The dynamic and always controversial television producer shares 50 years of show business and politics, with all the candor and wisdom expected from the creator of All in the Family
The legendary creator of iconic television programs All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Norman Lear remade our television culture - while leading a life of unparalleled political, civic, and social involvement. Sharing the wealth of Lear's 90 years, Even This I Get to Experience is a memoir as touching and remarkable as the life he has led.
In the 1970s, Lear's comedies were viewed by 120 million people per week - yes, 120 million - with stories that reflected the most serious issues of their lives and still left them howling. But before this, Lear led a charmed life throughout postwar Hollywood's golden years, befriending the likes of Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks; writing and directing Frank Sinatra, Robert Redford, Dick Van Dyke, and Martha Raye; becoming the highest paid comic writer in the country while working for Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Not to mention, Lear flew some 50 bombing missions over Germany with the 15th Air Force.
Shamelessly in love with the country the Founding Fathers laid out for him while his own father was serving time, Lear won the first American Legion Oratorical Contest speaking about the Constitution. He later founded People For the American Way, a national organization to protect the civil rights and liberties of us all, and bought an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed the night of July 4, 1776, not to hang on a wall in his home, but to travel across the country to schools, and libraries, and public institutions to be shared with citizens everywhere.
"[Lear's] pacing and timing are excellent as he keeps the material fresh, his tone reflecting his memories as he recounts them." (AudioFile)
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Norman Lear-a timeless soul
Norman Lear's new book, "Even This I Get to Experience," is a thoughtful and well-written book. Instead of reading it, I listened to it because Norman was actually reading his own audio book. Hearing him tell his own story is like sitting at the foot of a wizened elder as he peels back the decades of learning, struggles, accomplishments, and love. Norman's not only a brilliant writer and spell binding story teller, he speaks with a convincing simplicity lodged between emotion and matter of fact objectivity.
At times I found myself learning, laughing, and sometimes blushing. I loved his family stories, career highs and lows, and his ceaseless desire to make the world a better and more interesting place. He speaks bluntly about his failed marriages, divorce, business failures, world issues, and more. Even better, he talks about what worked in his life, his love for his wife Lyn, and his unrelenting positive views on life. It's so unusual to listen to a 90 year old man whose agile mind operates at a 40 year old person's level of creativity. Norman Lear is a timeless soul.
- Terri A. Lowery