Read Kamerdyner by Wil Haygood Free Online
Book Title: Kamerdyner|
The author of the book: Wil Haygood
Edition: Marginesy Wydawnictwo
Date of issue: December 19th 2013
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 963 KB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 5.8
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I can't say I disliked this book but neither was I satisfied by it. From the title I expected, well, either a biography about the butler himself, Eugene Allen, a man in the unique position of having served eight presidents, or, a story of the life that went on around him while he served those eight presidents and first ladies of our country. This book does neither of those things; or rather it delivers those things in postage stamp size, meanwhile slipping in its own agenda.
The book leads off with how the author ‘landed’ the front page story of Mr. Allen’s life for his newspaper, the Washington Post. It emphasized the warm character of Mr. and Mrs. Allen, their lovely home and their pride in the pending election of what they hoped would be the first African American president. All of this would have been fine if the book had then gone on to tell Mr. Allen’s life story from the beginning through to the present day. However that story will have to await another book.
In The Butler: A Witness to History we are given only scattered memories interspersed between the more important (?) issues of racial issues in our country, as if Mr. Allen could only see things from African American eyes. Now if I, as a white woman, were to only look at the world through white female eyes and insist the rest of the world around me do the same, I would be accused of single-mindedness at best, prejudice and racial hatred, at worst. I know I must take in the views of others by stepping outside myself. Would I suspect Mr. Allen of any less? No. I don't! There's no doubt Mr. Allen viewed the vast years of history he saw unfold before him as an American, as a human being, as member of the White House staff who also happened to be of African American descent. Furthermore, his exposure to so many different people of widely divergent faiths, ages, races, religions, nationalities as well as both genders, allowed him to value all these people and their perspectives, even and especially those who most needed his compassion.
Regretfully, very little of Mr. Allen’s voice is heard in this book. Few of his experiences are related—more’s the pity. Instead, the story of how the author found Mr. Allen is followed by a discussion about how to tell (sell?) this story*. It was no accident then that the book moves on to give a history of the African American people’s struggle to find a voice in Hollywood. Even so, this made for very interesting reading as do all such struggles in the cutthroat world of the stage and theater. However, it did not belong in this biography, even if it purported to be a lead-up to the filming of the book. It was just filler to make up for the biography that wasn’t there.
Someone still owes Mr. Allen a real book on his life.
All in all disappointing. Doubt I’ll bother with the film. (See message #9 below for update.)
*There's an old saying that History is written by the winners. We should be discerning readers, know our authors and check and double check! And then when all is said and done, still be prepared to discover there is so much more to learn...
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