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P. 1
A Song in the Night: A Memoir of Resilience

A Song in the Night: A Memoir of Resilience

Ratings:

3.5

(22)
|Views: 5,841|Likes:
Published by Doubleday
In this inspiring memoir of faith and perseverance, Bob Massie recounts how a childhood illness laid the foundation for a life filled with compassion and activism.Bob Massie was born with classical hemophilia, a painful disorder that caused repeated bleeding in his joints and slowly robbed him of the ability to walk. Though bound to leg braces and wheelchairs as a child, his curiosity and enthusiasm pulled him relentlessly outward toward knowledge and people. Gradually he fought back and eventually succeeded not only in walking again but in traveling widely through a life of passion and commitment. He graduated in history from Princeton, where he organized the opening up of the university's exclusive club system, and later was ordained as an Episcopal minister. After several years teaching children and working with the homeless in New York City, he moved to the challenging halls of Harvard Business School, where he earned a doctorate while tending to a devoted but struggling congregation in the working-class city of Somerville, Massachusetts.Though the medical dangers increased—he had acquired the HIV and hepatitis through transfusions for hemophilia—he continued to press for justice. He wrote a prizewinning book on South African apartheid, led one of America's most innovative environmental groups, ran for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, and created  the world's leading standard for corporate sustainability. Then, in 2002, the same year Massie was named one of the 100 most influential people in the field of finance by CFO magazine, he received more devastating health news. The hepatitis was causing his liver to fail, and Massie was brought close to death in 2009.After surviving these remarkable challenges, Bob Massie is now ready to share his story. Though his journey has not been easy, he writes about it with tremendous grace and candor. In an era rife with disillusionment, A Song in the Night will inspire everyone who reads it."A good friend and a visionary leader, Bob Massie has combined foresight, passion, and skill to create lasting change in the US and around the world. In A Song in the Night, Bob shares deeply personal stories that help describe how he overcame great challenges to forge such strong commitments for his work and family. Bob has lived an incredible life, and we are so fortunate that he has shared it with us in this wonderful new book." —Al Gore"I admire and deeply respect Bob Massie’s courage, his compassion, and his eloquence. He is a good man. His life's work has focused on social justice, public service, and faith, and I know he will continue to work tirelessly to make this a more just world." —Elizabeth WarrenFrom the Hardcover edition.
In this inspiring memoir of faith and perseverance, Bob Massie recounts how a childhood illness laid the foundation for a life filled with compassion and activism.Bob Massie was born with classical hemophilia, a painful disorder that caused repeated bleeding in his joints and slowly robbed him of the ability to walk. Though bound to leg braces and wheelchairs as a child, his curiosity and enthusiasm pulled him relentlessly outward toward knowledge and people. Gradually he fought back and eventually succeeded not only in walking again but in traveling widely through a life of passion and commitment. He graduated in history from Princeton, where he organized the opening up of the university's exclusive club system, and later was ordained as an Episcopal minister. After several years teaching children and working with the homeless in New York City, he moved to the challenging halls of Harvard Business School, where he earned a doctorate while tending to a devoted but struggling congregation in the working-class city of Somerville, Massachusetts.Though the medical dangers increased—he had acquired the HIV and hepatitis through transfusions for hemophilia—he continued to press for justice. He wrote a prizewinning book on South African apartheid, led one of America's most innovative environmental groups, ran for lieutenant governor in Massachusetts, and created  the world's leading standard for corporate sustainability. Then, in 2002, the same year Massie was named one of the 100 most influential people in the field of finance by CFO magazine, he received more devastating health news. The hepatitis was causing his liver to fail, and Massie was brought close to death in 2009.After surviving these remarkable challenges, Bob Massie is now ready to share his story. Though his journey has not been easy, he writes about it with tremendous grace and candor. In an era rife with disillusionment, A Song in the Night will inspire everyone who reads it."A good friend and a visionary leader, Bob Massie has combined foresight, passion, and skill to create lasting change in the US and around the world. In A Song in the Night, Bob shares deeply personal stories that help describe how he overcame great challenges to forge such strong commitments for his work and family. Bob has lived an incredible life, and we are so fortunate that he has shared it with us in this wonderful new book." —Al Gore"I admire and deeply respect Bob Massie’s courage, his compassion, and his eloquence. He is a good man. His life's work has focused on social justice, public service, and faith, and I know he will continue to work tirelessly to make this a more just world." —Elizabeth WarrenFrom the Hardcover edition.

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Publish date: May 15, 2012
Added to Scribd: May 18, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780385535762
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yukon92 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Interesting read about a man I had never heard about.....I found his descriptions about his life and his illnesses very interesting. He lost me with his long discourses about the business parts....I was not looking for a book about business and their dealings with South Africa, but I guess that's what I should have expected from a politician and a graduate of Harvard Business!
amerri_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This memoir is of an extraordinary man. Robert Massie was born with hemophilia. He relates his struggles with the disease and how his family navigated through the American health care system. To me, it is amazing that he managed to accomplish as much as he has; in the health care field and in politics. He displays remarkable strength and fortitude in facing obstacles that would have defeated a lesser man.
dlong810 reviewed this
This was an inspiring autobiography by a man who has battled childhood hemophilia, AIDS, hepatitis C, and a liver transplant. But it is not just a book about a person who has surmounted dire physical odds. It is a book about a man who has dedicated his life to humanitarian and environmental causes. He is truly a warrior who educates the reader. His fight against American corporations who financially supported the South African system of apartheid and his involvement as an international elections observer were especially interesting as well as his observations on United States citizens' apathetic response to our own elections. In spite of life threatening health conditions, he worked continually to establish an international rating system which is used bylarge corporations to police their environmental impact.There were sections when I became bogged down with the details but the historical significance and personal journey of this remarkable man brought me back to the reading.
ellenh_28 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
A memoir of resilience, yes, but also of possibilities and incredible energy. This was not an easy book to read, but I kept on with it as I had received it from librarything as a review book, and was curious to see where he went with his compassion and righteousness. By the end I was wanting to hear what people I knew in business and religion thought of his ideas. What an amazing life he has led against challenges many of us would cave under. Many times I thought there was too much preaching, and the oganization of chapters needed work, but by the end I was amazed.
bookcrazed_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A Song in the Night is about many things, but the one thing that weaves its way through all the changes in geography, career, and health is Bob Massie’s passion for social justice. Massie was born with classic hemophilia. It was 1956, and hemophilia was a disease that was incurable, barely manageable, and the foreteller of an early death. During the years of intermittent and frequent hospitalizations, the little boy with “the dream of the crippled Superman” had time to both ponder his plight and the opportunity to notice that there were others far more needy than he.This theme of Massie’s “pursuit of lasting justice” so dominated the narrative that it sometimes took on the feeling of a trumpet for a cause. At any moment I expected to see solicitation for donations. But it never happened. What did happen, though, was that I got an education about how a democracy starts from scratch, how bottom-line corporations are convinced to adopt environmentally friendly policies, and how an outward-lived life gives a very sick human being enough strength to tackle multiple careers and become an international participant in projects for a better world. A Song in the Night is sometimes memoir, sometimes morality tale, sometimes sermon, and often awkward. His writing is more than adequate, yet there are some shaggy edges in his narrative. I occasionally got lost when he moved from one point in time to another with only a bit of extra space as warning. These transitions badly needed a meanwhile-back-at-the-ranch bridge. Too, I sometimes grew weary of his pontificating. But in the end, I was grateful for his sermons and pleas for a better society, as he told me, “It matters what we choose to believe in.” It seems so right that someone who beat all the odds just to exist would sell us on the idea that the odds of achieving a just society are simply not that enormous--dream, work, succeed and fail, then dream some more, succeed some more, fail some more, as we move forward.There is so much about this book to criticize. Why do I give it 5 Stars? Because as I read the last word and close the book, I am 5 Stars into awe. It is, after all--just as Massie’s life--worth the struggle to get to that last page. His story is a reminder that life is a miraculous mystery--not magical, but filled with unknowns.
dablackwood reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This book is an interesting memoir by Bob Massie. His parents are famous for their Russian themed non-fiction. Bob was born a hemophiliac and he recounts his early life through the blur of many painful bleeds. I enjoyed reading about his childhood and college years at Princeton. I do believe, however, that sometimes a person remembers him or herself as far more mature than they actually were. I wonder if Bob Massie really was as mature, articulate and confident as he remembers while negotiating the "eating clubs" at Princeton. Maybe he was. As he continued his education after college and became a writer himself, I found his prose to be a bit self serving. All in all, however, this was a good read about a very resilient (to use his word) person.
herzogm reviewed this
A wonderful book on so many levels; touching memoir, thoughtful discussions on environmental issues ranging from contaminated blood supplies to the measurement of green business practices and finally, unexpected medical breakthroughs. Massie's story of being a child and a young man living with hemophilia during the frightening years of contaminated blood supplies resonated with me. My years in Public Health coincided his; my clients could have been him. Bob Massie was much more fortunate than most, he managed to live a full life, becoming an Episcopal priest and an environmental activist making a difference in our world. His story is important; full of food for thought and inspiration for action to us all.
tloeffler_3 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
One of my favorite books is "Nicholas & Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie. He stated that his main motivation for writing the book was the experiences of the Tsar & Tsarina with their son's hemophilia, as his own son also struggled with the disease. This book is written by that son. It is an interesting memoir, encompassing not only his struggles with his diseases (hemophilia, HIV, Hepatitis C), but his life outside of the diseases. Not many with those strikes against them would have attempted all of the things that he did, from becoming an Episcopal minister with a doctorate in business, to creating and/or leading three sustainability organizations. Bob also wrote an award-winning book on apartheid in South Africa. I can't say that i enjoyed the book; it was more political and preachy than I usually care for, but he's a man of principles, and he has done amazing things with the cards he was dealt.
pwagner2 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I like this man and everything he stands for. I found his book tedious though. He expounded a lot on things I found to be uninteresting. He also praises South Africa's freedom from apartheid, but doesn't mention that they are not free, nor will they ever be free of their enormous financial debt due to the prior administration. I don't think that is a success story.
suzanne81 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The book A Song in the Night is a memoir of a life filled with challenges and triumphs. I found the book inspiring and engaging yet uneven. In the acknowledgements the author Bob Massie mentions that his book sprang from a lecture that included five anecdotes from his life. This explained the feeling of reading distinctly different sections as I progressed through the book. The sections encompass his early battle with hemophilia, his education at seminary, Princeton, and Harvard Business School, his involvement with the issue of apartheid in South Africa, his corporate and political dealings, and his health challenges later in life . I personally found the corporate/political section the least interesting but others may feel differently. The book was most inspiring to me when the author shared how he dealt with his health challenges and his activism to confront and change injustice.

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A Song in the Night: A Memoir of Resilience