For years, people have been asking Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel, the brash, outspoken, and fiercely loyal eldest brother in the Emanuel clan, the same question: "What did your mom put in the cereal?" Middle brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, erstwhile White House chief of staff, and one of the most colorful figures in American politics. Read more...
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For years, people have been asking Ezekiel "Zeke" Emanuel, the brash, outspoken, and fiercely loyal eldest brother in the Emanuel clan, the same question: "What did your mom put in the cereal?" Middle brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, erstwhile White House chief of staff, and one of the most colorful figures in American politics. Youngest brother Ari is a Hollywood superagent, the real-life model for the character of Ari Gold on the hit series "Entourage." And Zeke himself, whom the other brothers consider to be the smartest of them all, is one of the world's leading bioethicists and oncologists, and a former special advisor for health policy in the Obama administration. How did one family of modest means produce three such high-achieving kids? Here, for the first time, Zeke provides the answer.
Set amid the tumult of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s, "Brothers Emanuel" recounts the intertwined histories of these three rambunctious, hypercompetitive Jewish American boys, each with his own unique and compelling life story. But ultimately, this is the story of the entire Emanuel family: the tough, colorful Old World grandparents; a mischievous, loving father who immigrated to the United States with twenty-five dollars and who enthralled his boys with tales of his adventures in Israel's war for independence; and a proud, politically engaged mother who took the boys with her to rallies and protests--including a civil rights march through the streets of Chicago led by Martin Luther King himself.
Even as the Emanuels distinguished themselves as individuals, the bond of brotherhood that tied them together was never broken. "Brothers Emanuel" is a wry, rollicking, and often poignant narrative of how one American family succeeded in raising three extraordinary children.
Praise for "Brothers Emanuel"
"An endearing, honest and gripping account of an American success story."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A beautiful portrait of growing up Jewish in an urban environment during an era of profound social change."--"Publishers Weekly"
"This delightful memoir is a deeply personal tale of one family, but it's also about much larger things: America and tribal identity, love and rivalry, and the moral lessons to be learned as you grow up."--Walter Isaacson
"Fascinating . . . a classic tale of an immigrant family."--"Chicago Tribune"
"Mighty entertaining.""--The Hollywood Reporter"
"A clear-eyed, candid memoir that is unique and yet quintessentially American."--BookPage
"A fun read.""--The Forward"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-08
- Reviewer: Staff
The oldest of three boys, Emanuel recalls growing up in Chicago in the 1960's and 70's with his brothers, Rahm and Ari, their pediatrician father Ben, and activist mother Marsha. Rahm would grow up to advise Bill Clinton and become mayor of Chicago. Ari is a Hollywood talent agent and Ezekiel a bioethicist specializing in end-of-life care decisions. The story begins with Ben's journey from Israel to medical school in France, then to Chicago's Mount Sinai Hospital. . He opened a private practice, serving Chicago's melting pot by speaking four languages and charging on a sliding scale. Marsha joined picket lines for desegregation and encouraged her sons to devote themselves to social justice, even bringing them to a 1966 march attended by Martin Luther King. Ezekiel recalls blatant anti-semitism, from racial slurs to bigoted country clubs. The Emanuels immersed themselves in culture, from the symphony and ballet lessons to Jewish theology. The family traveled often, ranging from a trip along Route 66 in a sky-blue Rambler to whole summers spent in Israel which Ezekiel recalls with vivid description. This book is a beautiful portrait of growing up Jewish in an urban environment during an era of profound social change. (Apr.)