Megan 's Reviews > Oh, Beautiful: An American Family in the 20th Century

Oh, Beautiful by John Paul Godges
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's review
Jan 19, 12

bookshelves: first-reads-giveaways, memoir-autobio, historical
Recommended for: Americans, baby-boomers, history fans
Read from January 05 to 18, 2012

What does it mean to be American? I am American because my German-Polish-Ukrainian (“and an itty-bitty-bit-of-Dutch”) self was born in Pennsylvania and not Odessa or Krakow or Dresden. This is because my great-great-grandparents rustled up some courage and inspiration to travel to this land of opportunity, whether leaving with relief or forced to make sacrifices. I don’t know exactly who, where or when these events happened, but ‘Oh, Beautiful’ makes me want to find out!
This is an excellent book, partially because it is so well written, and with such passion! It is mostly an excellent book, however, because it is an excellent story. Any epic family saga that begins with hobos on a train is destined to be an awesome read!
Memoirs must be tough to write, pouring over old memories and airing family laundry to complete strangers eager to read every word. A big Thank-You to John Paul Godges for taking time to write this, to include old family photographs (in one of which the guys look eerily like extras from ‘the Godfather’) and to do all the research it must have taken to accurately portray this much of the past.
Readers will enjoy thoughtful, heartfelt, and hilarious stories spanning generations of lives intertwined with American history. Full of sadness and pain, but also personal growth and immense hope, these personal histories will make an impact on you! They may spark an interest in genealogy, or they may inspire you to pick up a musical instrument and attempt to play it, join the military, learn how to surf, cook Italian food, become a teacher, or volunteer for AIDS awareness charities. Regardless, you will have a BYOOO-tiful time!
Thanks again goodreads giveaways for this free book, and thanks to John for not only signing my copy but adding some postcards to help get the word out on this amazing journey of a book!
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01/10/2012 page 279
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