37. Just Call Me Mike, Mike Farrell

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37. Just Call Me Mike, Mike Farrell

Post  jrpstonecarver on Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:20 am

My last review for 2009...

Just Call Me Mike is the autobiography of Mike Farrell, actor, star of M*A*S*H, and citizen activist. Farrell gives us enough back story to set the stage, and then proceeds to tell us what he's done between his birth in 1939 and 2007 when the book was published. In truth, it's an interesting story for its scrupulous honesty. Farrell often feels he's not in control of his own life, and we see get a sense of that (and recognize the same thing in ourselves) as we read.

M*A*S*H is covered very quickly, just a single chapter and a mention or two in other places. Clearly he loved working on the show and admired all involved, but his family and activism mean a lot more to him than M*A*S*H. I found that refreshing.

Farrell has been a champion of many causes, including exposing (and opposing) our government's role in various countries in South America, opposing the death penalty, supporting labor unions, and others. He's a man of principles, and he doesn't come across as a member of the left or the right. Others might try to pin him to a particular political agenda, but I don't think that's what drives him. Instead what matters to him is doing the right thing, setting an example.

I cannot quite claim to agree with every stance he takes - though in fact I agree with most of them - but I admire his honesty and willingness to say what he thinks is right. In my opinion, America would be a lot better place if more of us were like him. You get the sense that for him confrontation isn't the goal, reasoned conversation is. In this age of talking (screaming!) heads and sound bites, Farrell's openness is a breath of fresh air.

There isn't anything huge and earth shattering in these pages, but they're definitely worth reading. For someone with only a high school education, Farrell's made a difference, and we can all learn from his example. Recommended.
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