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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.

Bruce's latest news

Five years ago, PBS asked me if I wanted to make a show on pilgrimage. I said I was interested in something you hear a lot, “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual. I’m on a journey.” Last year I went on six pilgrimages in 12 months–bathing with 100 million people in the Ganges, walking the Jesus Trail in the Galilee, trekking on a 700-mile Buddhist trail in Japan. The experience was life-changing and life-affirming, and the footage is mind-blowing. The series kicks off with 40 American wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan bathing in the sacred waters of Lourdes, something never seen on TV before. The six, hour-long films premiere in December and are available for streaming on pbs.org/sacredjourneys. I hope you are moved as much as we were traveling with American pilgrims to some of the most historic places in the world. I know the experience will trigger some meaningful conversations with your loved ones.

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

A Father’s Prayer for His Daughters

Friday, June 17th, 2011

My Father’s Day post on Huffington Post.

As long as humans have worshiped gods, they have walked to get closer to them. In the Bible, the greatest spiritual breakthroughs occur when the heroes are on journeys: Abraham going forth to the Promised Land; the Israelites crossing the Red Sea; Israel exiled to Babylon. From the Hajj to the Stations of the Cross, the greatest pilgrimages involve walking. And many pilgrims purposefully make their gait more arduous in order to slow their pace even more. Now I understand why.

Watch Bruce on CNN: Is America in a Holy War?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

CNN has posted a video of my interview with Anderson Cooper last night. One BP commercial, lots of venom from an anti-Muslim militant, then my VERY pink tie!

To watch:  Click here.

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Council of Dads is now a New York Times bestseller!! My fifth in a row. Thank you for all your support.

Daddy-bashing is Suddenly Cool! What Should Dads Do?

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Daddy-bashing is suddenly cool. The cover story of the latest Atlantic proclaims “The End of Men: How Women Are Taking Control — of Everything,” while inside the magazine Pamela Paul poses the emasculating question, “Are Fathers Necessary?” Her answer, after sifting through the research: probably not. Social scientists have been unable to prove that dads contribute much, she reports. The effort and quality of parenting are what really matter, not parents’ gender.

“The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution,” concludes Paul, the author of “Parenting, Inc.”

The bad-dad rap doesn’t stop there. A 20-year study of lesbian parents in the journal Pediatrics concludes that teenagers raised by two mothers (read: no dad) had better grades and fewer social problems than other teens. The study’s co-author, Nanette Gartrell of the University of California at Los Angeles, explained the difference by saying that lesbian mothers are more committed to child-rearing than heterosexual parents.

So what’s a beleaguered dad to do? If science can’t prove that we matter, does that mean we don’t?

Read my full articles in The Washington Post.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Watch my brand-new talk about THE COUNCIL OF DADS!  It lasts just under 18 minutes.

Time Magazine — “How a Cancer-Stricken Dad Chose a Council of Successors”

Monday, May 10th, 2010

A new article in Time Magazine about “The Council of Dads.”

Paging Dr. Gupta! See Sanjay’s Special on THE COUNCIL OF DADS

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Here is Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s extraordinarily moving special about me, my cancer, and THE COUNCIL OF DADS. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll not believe what was in my leg or that I’m riding a bike again.

CNN Presents: DADS FOR MY DAUGHTERS.

The special will air in its one-hour form on Father’s Day Weekend.

The Today Show Appearance

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

My wife and I appeared on “The Today Show” to talk about THE COUNCIL OF DADS with Matt Lauer.  Check it out here.

6 Good Men: The Council of Dads Adds a New Twist to Friendship

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

*Apr 08 - 00:05*
From the New York Daily News.

Bruce Feiler’s twin daughters, Eden and Tybee, were 3 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2008. Just days afterward, the best-selling Brooklyn author came up with the idea of asking six friends to look out for his daughters should he not survive. Feiler’s moving new book, “The Council of Dads,” tells their story.

How did the Council of Dads come about?

It was a reaction to a fear about what my daughters’ lives might be like without me. The first thing I imagined was all the things I would miss … all the questions they would have. “What would Daddy think about this?” “What would Daddy say about that?”

Where did the idea spring from?

I awoke from a half sleep, and there was … this letter forming in my head to my closest friends asking them to be there to answer my daughters’ questions. I said out loud, “I will call this group of men the Council of Dads.” As soon as I said those words, it seemed like they lived in the room.

How did you choose the members?

I was trying to fill the dad space. My wife, Linda, and I agreed that we should pick people who embodied all sides of me, each phase of my life. There is a travel dad. A make-your-dreams-happen dad. A values dad. A playful dad. A thinking dad. A nature dad. Now I kind of think of it as a team of godparents updated for a modern age.

How did it affect your friendships with the men?

The first time I read the letter to a friend I’d chosen, he’s crying. I’m crying. He said yes, and I was taken aback. I hadn’t realized this was a request you could turn down. In the end, they weren’t family, they weren’t just friends anymore. We − my wife and I and the girls − just had this whole new relationship in our lives.

It also changed your life?

The Council of Dads turns out to be less about parenting and more about friendship. We all think there’s a divide between family and friends. And when you have children, you can be so busy you think you don’t have time for friends. This built a bridge between our closest friends and our closest treasures, our children.

How did the Council work?

They never came together. They would come to see me in the hospital. But what started happening is that they would always build in time to visit with the girls. These aren’t just Daddy friends anymore. They are friends of theirs. The girls have nicknames for all of them.

You’re cancer-free. What is the status of the Council of Dads?

There is something incredibly powerful about telling your closest friends what they mean to you. It’s like we’re friend-married now. It’s like “till death do us part.”

The Council is an idea that is catching on.

The word has gotten around, and others are forming their own councils. I’m seeing divorced women do councils of dads because they want the male voice in their children’s lives. Women have councils of moms. I’m involved with a special program with the military to form councils of moms and councils of dads.

What do your daughters know about the Council?

They know they have a Council of Dads. They don’t know that the shadow of mortality hangs over the thing. I want to be honest with them, but not too honest.

King Tut: How’d You Get So Funky?

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

He came to power at age 9. Under the wing of powerful handlers, he overturned the changes of his father’s regime and restored the state religion. He died 10 years later after a mysterious accident that strongly suggests he had outlived his usefulness to his advisers.

In the 3,000 year reign of Egyptian royalty, the pharaoh Tutankhamun was a minor-if-intriguing figure.

Yet this weekend, after a much-hyped national tour, King Tut rides back into New York as one of the most celebrated figures of the Ancient World—right up there on the list with Jesus, Moses, Caesar, Cleopatra, Alexander, and Socrates. And unlike most of them, the tadpole pharaoh didn’t have the Bible, Shakespeare, or Plato to sing his praises. He was the Boy King of the greatest empire on Earth and all he got was one lousy Steve Martin song to show for it.

What explains the ongoing Cult of Tut? “King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” (which runs through January 2011) is one of three Tut shows in New York this spring. There is also a spate of “landmark” television shows, “limited edition” $2,000 necklaces, and “miraculous scientific discoveries.” Why is it that Tutapalooza feels like one of those aging hippie reunion tours that always seems to be on its “farewell leg” yet never goes away?

In short, King Tut: How’d you get so funky?

The answer, inevitably, is greed, power, and a few very clever benefactors. King Tut may have been a puppet, but he’s had extremely deft puppeteers.

Read the rest of piece in The Daily Beast here.