Subtitle: Ten Lessons on Truth, Service, and the Way Forward
Publication: National Geographic, hardcover, 2021
Genre: Nonfiction/InspirationalDescription: Based on interviews from a National Geographic documentary, this book from world-renowned infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci shares the lessons that have shaped his life philosophy, offering a close-up view of one of the world’s greatest medical minds as well as universal advice to live by. Before becoming the face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and America’s most trusted doctor, Dr. Fauci had already devoted three decades to public service. Readers and fans will find inspiration in his unique perspective on leadership, expecting the unexpected, and finding joy in difficult times. With more than three decades spent combating some of the most dangerous diseases to strike humankind, Dr. Fauci has worked in daunting professional conditions and shouldered great responsibility. The earnest reflections in these pages offer a universal message on how to lead in times of crisis and find resilience in the face of disappointments and obstacles.
My Impression: This is an unauthorized book that provides life lessons derived from interviews previously conducted with Dr. Fauci and is intended as a holiday gift for fans. I found it very entertaining, especially the personal aspects that I did not know about him; for example, that his sister taught him how to dance and that they went to neighborhood dances that reminded him of West Side Story with disputes and altercations! He also describes working in construction while at Holy Cross and, coincidentally, working on the Cornell Med School library over the summer. He ventured into one of the existing buildings out of curiosity, planning to apply the next year, and was shooed out by one of the guards because of looking like a construction worker who did not belong – but a year later he was a student. Last year, he and his wife visited RFK Stadium in DC (where I saw Harvard play Georgetown in 2017) where an art installation had been created with 250,000 white flags representing those dead of COVID-19 at the time. His wife wrote the name of someone they knew who had died on the flag as others were doing.
While I suspect he did not appreciate the publication (from which he does not benefit financially), as you can see, it is full of appealing vignettes. He mentions the nuns in his elementary school in Bensonhurst were disappointed to lose their star student when his family moved but were thrilled he was the first boy from their school to earn admission to Regis High School, a very prestigious Jesuit boys’ school in Manhattan that does not charge tuition. I had a couple of college classmates from this school which is located on Park Avenue but also know it because Regis used to send seniors to help out at my nieces’ and nephews’ preschool (I think it must have been part of a service requirement). It is hard to imagine most 17-year-olds willing to play with unrelated (or related) toddlers but I remember my sisters praising these “Regis boys” so when I heard Dr. Fauci was an alum, I could instantly visualize him as a kindhearted teen.
Purchase Links: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book DepositorySource: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and TLC Book Tours for review purposes. To visit other stops on the tour, please click below: