We Were Brothers Preeminent illustrator Barry Moser renders the memories of his youth in luminous drawings and candid prose on his quest to understand how he and his identically raised brother could have become such v

  • Title: We Were Brothers
  • Author: Barry Moser
  • ISBN: 9781616204136
  • Page: 441
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Preeminent illustrator Barry Moser renders the memories of his youth in luminous drawings and candid prose on his quest to understand how he and his identically raised brother could have become such very different men Barry and Tommy Moser were born of the same parents, were raised in the same small Tennessee community where they slept in the same bedroom and were pPreeminent illustrator Barry Moser renders the memories of his youth in luminous drawings and candid prose on his quest to understand how he and his identically raised brother could have become such very different men Barry and Tommy Moser were born of the same parents, were raised in the same small Tennessee community where they slept in the same bedroom and were poisoned by their family s deep racism and anti Semitism But as they grew older, their perspectives and their paths grew further and further apart From attitudes about race, to food, politics, and money, the brothers began to think so differently that they could no longer find common ground, no longer knew how to talk to each other, and for years there was strife between them than affection When Barry was in his late fifties and Tommy in his early sixties, their fragile brotherhood reached a tipping point and blew apart From that day forward they did not speak But fortunately, their story does not end there With the raw emotions that so often surface when we talk of our siblings, Barry recalls why and how they were finally able to traverse that great divide and reconcile their kinship before it was too late Featuring Moser s stunning drawings, especially commissioned for the book, this powerful true story captures the essence of sibling relationships all their complexities, contradictions, and mixed blessings.

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      Published :2018-08-08T21:25:28+00:00

    One thought on “We Were Brothers”

    1. Memory and perspective. Bullying and its effects. Racial prejudice and the mixed messages received by brothers raised near Chattanooga, Tennessee. I am sure many of us realize how complicated relationships between siblings can be. Raised in the same house, our memories can be different, our experiences perceived differently. So it was between Barry and Tommy Moser. Bad experiences at military school and the long term effects. Physical fights between the brothers, with Barry, the younger most oft [...]

    2. As I had many times seen the pleasure Barry Moser’s art brought to children and adults alike I was eager to read his memoir. Of course, after years of admiring his work I had a picture of Moser the man in my mind - it was far from the truth. Born in Chattanooga at a time when the city was rife with racism and anti-Semitism Moser also found these views expressed in his own home and accepted by his older brother, Tommy. This created a rift between the two that widened with the years. In the sch [...]

    3. This book was released this month, but I read an advance reader copy. I am often disappointed by the marketing blurbs that are on the backs of ARCs because they are so sensationalized as to make you think you read a different book than described. I think that these blurbs oft times are dismissive of the work the author has actually done. This came close to being like that for me. Barry Moser is a renowned and award winning illustrator and his writing is gentle storytelling. There is drama in som [...]

    4. The tone of this book is highly conversational. I felt like Barry Moser was sitting next to me, telling me his stories. But what would be fine in conversation doesn't translate well to memoir.This book read like a collection of anecdotes--stories that might be interesting to family members, or those who grew up in Chattanooga in the 1940s/1950s, but I found it hard to connect. About halfway through the book I wanted to stop because it didn't seem like the story that was promised on the book jack [...]

    5. This is a book that struck me as one that would have made more sense as a privately published memoir for family and friends. Barry Moser is a brilliant artist and illustrator but a poor writer to my mind and ear. This is ostensibly the story of two siblings who grow up in the same prejudiced Southern household but go in very different directions with their careers and where they live (Barry in New England and his brother, Tommy, still down South). Barry's experiences growing up cause him to look [...]

    6. "We Were Brothers" is a beautifully written memoir of 2 young brothers raised in the South in the 40's and 50's. Barry Moser writes eloquently about the time period and his family. Racism was a fact of life, even when not a fact of heart. It was understood and to a certain point, expected, by both blacks and whites. Barry mourns the fact that he and his brother, Tommy, never really close, are so different in attitudes, and that the gap between them is large. During his late 50's, he writes his b [...]

    7. A revealing and provocative memoir of an illustrator I've long admired and knew nothing about. Very candid accounting of his very southern upbringing and difficult sibling relationship.

    8. I picked up this book for a number of reasons, one of the reasons being that I do not know much about relationships between brothers. I am a female-my brother has no brothers, and my husband and son have no brothers. So, I thought I could learn more about brothers from this book. Also, I grew up in New England, so I thought I could learn more about the experience of being raised in the south. I was somewhat disappointed in the book-numerous fights between the brothers were documented, and some s [...]

    9. This book was okay, I don't regret having read it--my criterion for a 2-star rating. Not something I would recommend to anyone else, though (a shame, too, because it's by a local author). To my recollection, I felt as if I was reading a stranger's musings about his life without his offering anything useful or particularly thought provoking to me in return. Moser's life story wasn't interesting enough to me to make this an enjoyable read on its own merits.

    10. We had met Barry Moser at the Brandywine River Museum a number of years ago when he had an exhibit there. Both his art and his talk were wonderful. I especially like the etchings he did for a King James Bible . . . spectacular. We have watched the movie about the making of that Bible (A Thief Among the Angels: Barry Moser and The Making of The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible) and I have a copy of it. When I saw that he had written this book, I was glad to buy and read it. He isa very interesting man.

    11. Read this while in the midst of an 'Equality for All' unit, teaching Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl with my 8th graders. Truly appreciate the honesty Barry Moser puts forth, as well as the clearly natural use of higher vocabulary.

    12. Quick read that gives some insight into Southern culture of the not too distant past. Was entertaining until the resolution where it got a little confusing.

    13. If brothers can have such animosity that they fail to actually discuss their differences until they're in their sixties, it's no wonder countries and people worldwide can't find common ground. Barry Moser addresses the first issue, that of brothers, in his memoir, We Were Brothers.Artist and illustrator Barry Moser was born in the same Jim Crow South in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as his older brother, Tommy. They were only three years apart, but Tommy stayed in the south, while Barry went to New En [...]

    14. Every now and then I crave a good memoir, not any memoir, but I generally look for one that I can relate to, one that is apt to stick with me for one reason or another. We Were Brothers was just such a memoir. In many ways this story reminded me of the sometimes troubled relationship of my own two older brothers who grew up in the late 40's and 50's, both were about the same ages as author and his brother Tommy.The author and his older brother Tommy were born and raised around Chattanooga, TN, a [...]

    15. Most readers of this review are part of a family unit and have siblings. The relationships between siblings are longer than parent/child relationships; in an average life span, we're there to the end with our brothers and sisters. Our relationships with our sibs is maybe one of the most difficult to write about. We expect unconditional love from our siblings; sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't. Sometimes - even sharing DNA and physical space - we're totally different from our brothers and s [...]

    16. We Were Brothers is a memoir in which Barry Moser both recalls his childhood and comes to terms with what had been a difficult sibling relationship. Both Barry and his brother Tommy were raised in Tennessee during the 1940s and 1950s when Jim Crow was in full force and the KKK could openly and with wide support parade on their way to burn a cross in someone's yard. From this common beginning Barry and Tommy grew apart and race played both a real and symbolic role in keeping them apart for many y [...]

    17. Late in life, Moser writes to his brother, "Just explain to me, if you canwhy we are so different--or are we, really, after all?It haunts me, Tommy. I am proud of who I am. Of what I've done. But this one issue truly haunts me because I think it has everything to do with who I am and what I have done and I don't understand it and I want to understand it" (166). It is this honesty and vulnerability that takes Moser's memoir from what could be a somewhat ho-hum recalling of life in the early 20-th [...]

    18. I tuned in to NPR and caught the tail-end of a program exploring difficult adult sibling relationships featuring this author and a couple others, apparently hawking their books. I hoped I might gain some understanding of my failed relationship with my own sister by reading this memoir but I did not. Although his book promises insights about how brothers raised by the same parents in the same household can grow up to be very different, here is what the reader learns in a nutshell: Tom and Barry g [...]

    19. I had recommended this book to my book club after reading about it in a few different places. When I began reading it, I hated it and worried what my book club would think. The second half was better, and it did create good discussion. I wish there had been more explanation of some of the vignettes and people introduced. However, it raises good and some introspective questions.

    20. Chattanooga native, Barry Moser, wrote “We Were Brothers” as a memoir. He candidly acknowledges that any memoir contains both truth and fiction based on the flaws of memory, but if there is even a fraction of truth in Moser’s memoir (which I have to believe there is) then I feel his heartbreak. In fact, I found myself in tears at certain moments during my read of this book. Moser’s frank discussion of his own family history, his troubled and often violent relationship with his brother, a [...]

    21. Recently I met this author and gifted illustrator at an arts and music festival and was interested to read his memoir. I enjoy reading memoirs; to see how people process their pasts and present it to the reading public. So often peace comes in the telling.In this instance Moser's retelling of his painful childhood of being constantly bullied by his only sibling and older brother is written in a conversational, plain spoken way, a series of anecdotes that seem most appropriate to share with immed [...]

    22. AdultI picked-up this book when I recognized the author as being a children's book illustrator as well. It is really an interesting read - painting a picture of growing up in the south, and the "rules" of being white or black. Moser does not sugarcoat language either in this "picture" or as he speaks of his relationship with his brother, which could easily turn physically abusive. He had an interesting trajectory to illustration, including military school and ministry - including being a United [...]

    23. OK, so memoirs aren't entirely my thing, but I thought I'd try this one because it sounded so interesting. But it didn't do it for me at all. The writing style was what I didn't like the most. It was so repetitive and stilted. It sounded like he was trying unnaturally hard. It didn't seem like a really person's voice at all. And then I don't know what I learned from this book that I can take with me to think about the world differently. But maybe that's just me.I will give props to Moser for rep [...]

    24. Moser is known for the many books he has beautifully illustrated. In this brief memoir, which also has drawings, he concentrates on the difficult relationship with his older brother. Growing up in the Jim Crow south, both boys saw it with different eyes: Tommy, the older, stayed in Tennessee and retained his racist and anti-Semitic views, while Barry spent his adulthood in New England happy to escape a place where the KKK could march without anyone challenging their right to do so. Their rift ke [...]

    25. A meditation about a complicated relationship, Barry Moser writes beautifully and with a tender heart of his brother, with whom he had an extremely difficult relationship. The last part, when they make amends, in part because Barry called his brother on his racism and misogyny is truly touching. I give credit to his brother for being able to take in what Barry was so correctly stating, and, it appears, change his attitudes (or at the very least, vocalizing them.) This would be an interesting boo [...]

    26. Barry Moser has written a heartfelt, deeply personal memoir about the fractured relationship with his brother Tommy and their eventual reconciliation. The issue of racism, which was a major contribution to their differences, was handled with honesty and sensitivity, and provided understanding of the environment that encouraged or condoned racist attitudes. Even if you don’t normally read memoirs, this one is definitely worth your time.Thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an advance c [...]

    27. I love the idea and flow of this book (the memoir element of 'stories told' was moving and satisfying and the illustrations were exquisite), but I felt the author could have done more with the central theme of 'racism and family'. In the last few chapters, I felt unsatisfied, as if details had been left out and the author seem to struggle to convey deep emotions in a clear way that a reader could relate to. I enjoyed the book (quick, easy, read) and I didn't dislike it - I just felt the author c [...]

    28. 9/4/15: Can't wait to start this book. Excited about winning it! 9/19/15: I won this book through First Reads and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Even though I knew little to nothing about Barry Moser before beginning, I enjoyed reading the story of brotherhood. It is amazing that siblings that grow up in the same house together can sometimes drift apart due to the way life plays out. Yet, this memoir teaches us that life is too short and no matter the differences, we can always evolve, grow, an [...]

    29. Simply stated, didn't live up to my expectations. Moser does a very good job of putting memoirs into context - -stating over and over that it is his recollection of events and outcomes, not someone else's. His relationship with his brother seemed to have always been contentious and although they made 'peace' in later years, it was from a physical distance. What I missed most about the memoir were the emotions -- only played out when they related to race.

    30. I heard Moser read three of these brief remembrances-- all of them about his upbringing in a deeply racist southern home, and about his burdened brotherhood with someone largely alien to him--at a conference, and his reflections on racial prejudice hit me in the gut. In the context of the full memoir, though, these reflections are more moving still as a history of brotherly division and just maybe a graceful reconciliation. Terrific little volume-- told simply, honestly, unflinchingly.

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