Brothers: On His Brothers and Brothers in History

Brothers On His Brothers and Brothers in History From the bestselling National Book Award finalist a masterful blend of history and memoir featuring the author s four brothers and iconic brothers in history the Thoreaus the Van Goghs the Kelloggs

From the bestselling National Book Award finalist, a masterful blend of history and memoir featuring the author s four brothers and iconic brothers in history the Thoreaus, the Van Goghs, the Kelloggs, the Marx brothers, and the Booths.George Howe Colt s The Big House is, as the New Yorker said, full of surprises and contains than seems possible a family memoir, a bFrom the bestselling National Book Award finalist, a masterful blend of history and memoir featuring the author s four brothers and iconic brothers in history the Thoreaus, the Van Goghs, the Kelloggs, the Marx brothers, and the Booths.George Howe Colt s The Big House is, as the New Yorker said, full of surprises and contains than seems possible a family memoir, a brief history of the Cape, an investigation of nostalgia, a study of class, and a meditation on the privileges and burdens of the past Colt s new book, Brothers, is an equally idiosyncratic and masterful blend of memoir and history featuring both the author s three brothers and iconic brothers in history the Booths, the Van Goghs, the Kelloggs, the Marx Brothers, and the Thoreaus.Colt believes he would be a different man had he not grown up in a family of four brothers He movingly recounts the adoration, envy, affection, resentment, and compassion in their shifting relationships from childhood through middle age, also rendering a volatile decade in American life the 1960s Some of the Colt men now have children all have found their own paths all now consider their brothers to be their closest friends.In alternate chapters, Colt parallels his quest to understand how his own brothers shaped his life with an examination of the rich and complex relationships between iconic brothers in history He explores how Edwin Booth grew up to become the greatest act

  • ↠ Brothers: On His Brothers and Brothers in History ½ George Howe Colt
    392 George Howe Colt
Brothers: On His Brothers and Brothers in History

About Author

  1. George Howe Colt is the bestselling author of November of the Soul The Enigma of Suicide and The Big House, which was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times notable book He is married to the American author Anne Fadiman and lives with his family in Western Massachusetts.

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Brothers: On His Brothers and Brothers in History Comment

  1. I originally liked the premise of this book, a study of brotherhood, since I have 2 sons Ultimately, I disliked the book for two reasons, although I found bits and pieces interesting I felt that the chapters dedicated to famous brothers were too long and jumped around too much often citing dozens of other brothers as long tangential side notes I ended up skipping the last several chapters of this type because I just could not handle them I liked the early chapters depicting the author and his br [...]


  2. I was very tempted to give up on this book in the early chapters because it wasn t consistently interesting The author throws in every anecdote about every famous brother he could find, which makes for a slog He also throws in so many theories about brotherhood without footnotes, although there is bibliographic information in an appendix that they contradict each other For example, you might first read that the youngest of the family is spoiled and babied, and a few pages later read that the you [...]


  3. George Howe Colt is the second of four brothers, Harry, George, Ned, and Mark Here he uses accounts of their lives together, with alternating chapters featuring famous brother combinations, to study the dynamics of brotherly relationships As a child, George adored Harry and wanted to be just like him Mark is several years younger than the other three, and really only figured as the baby brother in the others childhoods They quarreled a lot, and at times were not particularly close to each other, [...]


  4. George Howe Colt is a talented writer, and he successfully weaves multiple stories about famous brothers together with a memoir of growing up with three brothers of his own to create what I think of as a great source of cocktail party trivia about brothers There are lots of fun facts about the Booth Brothers, the Van Gogh brothers, the Marx brothers and that you can drop into casual conversation The book is well researched but not particularly insightful I had the impression that the author sta [...]




  5. BROTHERS by George Howe Colt is an unusual book in that it jumps back and forth between the doings of the four Colt brothers and other celebrity type brothers Although they re extremely likable, perhaps the Colt segments are too long.Some of what Colt discovers about brothers in general is old hat The oldest brother tends to bond with his parents, tends to be successful, seems like a little adult The youngest is creative and has a tendency to take chances The poor guy or guys in the middle d [...]


  6. A fascinating and well researched portrait of some remarkable brothers Edwin John Wilkes Booth, John Will Kellogg, Vincent Theo Van Gogh, John Henry Thoreau and the wild and crazy five Marx Brothers Groucho, Zeppo, Chico, Harpo and Gummo Colt throws in small bits about other others such as the hoarding Collyer brothers, the Everly Brothers, and the James Brothers Henry and William and Jesse James and his brother whose name I forgot One doesn t have to have had brothers to appreciate his take on [...]


  7. This was a rare non fiction book that held my interest throughout the book, with a couple caveats I enjoyed reading about family dynamics and how male siblings impact the development of each other.Here are the caveats Every other chapter is about the author s own family The first such chapter was sweet sentimental However, as his family ages in later chapters, dysfunction and NY liberal politics invade I d highly recommend skipping all the subsequent chapters on the author s family I d also reco [...]


  8. Interesting idea, nicely executed The author, one of four brothers, discusses all kinds of issues relating to brothers, including the relationships within his own family, psychological issues relating to brothers, and illustrations using famous brothers in history, such as John Wilkes Booth and his brothers, Vincent and Theo Van Gogh, the Kennedys, and many others I am the same age as the author, and also am one of four brothers, so some things on the family historical side of the story were eas [...]


  9. This is two books in one, with chapters about the complicated relationships of famous brothers in history to name a few, Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, Theo and Vincent Van Gogh, W K and John Harvey Kellogg of breakfast food fame , and the life long story of the author s complicated relationships with his own brothers Having read George Howe Colt s earlier memoir, The Big House,I anticipated a well written book chock full of interesting information and thoughtful analysis, and was not disappointed [...]


  10. This book enriched my life in a small but meaningful way It rambles at points, especially when relating stories of famous brothers through history, but hardly to its detriment It s a grand work that I think any reader should appreciate especially those for whom family is very important I found reading it to be unexpectedly cathartic I am close to my brother but had hardly stopped to consider just how important he is to me, and how powerfully my closeness and rivalry with him has shaped my unders [...]


  11. What a fun book Mr Colt writes clarity about growing up with his three brothers, and the alternate chapter format one chapter for his life, one chapter for a famous set of brothers worked very nicely at keeping the story fresh, lively, and moving I got this as a Christmas gift from an uncle, and have since given a copy to other family members, but kept my own copy for my library Some chapters started to drag on at times, but Mr Colt seemed to know when my attention span and want for details was [...]


  12. I abandoned my plan of drinking my way around the world at the Wursthaus too expensive, too bourgeois in favor of downing pints of Guinness at the Plow Stars, a cozy pub whose Irish overtones seemed far literarily useful, or draining twenty five cent drafts at Whitney s, a blue collar watering hole patronized by solitary middle aged men whose silence I assumed spoke to oracular wisdom and not a pie faced stupor as we marinated in the evening light tableau vivant I convinced myself was not pathe [...]


  13. I liked the idea of this book, a memoir of life as one of four brothers alternating with sketches of famous brothers in history I ended up being disappointed in this book, and didn t get too far before it was over due at the library, so I gave up In the part I read I didn t feel like the author said much that was new about his own brothers, and found it irritating that he interjected of his own memories in the historical portion.


  14. I read the six chapters on the Colt brothers So interesting to hear the perspective of one and then how differently each brother perceives his place and role in the family Certainly pushed my own thinking on how each sib can have such a different experience and view Will read the chapters on the well known brothers at some point.


  15. I enjoyed the book As a mother of two sons, I look at their interactions in an entirely different light, wondering how all their squabbling will end up The book was very hopeful, indicating that even if brothers are not close or fight a lot as kids, they can still grow to have a close relationship in adulthood That was reassuring


  16. I enjoyed this book in part because it describes the relationship among the author s brothers growing up in 1960 s, when I was a kid, and the author paints a vivid picture of life as a kid in those days Of course, the book also describes the relationships of other, famous brothers from the past, but I found the stories I enjoyed most were those from the author s own life.


  17. I really enjoyed this book I m going to give it to Tim to read this summer It gave me some good insights into the relationships between my sons, and also between my sisters and myself I enjoyed reading the stories of historical sets of brothers, many of which I never knew But I found especially interesting the sections centered on the author and his own brothers.


  18. Not an absorbing page turner but still a great read Anyone from a history buff to a trivia nerd, psych major, or someone s brother or sister will enjoy the mix of family dynamics and storytelling interspersed through this book.


  19. Loved all the stories about a third of the book is about the Colts, another third his big five the Booths, Kelloggs, Van Gogh s, Marxes, Thoreaus The final third was perhaps the most fun odds and ends of brothers from Adams to Freud.


  20. This is an excellent memoir written by George Howe Colt about his own brothers Colt alternates chapters between his story and other Brothers through our history I learned so much about the Booths, the Kellogg s.Highly Recommended


  21. Interesting He details the stories of the Booth, Kellogg, Marx brothers along with his own family relationships Most interesting how he dropped in short passages about sibling research and scores of other famous brothers Slow at times, best read episodically


  22. This was a slow starter though I warmed up to the stories and Colt s writing It is worth a read for the final truths which are delivered about siblings I enjoyed the recounting of the Kellogg s, the Marx Brothers, the Thoreaus in addition to the stories of the Colt Brothers.



  23. Very well written I really enjoyed the alternating chapters Colt started off with his brothers , then chose famous brothers e.g The Kellogg s, Booths, Van Goghs et al to highlight.






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