Big Russ and Me, by Tim Russert (Hyperion)
Well-known Television personality Tim Russert has gripped American readers with this memoir of his father.
Here we see the person behind the television image, and it brings a home-spun flavor to Tim Russert.
For example, it's difficult to believe that this mild-mannered gentleman who visits our living rooms actually worked his way through college by working on a garbage truck.
Further, he honors his father for a hard working life in the same and similar occupations. This will offer welcome relief to any reader who has had enough of the elitism that has become so evident in American television news.
Not that Tim has ignored society's great leaders. To the contrary, he speaks in familiar terms with high-level politicians and settings, including the White House.
As a book, Big Russ and Me (perhaps influenced by Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation) may have touched off a movement of sorts, too (if there can be a movement now that we have such a plethora of new titles every month). The trend seems to favor memoirs, stories comfortably situated in the past where anyone can all feel secure while living in the "cutting edge" pressures of today's world.
This book, a bestseller in its own right, is a humble testament to a land where persons of lesser origin can use their own initiative to walk with the mighty, and this is a credit to Big Russ, Tim Russert, and the freedom still enjoyed (although so threatened) in the USA.