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Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,702 Ratings  ·  189 Reviews
What does it really mean to be a good father? What did your father tell you, that has stayed with you throughout your life? Was there a lesson from him, a story, or a moment that helped to make you who you are? Is there a special memory that makes you smile when you least expect it?

After the publication of Tim Russert’s number one New York Times bestseller about his father
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 23rd 2006 by Random House (first published January 1st 2006)
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Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is There a Better Book You Can Buy for Father's Day for a Father (yours, your children's, your brother, your best friend)?
No, but I Welcome You to Try to Prove Me Wrong

I bought and read this book, put together by the late Tim Russert, not long after it was originally published about a month before Father's Day 2007. At the time my kids were 8. I needed the book like the grass needs the Sun and the rain. I was as deeply impacted by this book as any non-fiction I have ever read; I have never loo
Scott Dinsmore
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why I Read this Book: The importance of a father and his lessons can never be appreciated enough. This reminded me of how grateful so many of us should be.

Topics Covered:

* The importance of family and relationships
* Showing gratitude and appreciation
* Removing negative emotions


Few of us know a stronger or more unique bond than that with our fathers. As I read through this book, I experienced just about every emotion on the map from happiness to sadness to gratitude to excitement and ev
Kyle Carroll (i_fucking_love_books)
I enjoyed this book for the most part. It was interesting reading stories of fathers and families, and their struggles and happiness. We live in such a different world now, most of the entries in this book took place in the 50's through the 80's, and that was a totally different generation. Nonetheless, it was a very good read.

The only thing I didn't like was the authors reflections before each chapter. It seemed like he was trying to name drop every famous person he had ever met, and acted like
Nov 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has/had a father worthy of praise of any kind
This book was a very enjoyable read--I laughed, I cried and I learned a few things, too. Although I always knew MY DAD was the BEST dad in the world :-)), it was nice to hear about others that shared that title! The historical perspective the stories offer is very interesting and help explain why some men respond the way they do in relationships. Understanding this could certainly put a different spin on things as many had concluded in the book. I fortunately never had to wonder whether my dad l ...more
Tim Hanlon
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am actually published in this book...a story about my dad. What a thrill!
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compilation of letters people sent in response to his earlier book "Big Russ & Me", these stories are funny, sad, poignant and heart-warming. The chapters are grouped by theme or topic, such as Baseball, The Protector, and Missing Dads. Tim Russert's charm comes through in his introductions to each section.

I took a long time reading this book because I found myself reacting very emotionally to so many of the stories. I found myself reflecting on my own imperfect relationship with my fathe
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With Father's Day around the corner, and looking for something to read, I picked this book off my husband's had been a Father's Day gift a few years ago. I was always a Tim Russert fan from his Meet the Press days and I vividly remember being sadly struck by his untimely, sudden death a few years ago.

This book doesn't disappoint. It is a great collection of letters and thoughts about fathers from readers of Russert's Book "Big Russ and Me."
Broken down into thematic sections, the boo
Bob Mitchell
Dec 08, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Tim has created 21 categories of people's comments about their fathers. If I had written mine, they would fall into the "Forgiveness" chapter. Surprisingly, most are very well written - perhaps well edited by Random House's editor. I laughed and I cried. Many articles amazed me by their love or lack thereof of their fathers. All in all, a very interesting view of intra-family relations.
Traci Sherlock
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring book! I adored this book. The letters from children about their fathers were very touching. My favorite quote was on page 112 and it was "Grief is the price we pay for love." I will save this book to reread when I feel sentimental about my own parents.
Trevor Mottishaw
Being a life long Republican I was a little leary of reading this book, however it was excellent and I would recommend it to everyone.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable follow-up to the late "Meet the Press" host's book on his father, " Big Russ and Me." It was compiled from letters written to Russert from people who read his book about their fathers. Some are short, some are long, some are touching, some are funny. The letters are interspersed by commentary and memories from Russert, who reads the audio book himself.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, book-group
I found the concept interesting, though after awhile the stories began to sound very similar. I was struck by the wide number of occupations represented in the collection, and I certainly listened to it to the end.
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Saps, who can't seem to get over their need to have a dad
This book is filled with little short memories from children about their fathers. I believe some of these kids must have been on an acid trip while gathering their memories. Okay, I'm sorry, I'm sure there were no acid trips involved. But, perhaps a little reality got skewed along the way, which led to a little gagging from me, from time to time. Nobody's father is perfect. Sorry, it just happens to be the truth. But then again, how would I know?
Although, I have to say, there were some storie
John Wiswell
Wisdom of Our Fathers is a sentimental book. It's a series of letters from people fondly remembering aspects of their fathers. These are often one-dimensional and/or overly forgiving due to sentimentality. It's not a great book of insight into parenting, and no letter makes an amazing statement on what all fathers must do. But by avoiding pretention, Russert's collection benefits from sentimentality. After all, there is nothing wrong with sentimentality, even though it's loathed in so many liter ...more
Bart Breen
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looks Sappy, but it's Not!

I admit. I was given this book for Father's Day and when I looked at it, I immediately had a slight tinge of remorse that the family had not gone for the tacky tie instead.

Then I opened the book and read it ... in one sitting.

I had not read Russert's book on his own father and so I was prepared for a little "Chicken Soup" for the Father's soul kind of thing.

I was pleasantly surprised.

This book is a great resource. I read it not as a son, reminiscing about my own Dad, (w
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like it less than Big Russ & Me which I read years ago. The vignettes got a bit boring. I did enjoy reminising about my dad at first.

Baseball games at the Cleveland stadium because I got straight A's. Every year just me and my dad went and he'd trade in the upper deck tickets for about $3 each and got us box seats.

Also watching him shave with soap in a mug and his 2 sided safety razoe.

On Saturday mornings he'd give me $1 to walk over to the delicattesen to buy comic books at 12 cents each. w
Joshua Guest
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Tim Russert's book Big Russ and Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life about his father became a best-seller, Russert received a flood of letters from everyday Americans who had meaningful memories relating back to their fathers, both good and bad. I spent several moments on the couch with my family reading these stories out loud. Ironically, I often caught myself ignoring my own children's petitions to play with them because I was so captivated in reading this book full of lessons in being a ...more
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is a father or has a father
I had a hard time trying to figure out how to rate this book. In fact I almost didn't rate it--but that's not fair to the author or to any of the letter-writers featured in it.

This was a very difficult book for me to read. For a number of reasons. 'nuff said.

Tim Russert wrote brief introductions for each section/category of letters. Here's what he wrote at the beginning of "Hands (and Feet)"

"Just as I used to focus on my father's hands Luke used to focus on mine. When he was little, at least onc
Cindy Work
Tim russert received an avalanche of letters from people who wanted to tell him their stories about their dads after them reading Big Russ and Me.
(from back cover) . . . casts a fond look back to the 50's Buffalo neighborhood of Russert's youth and recalls the extraordinary example of his father - a WWII vet who worked two jobs without complaint for 30 years and taught his children to appreciate the values of self-discipline, or respect, of loyalty to friends. Russert gives us reason to laugh,
Michele Casper
This is a book of stories about experiences that all sorts of people had with their fathers--mostly good. Reading the stories reminded me a little of the Chicken Soup series. They were nearly all positive, and I hope that most people could find at least one good story about their fathers, although I know there are many out there who aren't so great. I was glad to see a few of these negative examples included, because life sometimes dictates that we come up on the short end of the stick, and we h ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful and heartwarming compilation of stories of the relationships between fathers and their sons and daughters. A companion piece to Russert's testimonial to his father, he said he was moved to write this book after receiving an avalanche of letters from readers who wanted to tell him about their fathers. This was the result. I have a complicated relationship with my father, but this book made me think about the good parts of him and that helped us improve things between us. I wo ...more
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost forgot about this one but an absolutely lovely, at times heart wrenching book. One of my favorites. It's compromised of all letters from sons and daughters to their dads. Some dads are still living and others gone..It's not about your dad being special but just unique.. to you. Take the good with the bad. When reading the letters you can definitely relate to some of the writers,their descriptions and characteristics of their dads. Tim Russert seems like such a good, down to earth man..a ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got this book for free--wouldn't have picked it up otherwise. But I ended up really liking it. The stories were so touching. I'm going to pass it to my dad for father's day. In this era of broken families, it was great to read about so many wonderful fathers and the impact they have on lives. Fathers really do matter. The different entries listed the son or daughter's occupation and their father's occupation--it struck me that many of these sons and daughters had white-collar jobs, while their f ...more
Gin Tadvick
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book right after Tim Russert died and put it on my TBR (ToBeRead) shelf. But when it came up in rotation to be read, my father had just passed and I couldn't read it. So fast forward two years and I decided to read this compilation of tributes to fathers, dad and step-dads. I am glad that I did. So many of the tributes reminded me not only of my dad but also my god-father and father-in-law and even my husband. I read several tributes to my daughter and we laughed and cried over them t ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book many years ago on the recommendation of my wife. I had started it and found it boring but this year I am finishing books.

The book was amazing. It was good to read children write about their Fathers and what they appreciated about them. It made me reflect on my relationship with my Dad. He needs to hear more often that I appreciate him and specifically why I appreciate him. I also reflected on my relationship with my own children. I got ideas of how to be a better dad and wh
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it in print, but it's even better as an audiobook. It's a fabulous anthology demonstrating what it means to be a good father to one's child(ren) and others. There are many touching vignettes from sons (including Russert) and daughters concerning experiences with their fathers or father-figures. Some letters are quite sad but all are uplifting, such as one story of a son whose father was a substance abuser but the son was still able to learn and grow from this relationship. It's ...more
Paul Miller
Tim Russert wrote a lovely tribute to his father called "Big Russ & Me". Life lessons from his very hard working, sanitation worker father in Buffalo. Classic 'greatest generation' stuff. The book so moved many readers that they wrote in their own stories and lessons from their own fathers. This book is a compilation of some of those.

As a father, I certainly found a number of ideas that resonated with me (e.g. "QUANTITY time, not quality time"), but certainly not the bang for the buck of the
Peter Mayeux
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates the human condition
I'm motivated to read Tim Russert's first book that profiled his father, Big Red.

WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS is a charming collection of letters and comments from readers about their fathers. Russert offers an overview of each collection. The letters allow some expression of individuality but there is also a clear consistency in sttyle and tone provided by careful editing.

It is unfortunate Tim Russert died soon after this book was published. I think he had several other touching memoir/biographical
Rita K
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My spouse and I listened to the audio version of this book on our first six week trip in our rv. I had expected it to be pretty sentimental, but it surprised me by including many remembrances that were not treacle. Since I do not remember my own dad as he died when I was very young, I relied on my husband and his memories of his father to gauge this book. And as I was a fan of Tim Russert, I was happy that I enjoyed the book. He was always my favorite part of "Meet the Press" and I still miss hi ...more
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i liked it 2 9 Oct 06, 2013 07:38AM  
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Timothy John Russert, Jr. was an American journalist who had hosted NBC's Meet the Press since 1991. He was the Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News, and hosted Tim Russert, a weekly interview program on MSNBC. He was also a frequent correspondent and guest on other NBC News programs, such as The Today Show and Hardball. He co-hosted the network's presidential Election Night coverage. He also pres ...more
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“What you are to be, you are now becoming. —RUSSEL LESTER SNYDER, artist” 1 likes
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