Autobiography Of An American Orphan

Autobiography Of An American Orphan

by Walter James


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In a confrontation with his past, the author reveals this heart-wrenching depiction of childhood in a New York City multicultural orphanage during the nineteen fifties. Funds were scarce and discipline severe. He describes the relationships between the orphans, the counselors, the nuns, and the priests, with an emphasis on how it shaped his life. As he grows and moves through various houses into his teenage years, the orphanage is faced with a surge of gang members. He befriends a Puerto Rican his own age, which ultimately leads them both to follow his friend's brother, a heroin pusher and addict, into Spanish Harlem just at the beginning of the civil rights movement. His account entails descriptions of ghetto life there and in Brooklyn's Williamsburg district as well, underlining the devastating effects from the separation of his Irish-American family and siblings. While awaiting his next group of students in an empty classroom in South Korea, Walter James attempted to remember his past in an orphanage. The experiences that surfaced put him in a rage. He knew then that he had to confront his past and exorcize his demons. This book, which began as a psychological self-study, became the emotional account of his story, and took him to places he never thought he would visit again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608600977
Publisher: Strategic Book Group, LLC
Publication date: 09/12/2009
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 1,151,336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

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Autobiography Of An American Orphan 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
mathewiverson More than 1 year ago
If you think life for white guys is all peachs and cream, think again. READ THIS BOOK. Thank you Walter James for a story that grabs the heart, a story that provides energy for the thinking process, and a story that shows us how much we have failed as a nation.
JACQUESRAINIER More than 1 year ago
This is not any orphan story it is an American orphan story. A rich tapestry of pain, laughter, and small pleasures Americans take for granted. We are awake while u yet sleep, to pave a road to France. By May 2010 the USA for WJ will be exactly what it is, a horrible dream. We (THE FRENCH) KNOW LIKE AN OLD FAMILIAR ROAD, THIS STRUGGLE,WHICH IS BEYOND YOUR COMPREHENSION. "L'AUTOBIOGRAPHIE D'UN ORPHELIN AMERICAIN" IS NOT PRINTED WORDS. IT IS THE ADHESIVE THAT HOLDS THE HUMAN HEART INSIDE OF THE CHEST CAVITY. WE HAVE WHAT YOU DON'T: UN SENTIMENT PROFOND D'AMITIE!!!
randelafriend More than 1 year ago
A lot of wishful thinking by the FRENCH. The events in "THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN AMERICAN ORPHAN" HAPPENED IN NEW YORK, NOT PARIS. WJ (AS THE FRENCH REFER TO HIM) IS IN THE USA. HE RESIDES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NOT SOUTHERN FRANCE. The book is a superb piece of history and a worthy story. Every character is a citizen of America. Yes we are guilty of maltreatment, for which we are apologetic. But WJ & "TABOAAO" are ours to keep.
PadgetToussaint More than 1 year ago
With poignant moments galore "The Autobiography Of An American Orphan" comes when we need it the most. A child pockets sand to remind himself to stay hopeful. A mother dies and a sibling in full fledge mental crisis resurfaces. Life's bitter sweet moments are on the MARQUEE. Out of touch with reality the world (the usa in particular) has become riddled with narcissism and is very much self absorbed. For me the book was inspirational, but I am French and how could it be any other way.
soretbeauvis More than 1 year ago
Who are the pitiful ones who dare to throw darts at an evolving man. Where does one find the time in todays world to wallow in sewage. As a MI grad i can tell you this author simply does not have time to answer Priscilla's beggars and theives. I always wondered why artistic flowers found it difficult to grow in America. Now I know. American ground is not fertile, it chokes and kills what is true and meaningful. Walter James has given us the blessing of fact. Where is the gratitude of heart? It is much too late to put this fire out! Five Stars for the Orphans of Mt Loretto.
ABEINOWOSA-MI More than 1 year ago
America has suffered a devastating brain drain. It is quite obvious when i read "The Autobiography Of An American Orphan" reviews. Knowing this I would like to encourage this author to visit the Ivory Coast and France. "The Autobiography Of An American Orphan" reeks of a truth so rare that it is refreshing as an African Breeze. It is clear my comrade in education (MI) will not find rest in a country that was never his. ________________________FIVE STARS
lapakoskifrommonterey More than 1 year ago
"The Autobiography OF An American Orphan" is not the tale of one orphan, but it is the tale of several orphans carefuly woven into a larger than life literary piece. This book not only breaks the heart, but it mends the shattered heart on many fronts. A FIVE STAR READ. If this is not palatable to you, it is because your digestive tract is ulcerated to begin with. ALLER DOMIR AVEC LES MORTS !
DONALDSCHILLER More than 1 year ago
A fabulous autobiography, that bites hard and hugs softly. What level have Americans sunk to? Are they writing critiques on books without having read them. Tant pis pour eux tous, continuez `a `ecrire WALTER JAMES. CE LIVRE EST INTITULE DU TRESOR FRANCAIS. CINQ `ETOILES *****!!
atundebanjoko More than 1 year ago
A MI alumnus having a spot of coffee or tea with the shallow dregs of American society: I think not. Perhaps it was business that took him to such a dismal and opressive geographical location. Whatever his reason, I assure you it was part of a larger plan. His scope is state of the art in nature. "TABOAAO" is a time capsule in movement. You can not stop it or incarcerate it. We old hands with chicky, oliveri and WJ. Their history is our history. Their pain is our pain. Their story is our story, and now their plight to be heard is our plight to be heard.
andreboret More than 1 year ago
Les humains briser le coeur des `etres humains. Lorsque le coeur se brise, il devient une oeuvre d`art une sculpture une oeuvre d`art dramatique, et peut-`etre un livre. Nous vous remercions pour votre franchise, nous vous remercions de partager votre vie avec nous.
owenquillan More than 1 year ago
One of many charming aspects of this book is that it is mega stories within a story. The voice is sometimes so childlike that it coats even the most dreadful scenes with innocence. The LUCK OF THE IRISH does not rule in "THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN AMERICAN ORPHAN"-What rules in it's place, is a horrible hand that must be played. This book does not lack diversity of emotion. Would I recomend this book? Yes Yes Yes-it is worth the read just to meet CHICKY ! (five stars).
katedoughtery More than 1 year ago
This book suggest the author was nothing more than a fly on the wall making minute observations. Even the sexual encounters were those of someone else. While the fly on the wall routine works well for fictional works it does not work well with autobiographical works. None-the-less i gave this book five stars because the theme is one of UN concern. I gave this book five stars because because the writer dared to name his country of origin - entrusting the reader with the details of a childhood that really wasn't a childhood at all. I gave this book five stars because it is dangerous to look back while moving forward - which is exactly what this author did and that takes courage.
adlaiyves More than 1 year ago
One can forgive stupidity, but cruelty requires a one on one consult with GOD. We (MIA) - (MONTEREY INSTITUTE ALUMNI) LOOK BEYOND THE BORDERS OF JEALOUSY AND HATRED AND SEE THE VALUE OF A TALE SPUN BY LIFE. To Walter James we say breathe deeply you are almost here. To the stupid and under-educated we say "may life offer you a golden chance to redeem yourselves from the intense and useless rage that seeks to strangle and suffocate all art forms.". Perhaps (TABOAAO)- was written exclusively for us. The French.
lenorehawkins More than 1 year ago
I stumbled across this good book after visiting the Mt. Loretto web site. My grandfather George Hawkins was an orphan in Mt. Lorreto, Staten Island, New york. Now that I have read it-I have started to read it to my grandfather who is 72 years old and blind in one eye. I am a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College on Cooper St. I am happy you have a black woman on your arm. Never apologize for the person you are. I know the woman on your arm must understand you. As a young black woman I know i will understand life one day, we black women are like that. I was told of all the good white people by my grandfather. Like granddaddy said there was no racisim in Mt. Loretto because every one was trying to hard not to have hunger pains. I will leave a post at the Mt. Loretto web site this weekend. I will also write a book report on the "AutoBography of An American Orphan". I love all the boys in the book each one for a diffrent reason. Thank you for validating my grandfathers life story.
sorio More than 1 year ago
I ask you: Do you know this author? I do. Eratic to put it softly. Unfit and neurotic. "The Autobiography Of An American Orphan" is a mixed up reflection of the authors insanity. The French have always been weak for American mental health cases. Don't buy this book.
garymastlewer More than 1 year ago
The autobiography of an american orphan is a pitiful package of mumbo jumbo that only a psychoanalyst can decipher. I can tell you first hand that the author is to the far left of reality. He has been telling this story in coffee houses for years. A personality that not even a mother could love, this author can no longer be seen @ Priscilla's-HE DARE NOT COME NEAR. Why would a man with two masters degrees write a book whose subject matter is about being an orphan-UNLESS OF COURSE IT WAS DONE OUT OF DESPERATION TO BE HEARD. HOW PATHETIC IS THAT.
WALLY12 More than 1 year ago
YSUKIM More than 1 year ago
A Monterey Institute Alumnus gives a penetrating and frightening account of what it means to be orphaned in America. This book is nothing short of fearless and searing. The Autobiography of An American Orphan will be translated and bellowed***** for years to come. _________Y SU KIM _________FIVE STARS
soriophilbaum More than 1 year ago
A wanna be martial artist with a wagging tongue seeks acceptance at Priscilla's. His latest effort is this ORPHAN story. This book is a cheap shot, and dishonors orphans everywhere. Why is everyone bellowing five stars?? A white man who grew up when white was king and simply did not make it is not only socially impaired and broken, but lost as well. He did what a large protion of lost white men do, he found a place among minorities. The Autobiography of An American Orphan employs many words to say absolutley nothing.
patrickrenny More than 1 year ago
I have read the reviews, and no one mentions how funny this book is (at times of course). If you want a manic and depressing episode all at once--go for it. You are on your own. Left to make a decision in this state you will read it a second or perhaps a third time. hip hip horrayxxxxxxxxx!
"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There is no greater investment." _______________________ Stephen Covey ------ You are the brave one. Your life, your thouthts for all the world to see. Your labour of love is now complete. As an american living in France I say to you "GET OUT WHILE YOU YET LIVE". The graves of all who have passed throuth Mt. Loretto's doors are speaking and the volume is loud and clear. We (MIISA) are preparing a place of respite for you. We offer to you a place to create and thrive. Watch your e-mail in April and let this serve as a gentle reminder to secure your passport. YOU ARE ALMOST HOME.
MARCUS-HOLBROOKMI00 More than 1 year ago
With one french parent I don't fully comprehend the "FRENCH CONNECTION" here. I do comprehend a superbly crafted story. The church maltreatment of orphans, and not to mention the social service department of New York errors. "THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN AMERICAN ORPHAN (NO PUSH NO PULL)" HAS AN ARTISTIC DEPTH THAT TRUMPS POLITICS..WRITE ON WALTER JAMES. FIVE STARS FROM THE "BELLY OF THE BEAST"..................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
etiennegautier More than 1 year ago
Exemplaire est un livre vraiment bon. Nous (vous camarades aciens eleves) travaillent dur por vous amener ici. Pendant ce temps, Dieu vous benisse.
roryselzner More than 1 year ago
The little man has an education: Or does he? The little man with the big mouth has an education and what does he use it for? To play ruler and lord over the black one on his arm. I float among the coffee shops and see the one who says he has all knowledge of KUNG FU. The book is a feeble attempt to fit in and belong-LET THE FRENCH HAVE HIM AND THE BOOK. It is indeed the worst book i've ever read. I will give him 1 stars because he tried.