The Latest Book from Bruce

The First Love Story

Adam, Eve, and Us

flsfinal3dFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness. READ MORE


The Secrets of Happy Families

Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More

The Secrets of Happy Families book coverBest-selling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler found himself squeezed between aging parents and rising children. He set out on a three-year journey to find the smartest ideas, cutting-edge research, and novel solutions to make his family happier. READ MORE


The Council of Dads

A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live

The Council of Dads book coverWhen bestselling author Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his leg, he could only imagine all the walks he might not take with his daughters, the ballet recitals he would miss, the art projects left undone, and the aisles he might not walk down. READ MORE

Read Bruce’s cancer diary.

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Check this Events List to see if Bruce will be appearing in your town on The First Love Story book tour.

Bruce discusses the Secrets of Happy Families on the latest Digital Dads podcast.

Announcing Bruce’s forthcoming book, The First Love Story, from Penguin Random House

Which Kennedy Was Moses? John or Ted?

THIS WEEK IN MOSES: The Kennedys and the Promised Land.

In The Making of the President 1964, Theodore White compared the death of John F. Kennedy to the death of Moses on Mount Nebo. Moses had led the Israelites out of slavery into freedom, put up with their kvetching and complaining for 40 years, only to be stopped short of the Promised Land, following a cryptic incident in which he drew water from a stone. With Kennedy stopped short of his dream, Johnson would be his Joshua.

“It was as if Kennedy, a younger Moses, had led an elder Joshua to the heights of Mount Nebo and there shown him the promised land which he himself would never enter but which Joshua would make his own.”

This week a similar analogy was tossed about following the death of John’s younger brother. Ted Kennedy was called the Moses of Health Care.

“Sen. Ted Kennedy and Moses had a shared destiny,” wrote the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Like the flawed patriarch who led his people to the Promised Land but never set foot inside it, Mr. Kennedy died last week having led the nation toward universal health-care coverage that he would not live to see.”

The Kennedys were not alone. This analogy with Moses was used frequently on the death of George Washington in 1799, in which two-thirds of the eulogies compared the “first conductor of the Jewish nation” to the “leader and father of the American nation.” It was the single-most commonly cited comparison on the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. As Henry Ward Beecher said, “Again a great leader of the people has passed through toil, sorrow, battle, and war, and come near to the promised land of peace, into which he might not pass over.”

And of course Martin Luther King, Jr., quoted the same passage in his speech the night before he was assassinated. “I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I’ve looked over. I’ve seen the promised land. And I may not get there with you, but I want you to know that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

For Barack Obama, who has compared himself to Joshua, the consistency of this analogy from Washington to Bush, is a stark reminder that he picks up the fight that Ted Kennedy pioneered that failure is, indeed, an option. Even the greatest leaders often fall short of their dreams.

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