Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service

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New York Times Bestseller: The moving, entertaining, never-before-told story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.

"The book is called Grateful American, and I promise you after you read it you will be grateful for what Gary has accomplished and contributed to our country." -- Clint Eastwood

As a kid in suburban Chicago, Gary Sinise was more interested in sports and rock 'n' roll than reading or schoolwork. But when he impulsively auditioned for a school production of West Side Story, he found his purpose--or so it seemed.

Within a few years Gary and a handful of friends created what became one of the most exciting and important new theater companies in America. From its humble beginnings in a suburban Chicago church basement and eventual move into the city, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company launched a series of groundbreaking productions, igniting Gary's career along with those of John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Gary Cole, Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Perry, John Mahoney, and others. Television and film came calling soon after, and Gary starred in Of Mice and Men (which he also directed) and The Stand before taking the role that would change his life in unforeseeable ways: Lieutenant Dan in the Academy Award–winning Forrest Gump.

The military community's embrace of the character of the disabled veteran was matched only by the depth of Gary's realization that America's defenders had not received all the honor, respect, and gratitude their sacrifices deserve. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, this became Gary's mission. While starring in hits like Apollo 13, Ransom, Truman, George Wallace, CSI:NY, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Gary has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country, entertaining more than a half million troops around the world playing bass guitar with his Lt. Dan Band, raising funds on behalf of veterans, and eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.

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About the author

Gary Sinise is an Oscar-nominated actor and winner of an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and two Screen Actors Guild awards, and has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, all while advocating for America’s veterans for nearly forty years. For his service work, Gary has been presented with numerous humanitarian awards including the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the George Catlett Marshall Medal from the Association of the US Army, and the Spirit of Hope Award by the Department of Defense. He was named an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the United States Navy, was pinned as an honorary Marine, and received the Sylvanus Thayer Award at West Point, given to a civilian "whose character, service, and achievements reflect the ideals prized by the U.S. Military Academy." He's also the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded by the President of the United States to citizens for "exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation. "

Marcus Brotherton is a New York Times bestselling author and coauthor. His books include Grateful American with Gary Sinise, Tough As They Come with SSG Travis Mills, and We Who Are Alive & Remain, with twenty of the elite paratroopers from World War II known as the Band of Brothers. He is the recipient of the Christopher Award for literature that “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”

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Additional Information

Publisher
Thomas Nelson
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Published on
Feb 12, 2019
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781400208135
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Military
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Performing Arts / Film / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In a wise, warmhearted memoir that celebrates her extraordinary life and stellar career, Swoosie Kurtz welcomes readers into her world, sharing personal misadventures and showbiz lore and candidly reflecting on the intimate journey of caring for an aging parent. Told with intelligence and Swoosie’s hallmark comedic timing, Part Swan, Part Goose makes a powerful statement about womanhood, work and family.

Swoosie’s is the kind of memoir that doesn’t come without a fascinating back story: Enter the parents, Frank and Margo Kurtz. Frank, an Olympic diving medalist, later became one of the most decorated aviators in American history. He flew a record number of missions in a cobbled-together B-17D Flying Fortress called “The Swoose,” now housed at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Margo chronicled their early years together in her memoir, My Rival, the Sky, published by Putnam in 1945. The book ends with the young couple happily anticipating the birth of a baby to be named after the indomitable Swoose.

Today, Margo, who is approaching her hundredth birthday, lives with Swoosie. As Margo’s reality drifts freely between her morning coffee and a 1943 war bond tour, Swoosie struggles to stay ahead of her mother’s increasing needs while navigating the pitfalls and pratfalls of the entertainment industry. This precarious moment in time is bittersweet and occasionally overwhelming, but every day is oxygenated with laughter and love. The careful weaving of Swoosie’s story with passages from My Rival, the Sky creates a vivid portrait of the invincible mother-daughter bond between the two women.

Part Swan, Part Goose is that rare Hollywood memoir that takes us behind the curtain but doesn’t live there; its heart is solidly at home. It doesn’t pretend to tell all, but what it does tell is deeply resonant for millions caring for aging parents, timely and topical for book clubs and entertaining as hell for readers in general.
Actor Anthony James has played killers, psychopaths, and other twisted characters throughout his Hollywood career. In the summer of 1967, James made his motion picture debut as the murderer in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night. His role in the 1992 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Unforgiven, culminated a unique, twenty-eight year career. Behind his menacing and memorable face, however, is a thoughtful, gentle man, one who muses deeply on the nature of art and creativity and on the family ties that have sustained him.

James's Acting My Face renders Hollywood through the eyes and experience of an established character actor. James appeared on screen with such legendary stars as Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Gene Hackman, and Sidney Poitier, and in such classic television shows as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and The A-Team. Yet, it is his mother's heroic story that captures his imagination. In an odyssey which in 1940 took her and her newly wedded husband from Greece to a small southern town in America where she bore her only child, James's mother suffered the early death of her husband when James was only eight years old. In the blink of an eye, she went from grand hostess of her husband's lavish parties to hotel maid. But like the lioness she was, she fought with great ferocity and outrageous will in her relentless devotion to James's future. And so it was, that on an August morning in 1960, eighteen-year-old James and his mother took a train from South Carolina three thousand miles to Hollywood, California, to realize his dream of an acting career. They possessed only two hundred dollars, their courage, and an astonishing degree of naiveté.

After his retirement in 1994, James and his mother moved to Arlington, Massachusetts, where he concentrated on his painting and poetry. His mother died in 2008 at the age of ninety-four, still a lioness protecting her beloved son. Acting My Face is an unusual memoir, one that explores the true nature of a working life in Hollywood and how aspirations and personal devotion are forged into a career.

For countless millions, Humphrey Bogart’s screen performances and real-life persona merged to make him one of the world’s most fabled figures—a legend of mythic proportions. Or, as his Sam Spade would have put it—the stuff that dreams are made of.
But for his only son, Stephen, eight years old in 1957 when his father died of lung cancer, Humphrey Bogart’s giant shadow was a burden he carried until he finally came to understand the private man behind his father’s public face. And now, in this candid and insightful biography, Stephen Bogart explores and illuminates Humphrey Bogart’s life, work, and relationships as they never have been before.
Writing with the encouragement of his famous mother, Lauren Bacall, Stephen calls on his memories, and take full advantage of the extraordinary access he has had to friends and colleagues of his father. The result is an intimate and personal profile of an enigmatic man whose tough image contrasted with very human ambitions and vulnerabilities. It is also a vastly entertaining book, filled with fascinating stories involving Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, “Swifty” Lazar, John Huston, Stephen Bogart’s stepfather, Jason Robards, and many others.
Here is Humphrey Bogart, the pro’s pro on the set and the Hollywood renegade off it. The man’s man, the ladies’ man, the hard worker, and the man who liked to drink too much. The husband in three roller-coaster marriages and finally one perfect match, the proud father and absentee parent, the good friend and even better enemy. Here are eye-witness accounts of his most celebrated public misdeeds and moving testimonies of his most unexpected private moments. And finally, in perhaps the most compelling chapter of this shining saga, here is the close-up of Bogart’s last months, where his courage, dignity, and humor made his most stirring celluloid roles seem pale.
Combining the drama of Humphrey Bogart’s life with that of a son whose path of reconciliation first had to move through a very difficult time, this is biography at its best—at once a loving tribute and a fascinating revelation. This ebook edition includes photographs directly from Stephen Bogart's personal collection.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “An essential (and delightful!)”* guide to writing from Random House’s longtime copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus—in the tradition of The Elements of Style

*People (Book of the Week)

We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.

As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike—not to mention his followers on social media—for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.

As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with “And” or “But” and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including “very,” “rather,” “of course,” and the dreaded “actually.” Dreyer will let you know whether “alright” is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling—though, as he notes, “The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them.”

And yes: “Only godless savages eschew the series comma.”

Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and—perhaps best of all—an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.

Praise for Dreyer’s English

“Playful, smart, self-conscious, and personal . . . One encounters wisdom and good sense on nearly every page of Dreyer’s English.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Destined to become a classic.”—The Millions

“Dreyer can help you . . . with tips on punctuation and spelling. . . . Even better: He’ll entertain you while he’s at it.”—Newsday (What to Read This Week)
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