To Be a Man: Letters to My Grandson

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While the public has followed his stellar career, and has heard his clearly articulated arguments on behalf of political and individual causes, Charlton Heston and his wife, Lydia, have quietly raised a son and daughter, striving to imbue in them the same beliefs that they themselves hold so dear. Now, in To Be a Man, Charlton Heston shares these beliefs. Beginning with anecdotal reminiscences about childhood - his own, and that of his son, Fraser, and now his grandson, Jack - and concluding with letters of love ...
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Overview

While the public has followed his stellar career, and has heard his clearly articulated arguments on behalf of political and individual causes, Charlton Heston and his wife, Lydia, have quietly raised a son and daughter, striving to imbue in them the same beliefs that they themselves hold so dear. Now, in To Be a Man, Charlton Heston shares these beliefs. Beginning with anecdotal reminiscences about childhood - his own, and that of his son, Fraser, and now his grandson, Jack - and concluding with letters of love and encouragement and wisdom to five-year-old Jack, he addresses those points in life he feels are essential in becoming a man. From his belief in the importance of family, to being brave and determined in whatever one undertakes, to understanding and appreciating one's heritage while remaining open to the huge and hugely diverse world we live in, to love of freedom and support of one's country, to the essentials of being not just a man, but a good man - honesty, integrity, loyalty, appreciation of friendship, and good sportsmanship - Charlton Heston offers words of guidance and sage wisdom that ultimately are applicable not only to Jack, but to all men, everywhere.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The actor speaks to grandson Jack.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684841168
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 7.32 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Interviews & Essays

On Thursday, June 12, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Charlton Heston, author of TO BE A MAN.


Moderator: BarnesandNoble@aol was pleased to welcome Academy Award-winning actor Charlton Heston. He's starred in more than 70 motion pictures, including "Ben Hur," "The Ten Commandments," "El Cid," and "Planet of the Apes." He is also the author of four books, including his bestselling autobiography and the recently released TO BE A MAN LETTERS TO MY GRANDSON.

Charlton Heston: TO BE A MAN LETTERS TO MY GRANDSON is the title of my book. It's about fatherhood I advised Fraser as my father advised me -- my father used to say to me each day when I went to school -- 'Do your best, keep your promises' and that has become kind of a mantra in our family. Along with Winston Churchill's famous phrase from WWII, 'Never give up! Never give up!'



Question: What book projects are you working on now?

Charlton Heston: In terms of my books I'm concentrating for a few weeks on selling them around the country. What the subject of the next book might be remains to be seen.



Question: In TO BE A MAN there is a picture of you and your son Fraser on the set of "Ben Hur." Have you ever taken your grandson to one of your movie sets? Does he have any aspirations in film?

Charlton Heston: As was true with his father before him, Jack has visited some of my film sets and also some of his fathers. My feeling about his choice of an eventual career is that he will make his own choice in his own good time, when he is grown, as did his father before him.



Question: Where do you keep your Oscar?)

Charlton Heston: In an obscure corner of my den. I don't think you should show things like that off.



Question: Based on your experience, how does the role of a grandfather differ from the role of a father?

Charlton Heston: Hardly at all. I feel the same responsibility for the physical welfare of my grandson as I did for the welfare of his father. I don't believe a grandson is simply a toy. He is an integral part of you life as his parents were before him.



Question: With such a busy filming schedule, how did you manage to keep such a close knit family?

Charlton Heston: I suppose by giving it all the attention and time I can. Besides, they are a very good family.



Question: Throughout TO BE A MAN you stress the importance of the written word, why is the written word so important? Do people read enough in today's society?

Charlton Heston: I make my living with the written word, so of course it's crucial to my life. Also the English language is a glorious tool for enhancing your life. I would hope everyone can share in its virtues. No one can read too much; most of us don't read enough. Television is an inadequate communication with what happens in the world.



Question: When writing TO BE A MAN did you surprise yourself in how much you remembered?

Charlton Heston: As is true with almost everything in having to do with memory the more you work at it the better you get. It's sort of a chain reaction, searching through your memory bank. Once you start, it's surprising how easily it comes back to you.



Question: Any film projects in your future?

Charlton Heston: Yes. Hamlet is still playing. And I have two film scripts, one of which I will certainly do this fall. I will also be touring with my wife on the stage in Britain for a couple of weeks, and attending the opening of the American Air Museum in Britain, a project with which I've been associated for some years.



Question: Did you enjoy the experience of lending your voice to Disney's Hercules? The experience must have really differed from your other roles!!

Charlton Heston: That was a very short assignment and the idea of pursuing the heroes of Ancient Greece appealed to me.



Question: How will you be spending Father's day?

Charlton Heston: Happily, with my son.



Question: What advice can you give to fathers and grandfathers about raising and establishing a close bond with their sons and grandsons?

Charlton Heston: The primary thing a parent or grandparent can do with their children is to give them their time -- personal time. Mrs. Clinton is dead wrong. It doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a family. It doesn't matter what you do with the time. Wash the car, go shopping for Mother's Day, hit tennis balls or go swimming. Your own time is crucial, whether that of a street sweeper or of a senator. It's the best thing you can give your children, and the most permanently useful.



Question: I love the picture in TO BE, who took them? Did you?

Charlton Heston: Most of the photographs in TO BE A MAN were taken by my wife, Lydia. I think they're among the strongest things in the book.



Question: In TO BE A MAN you talk about some basic values your grandson will need to grow into a decent man -- how did you come to these beliefs? Did you have them growing up?

Charlton Heston: Some of them I absorbed from my father. Some from reading about and exploring the lives of the dozen and more great men I've had the good fortune to play. I am deeply committed to the idea of The Great Man, having played so many of them.



Question: I loved your book! Did your relationship with Fraser, your son, change once you became a grandfather and he became a father?

Charlton Heston: No, not at all. Fraser is a superb father and I find if very gratifying to walk behind him as he raises his son.



Bknappbn: This chat has been great! Thank you for joining us, have a good night!

Charlton Heston:


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