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Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time
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Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Farewell, Godspeed is a remarkable collection of eulogies for some of the most notable figures of our time, delivered by the people who knew them best. In the words used to eulogize the great and celebrated men and women of the world—sometimes reverential, sometimes funny, always poignant—we come as close as perhaps we ever will to seeing the warm humanity beneath their pu...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by Crown
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Jul 11, 2010 H added it
Shelves: nonfiction
When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

Art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstones of our judgment. The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious stat...more
The title promises "the greatest eulogies of our time", and the book delivers on its promise. Here are some of the eulogies included:

Adlai Stevenson on Eleanor Roosevelt
Bob Hope on Jack Benny
John F. Kennedy on Robert Frost
Fidel Castro on Che Guevara
Friedrich Engels on Karl Marx
John Huston on Humphrey Bogart
Christopher Isherwood on Virginia Woolf

In total, there are 64 eulogies, covering the following (somewhat arbitrarily defined) "categories":

Captains of Industry
Reading so many eulogies at once was both sobering and inspiring. An interesting read! I learned a solid little bit about a lot of people, some of which inspired me to check out biographies on some of the people (Lucille Ball and Eleanor Roosevelt especially).

I was surprised to notice that there seem to be a handful of styles of eulogies. Some eulogies are lovely testaments to a life well lived, some are about world affairs or philosophy and some are more about the eulogizer than person of the...more
It's a little odd to read eulogies, I know, but I enjoyed the "mini-biography" aspect these had. It is a great collection, (featuring artists, authors, scientists, adventurers, politicians, actors) all written by friends or colleagues. I enjoyed reading Diane Sawyer write about Lucille Ball, and Fidel Castro write about Che Guevara.
As I've grown older, more and more I've confronted my own mortality and that of various loved ones. To that end, I've tried to prepare myself for passings and this book has been a starting point for how I might eulogize various people in my life. Highly recommended.
Although this isn't quite what I thought it would be, the book presents quiite an iteresting picture of changing values and popular attitudes. Some humor here and there and many moving passages make this fairly interesting.
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