America's Mom: The Life, Lessons, and Legacy of Ann Landers

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9780060750985: America's Mom: The Life, Lessons, and Legacy of Ann Landers

For two generations of Americans, reading Ann Landers's daily column was as important as eating breakfast. For nearly fifty years an entire nation turned to this quick-witted, worldly-wise counselor for advice on everything from dinner etiquette to sex. But who was the woman behind the byline?

Iowa-born Eppie Lederer was first hired by the Chicago Sun-Times to take over the daily advice column in 1955 -- and over the next half-century she helped shape the nation's social and sexual landscape. Award-winning journalist Rick Kogan was Ann Landers's last editor and close friend, and he paints a fascinating, full-bodied account of the triumphs, the wisdom, the courage, and the trials of one of the twentieth century's most enduring icons -- including her painful lifelong feud with her identical twin sister, "Dear Abby"; her stubborn refusal to shy away from even the most controversial topics; and the tragic breakup of her own thirty-six-year marriage. Filled with remarkable stories shared by people from all walks of life who were profoundly affected by the good sense and guidance of Ann Landers, America's Mom is a moving tribute to a singular woman who has earned an eternal place in our culture ... and our hearts.

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About the Author:

Rick Kogan began his career at sixteen, working for the Chicago Sun-Times during the tumultuous Democratic Convention of 1968. He is currently senior staff writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine and host of the popular WGN-AM Sunday Papers radio program, which airs in thirty-eight states and Canada. He was named Chicago's Best Reporter in 1999, Chicago's Greatest Living Journalist in 2002, and was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in March 2003. A longtime friend to Ann Landers and her editor for the last five years of her life, Kogan lives with his wife in Chicago.

From Publishers Weekly:

Radio host and columnist at the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Kogan combines anecdotes, heart-wrenching tributes and extensive research with his own experiences as a friend and editor to reveal the true woman behind beloved advice columnist, Ann Landers (1918-2002). Often credited with giving birth to the self-help revolution, Esther Pauline Friedman, known as "Eppie," began her career at the Chicago Sun-Times in 1955, with no prior writing experience, but with a snappy, direct style and "an uncanny ability to tap into the American psyche" that quickly led to syndication and millions of daily readers. While clearly an admirer, Kogan (who was Landers's last editor) doesn't fail to delve into Landers's less than flattering public feuds with her twin sister (competing advice columnist "Dear Abby"), the breakup of her marriage due to her husband's adultery, or potholes in her nearly 50-year career, including the potentially devastating accusations that she recycled letters in her column. Most insightful though, are the author's personal reminiscences of Landers as an open-minded, feisty, meticulously dolled-up art lover and loyal friend, unafraid to change her stance on controversial subjects as times changed. To many, even after death, she is still a "mirror" and the "voice of a social culture."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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