Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving (CD-Audio)

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Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving Cover Image
By Mo Rocca, Mo Rocca (Read by)
$39.99
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Staff Reviews


Perhaps you know Mo Rocca from his frequent verbal appearances on NPR's Wait  Wait... Don't Tell Me! Perhaps you've seen him as a correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning. And maybe you've discovered his podcast, Mobituaries, which supplies some of the material for this book of the same name. We all admire a well-written obituary. Well, Mo realized many people deserving of a big sendoff just didn't receive it.  And not just people - places, objects, and entities sometimes don’t get the farewell they ought.  In Mobituaries, he restores some justice to the universe, and exposes us to fascinating facts and trivia we never knew.

Some well-known personalities in their day make it into Mobituaries--Sammy Davis, Jr., Fanny Brice, Marlene Dietrich--but not necessarily for what you would think.  Sammy's Mo-bit elicits the battles he faced against racism and anti-Semitism, always with conviction and grace. Fanny Brice (who you may know best as the subject portrayed by Barbra Streisand in  Funny Girl) sends Mo on a riff of related Mo-bits of famous people overshadowed by those who played them in movies. (T. E. Lawrence can't hold a candle to Peter O'Toole.)  And Marlene? She makes a couple of appearances -- one as a celebrity subsumed by Madeline Kahn's Blazing Saddles role; the other as the German-turned-American citizen who seriously thought of a plan by which she might assassinate Hitler. 

But it's Mo's explorations of non-humans that open the doors to history we never consider. His farewell to the American station wagon is also a fond remembrance of mid-20th-century Americana and family trips (and amazement at how some of us survived road trips in pre-seat belt days). Honoring the short-lived days of post-Civil War Reconstruction leads to poignant memorials for many African-American legislators who briefly shone. Mythological creatures such as the unicorn and dragon are mourned, as we learn just how sure experts were of their existence, until they weren't.  And his chapter on the funeral held for the dead oak trees of Auburn University, poisoned by a U of Alabama fan, explores what drives sports fans. 

So crack open Mobituaries at any chapter and be entertained and educated.

— Rosemary

Description


From beloved CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca, an entertaining and rigorously researched book that celebrates the dead people who have long fascinated him.

Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries—reading about the remarkable lives of global leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and innovators who changed the world. But not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves. His quest to right that wrong inspired Mobituaries, his #1 hit podcast. Now with Mobituaries, the book, he has gone much further, with all new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers, and more. Even if you know the names, you’ve never understood why they matter...until now.

Take Herbert Hoover: before he was president, he was the “Great Humanitarian,” the man who saved tens of millions from starvation. But after less than a year in the White House, the stock market crashed, and all the good he had done seemed to be forgotten. Then there’s Marlene Dietrich, well remembered as a screen goddess, less remembered as a great patriot. Alongside American servicemen on the front lines during World War II, she risked her life to help defeat the Nazis of her native Germany. And what about Billy Carter and history’s unruly presidential brothers? Were they ne’er-do-well liabilities…or secret weapons? Plus, Mobits for dead sports teams, dead countries, the dearly departed station wagon, and dragons. Yes, dragons.

Rocca is an expert researcher and storyteller. He draws on these skills here. With his dogged reporting and trademark wit, Rocca brings these men and women back to life like no one else can. Mobituaries is an insightful and unconventional account of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us, one that asks us to think about who gets remembered, and why.

About the Author


Mo Rocca is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, host of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, and host and creator of the Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, in which he learned to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers across the country. He’s also a frequent panelist on NPR’s hit weekly quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Rocca spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He began his career in TV as a writer and producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award–winning PBS children’s series Wishbone. As an actor, Mo starred on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Rocca is the author of All the Presidents’ Pets, a historical novel about White House pets and their role in presidential decision-making.

Mo Rocca is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, host of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, and host and creator of the Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, in which he learned to cook from grandmothers and grandfathers across the country. He’s also a frequent panelist on NPR’s hit weekly quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Rocca spent four seasons as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He began his career in TV as a writer and producer for the Emmy and Peabody Award–winning PBS children’s series Wishbone. As an actor, Mo starred on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Rocca is the author of All the Presidents’ Pets, a historical novel about White House pets and their role in presidential decision-making.

Praise For…


"Author Mo Rocca's engaging narration makes it obvious that he is delightfully obsessed with underappreciated dead people—celebrities, politicians, and others whose lives he describes with a seemingly endless supply of interesting facts and observations. With a flinty-clear voice and colorful phrasing that is in a league with the best, his naturally enthusiastic performance enhances the drama and entertainment value of his excellent research and tight storytelling. He draws the audiobook's format from his popular podcast of the same name; both provide concise life summaries of the type you'd hear right after a person dies. Colorful and full of ironic humor, this work will make you smile and think. It's a showcase for the author's finely tuned insights about people, sensitivity to cultural context, and narrating talent."
— Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9781508296546
ISBN-10: 1508296545
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019