apparent, as is his respect for his Dad and those who had big impacts on his life. There's not a boring word inside this wonderful book. Tim touches on his youth, his faith, some of his politics, but mostly how Big Russ formed his very being and who he was as a man, and what he wanted to pass along to his son Luke. The last pages were inspiring, yet told a story that turned out to be his own. Enjoy those we love for however long we have them. We wouldn't turn away the chance to have them in our lives no matter how long or short that may be. Turned out to be prophetic words, indeed. A great read for anyone. I loved it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading it yesterday. From the book, I could sense the author is a beautiful person. He loves life, and appreciates his father, friends, colleagues, and almost everyone who was helpful to him. After reading the book, you will have a wonderful and warm feeling. I recommend this book to everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have not read this book. I went to B&N online to order it because Tim Russert passed away suddenly on June 13, 2008. I read through the 20 reviews and was completely dismayed when I read the very last review which is critical and unkind. I could have never written such a poignant novel about my father while he was still living. My dad died of cancer 3 years ago and leading up to his funeral, my human nature was to focus on the imperfections of my childhood. I had a great deal of regret after the funeral when I realized how much time I had spent grumbling about life's circumstances rather than embracing the hundreds of irreplaceable moments. HOW AMAZING that it didn't take his father's death for Tim to pen these endearing memories. God Bless Luke and Big Russ as they seek to live a joyful life with the huge void Tim Russert left behind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes this is a well written book. And yes, I am a Tim Russert fan. But after reading halfway through this piece of puffery, my fan-ship is much diminished. There is little of substance here ... and certainly nothing that could not have fit into a two-page essay. Between the rose-colored glasses (were the Russerts ALWAYS perfect? Did that little scamp Tim do NOTHING worse than write on a Nun's whimple?), the repetition, and the overwhelming ego (even if it is a family-oriented ego), I tossed this across the room at around page 150. My advice: Get your Russert fix from 'Meet the Press ' do not waste your money on the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always try to watch Tim Russert on 'Meet the Press' every Sunday morning before church and I have always admired his sincerity, knowledge and honesty on the show. So, when I heard about his first book, I had to read it. To say I loved 'Big Russ and Me,' is an understatement. When, I heard him describe his second book, I knew I had to read that also. I bought it immediately and could not put it down for 2 days I read it almost non-stop. It is one of the most heart warming books that I have ever read. It makes you recall so many memories about your own Father. I was extremely lucky as I had a wonderful, happy, hard working Father who valued his wife and children above all else. He passed away 20 years ago but Tim's book brought back many wonderful memories. It is a great book. Thank you again, Tim.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a retired educator with over thirty years experience and as a parent I do not believe I have ever read a book more down to earth or containing more common sense than BIG RUSS & ME. Tim Russert's words about education and parenting should be a model for us all. 'There's nothing worse than disappointing your parents and nothing better than making them proud.' 'I believe that parents of my generation have often failed out kids. We are so eager to be understanding and sympathetic that we end up being too lenient, even as we further undermine the already diminished authority of teachers, coaches, and principals.' 'After a few months of working in the trenches as a substitute teacher to earn money to go to law school, my respect for the teaching profession and the challenges it confronts soared even higher.' His words about the wisest commencement speech he ever heard in all of fifteen words: 'The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up' is so true. If those today who are responsible for the spending of billions on programs such as NCLB and High Stakes Testing, which in theory are fine but with no chance of being attained, used common sense and Tim's words about education and parenting this country would be far better off and no where near as far in debt. We should all be thankful for Tim's and his Dad's words of wisdom. They don't come any better. I gave this book a rating of five only because there are none higher.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like Tim, I graduated from Canisius HS in 1968 and can vouch for everything Tim said in that chapter. That chapter should be a must read for everyone. Not only is it very funny, but Russert makes a very good point. Discipline back then was much stricter than it is in today's schools, and education was proportionately better. The US had the best educational system in the world then, now it certainly does not. Since graduating from Canisius I have enjoyed my careers as computer scientist and published author. I may not have liked all the discipline at the time, but it helped me to focus and step up to the best of my abilities. Thanks for a good book, Tim.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story of a relationship between a son and his dad. It is very heartwarming and I reccommend it to all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watching Meet the Press will never be the same again after this glimpse into the heart and soul of Tim Russert. Exceptionally well written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read a book about a father son relationship, not a saccharin news autobiography. I read it for my book club, but would have otherwise closed the book during the first half. If I wanted to read Chicken Soup for the Middle Age Soul, I could have picked up dozens of other books. Keep to TV where you shine Tim.