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review 2018-02-19 00:00
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers - Michael G. Long Great read and take on Fred Rogers' peaceful counterculture. Much of this, especially when the show began, I was not aware of. Kids, as well, I assume, would not really pay attention to seeing a war episode and relate it to what was happening in the world. Loved each chapter's focus on a social issue, feminism, war, etc. Really interesting to read the homosexuality portion and Rogers' view on things.
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review 2016-10-21 22:16
Review: Peaceful Neighbor
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers - Michael G. Long

Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers * Michael G. Long

I received an ARC copy of this ebook from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have always loved and appreciated Fred Rogers as a gentle soul, who wanted us to love each other and treat each other with kindness and compassion. Everything I learned only made me appreciate him more--and this book, opening my eyes to his Christianity-based politics, was the icing on the cake.

 

Even as a child, I knew Rogers' inclusion of Francois Clemmons, the African-American police officer as a Mister Rogers' Neighborhood went against the social grain. From this book, I learned Clemmons was the first African-American with a regular role on a children's television series, joining before Northern Calloway (David), Matt Robinson (Gordon), and Loretta Long (Susan) on Sesame Street. I also learned Clemmons' hiring was a deliberate--loving, but deliberate--act, especially the wading pool scenes with him. Those shared soaking scenes were in direct protest to segregated swimming pools, and violent responses to integrated pools.

 

Mister Rogers resisted pressure from certain cast members to be more visibly and aggressively political, because they felt his responsibility was to his children and family audience; his neighborhood needed to be a quiet, safe place of learning, the one place in their lives where protests were not taking place, where no one was shouting, and where no one was making frightening ultimatums. Michael Long's book touched me, as a child of the '70's, in so many ways. This book would make a nice addendum to high school and college courses covering 1960's and 1970's cultural and social history. Highly recommended.

 

interview with Clemmons on NPR StoryCorps

my original post

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review 2015-04-16 00:00
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers - Michael G. Long I received an ARC copy of this e-book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As I was reading this very thoughtful and deeply theological book I realized that I was not the right audience for this—sort of like I had accidentally wandered into the wrong movie. I was looking for a biography with some insight into Fred Roger’s philosophy/theology. I am a huge fan of this man and feel that he is one of those few people that left the world a better place than he found it. What I got was a thoughtful and deep exploration of his theology with biographical facts along the way. I would say that if you are looking for a biography (as I was) then look elsewhere; if you enjoy theology and its impact on US politics (of 70’s and 80’s in particular) then this book is for you.

I learned that Roger’s philosophy and his theology are not separable. I didn’t know that he was an ordained minister but it didn’t surprise me. I started this book thinking of Rogers as a gentle and enlightened man of grace and substance yet emerged from this realizing that he was tougher than I knew and that that he was as much a fighter for his ideals as he was a leader by example. Rogers, always from his perspective of protecting and nurturing children, considered war to be the most heinous act of child abuse possible and he was not above taking people, especially world leaders, to task for not working for peace.
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photo 2015-03-24 22:20
Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers - Michael G. Long

Netgalley loves me and wants me to be happy. Today, I was notified about this book, requested it, was granted permission, and started reading it. Yay, Netgalley and yay, Mr. Rogers!

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