Book Review: The World According to Mister Rogers (Fred Rogers)

Book Review: The World According to Mister Rogers (Fred Rogers)

The World According to Mr Rogers by Fred Rogers

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

I had previously read and did a review of Life’s Journey According to Mr. Rogers, not sure which of these two came first, but they are interchangeable as far as reading order is concerned. But like I had asked with the start of that review – who couldn’t use life advice from Mr. Rogers? And the same can be asked here. Just like, I want to ask, who wouldn’t want to be Mr. Rogers’ neighbor?

Both of these books are just full of little indispensable bits of wisdom and thoughts and little sayings from Fred Rogers. He’s a man full of character, good morals, values, traditions, and basically is just everything that was right with the world. He was a light and a beacon for most children growing up with his educational show, his inspirational attitude, and his demeanor. These two books do give you some in depth, ‘behind the scenes’, looks at the man that we all know and respected from our childhoods. Little glimpses into who and what he was like, as a real person, and not just the figure we saw on television every day.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Fred “Mr” Rogers doesn’t really need an introduction, and I would hope most people old enough to read a blog that is primarily beer based would know who he is…. if not… God help us all. (Then again, now that its 2022, you could have been born in 2001 and be legal to drink in Pennsylvania…. so maybe you wouldn’t know him? I don’t know.) But anyway, the following is the introduction and summary of Fred Rogers from Wikipedia (and from my last book review of his).

Wikipedia’s quick opening summary of Mister Rogers:

Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003), also known as Mister Rogers, was an American television host, author, producer, and Presbyterian minister.[1] He was the creator, showrunner, and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001.

Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Rollins College in 1951. He began his television career at NBC in New York, returning to Pittsburgh in 1953 to work for children’s programming at NET (later PBS) television station WQED. He graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a bachelor’s degree in divinity in 1962 and became a Presbyterian minister in 1963. He attended the University of Pittsburgh‘s Graduate School of Child Development, where he began his 30-year collaboration with child psychologist Margaret McFarland. He also helped develop the children’s shows The Children’s Corner (1955) and Misterogers (1963). In 1968, he created Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran for 33 years. The program was critically acclaimed for focusing on children’s emotional and physical concerns, such as death, sibling rivalry, school enrollment, and divorce.

Rogers died of stomach cancer on February 27, 2003, at age 74. His work in children’s television has been widely lauded, and he received more than 40 honorary degrees and several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1997. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1999. Rogers influenced many writers and producers of children’s television shows, and his broadcasts have served as a source of comfort during tragic events, even after his death.

Wikipedia: Fred Rogers

Book Review

The GoodReads blurb:

A timeless collection of wisdom on love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty from the beloved PBS series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

There are few personalities who evoke such universal feelings of warmth as Fred Rogers. An enduring presence in American homes for over 30 years, his plainspoken wisdom continues to guide and comfort many. The World According to Mister Rogers distills the legacy and singular worldview of this beloved American figure. An inspiring collection of stories, anecdotes, and insights — with sections devoted to love, friendship, respect, individuality, and honesty, The World According to Mister Rogers reminds us that there is much more in life that unites us than divides us.

Culled from Fred Rogers’ speeches, program transcripts, books, letters, and interviews, along with some of his never-before-published writings, The World According to Mister Rogers is a testament to the legacy of a man who served and continues to serve as a role model to millions.

The World According to Mr. Rogers (GoodReads)

Like the previous Rogers book, this is a quick, insightful, and poignant read. (Less than a few hours on a slow day really.) There is nothing super deep, no philosophical truths or thoughts on the level of Aristotle or Plato or Nietzsche or Sartre, but there is just something profound, and touching, and ‘deep’ in this all the same.

This is a good book for uplifting the spirits, for giving hope, inspiration, for a student graduating high school or college and moving on to the next (big) step in their life. Fred Rogers has a way of giving hope and inspiration in the darkest times. It makes me wonder how he would be during the COVID-19 pandemic, during the upcoming Russia – Ukraine crisis, and much else that has happened since his passing.

This is a quick and light read, with basically a paragraph or two on each page, that sometimes runs over into the next. But it is full of little bits of wisdom and quotes that should help buffer any soul through dark times.

These two books (this – alongside ‘Life According to Mr Rogers‘) peel back a bit of the veil surrounding Fred Rogers, and gives us some looks at his actual life. You get glimpses and looks at who he was, his struggles, his concerns, his loves, his interests. He gives anecdotes of his life, including an interesting one about David Carradine and his dad. Little things like that are interesting, especially given how we know about Carradine’s passing away, and that this was clearly written before that.

All in all, there is a lot to glean from these few, brief, pages that are quickly read. If nothing else, it’ll wile away a couple of hours at most, and will leave you feeling a bit more inspired in the world, and (hopefully) with more hope and optimism for the world that we all share. Maybe we actually all will become good neighbors to each other. Fingers crossed on this as we look at how the world is bracing for Russia and Ukraine.

My GoodReads Rating: ****
Global GoodReads Rating: 4.39
My LibraryThing Rating: ***.5

Other Book Related Links

Some quick, interested book, reading, and literature links I just read and would like to pass on to my dear readers (courtesy of the Mozilla Firefox ‘Pocket’ start ups, links below credited to their actual sources):

Other Book Reviews

For more book reviews from us here at The Beer Thrillers, be sure to check out the following:

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading. I hope everyone is enjoying the book reviews ontop of the beer reviews, hike reviews, travelogues, and beer and brewery related news. Be sure to keep checking in with us for more reviews, news, and other stories!

Cheers All!

-B. Kline

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