Snapshots of My Father, John Silber

Snapshots of My Father, John Silber

by Rachel Devlin
Snapshots of My Father, John Silber

Snapshots of My Father, John Silber

by Rachel Devlin


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This is an extensively illustrated memoir of John Silber, who entirely transformed Boston University as its president and was a controversial, yet intellectually formidable, candidate for governor of Massachusetts.

Here, Rachel Devlin looks at her family and her father’s trajectory from Texas to Boston and what life became like there; she examines his personality and temperament; and she describes his later years, the hardships he weathered and his continued accomplishments out of the public eye. As the title implies, each chapter is like a snapshot taken from a daughter’s perspective, peering into the past she saw. Silber championed freedom of speech, believing all sides should be heard, especially on college campuses. He was also the father of seven children. The author often meets people who want to hear what he was like as a father and to tell her their own stories about him.

Here is her clear-eyed vision of this authentic man of principle who had a drive to achieve great things.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942155508
Publisher: Rachel Devlin
Publication date: 11/15/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 452,899
Product dimensions: 6.31(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Author Rachel Silber Devlin is one of John Silber's six daughters. As a wife, a mother, and a homemaker, she always had a strong sense of who she was apart from any labels.

Devlin says that she sometimes feels like she and her dad grew up together because she knew him so well from a time when he was young and still learning how to make his way in the world.

She divides her time between her homes in Texas and Massachusetts, the states where her children and grandchildren live.

Table of Contents

Foreword Lance Morrow xi

Preface xvii

Part 1 Background: Forces that Marked the Man 1

1 Mammy 3

2 Jewell 7

3 Paul G. 12

4 Ma Bess 19

5 Ampee 23

6 Uncle Bobby 30

7 Paul 34

Part 2 Foreground: From Texas to Boston and How We Lived There 81

8 Kathryn 83

9 Six Daughters 90

10 David 97


12 Foremost a Teacher 109

13 A True Liberal 117

14 The House on Carlton Street 122

15 High Life 129

16 Devotion to the Arts 138

17 Still Grounded 146

18 The Office Culture 153

19 The Campaign for Governor 162

20 Temperament 172

Part 3 Patina: Adversity and Character 211

21 Time with David 213

22 Shipwreck 221

23 Going It Alone 232

24 The Work 239

25 Final Challenges 246

26 Tribute 251

27 The End of an Era 256

Afterword 287

Acknowledgements 289

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