Life Is So Good: One Man's Extraordinary Journey through the 20th Century and How he Learned to Read at Age 98

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9780141001685: Life Is So Good: One Man's Extraordinary Journey through the 20th Century and How he Learned to Read at Age 98
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In this remarkable book, 103-year-old George Dawson, a slave's grandson who learned to read at age 98, reflects on his life and offers valuable lessons in living as well as a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Richard Glaubman captures Dawson's irresistible voice and view of the world, offering insights into humanity, history, hardships, and happiness. From segregation and civil rights, to the wars, presidents, and defining moments in history, George Dawson's description and assessment of the last century inspires readers with the message that-through it all-has sustained him: "Life is so good. I do believe it's getting better."

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From the Back Cover:


"        I tell people not to worry about things, not to worry about their lives. Things will be all right. People need to hear that. Life is good, just as it is. There isn't anything I would change about my life."

"        For almost four years, I had gotten used to being alone. It didn't bother me none. Back at our farm I was most often the first one up. There was lots of chores to do, but sometimes, shutting the door quietly, I would lean against the logs and look at the sky and take a few moments for myself. Inside, the cabin had the comfortable feel of people. Outside, it was empty and lonely and I had grown to like that too. I liked to look at the stars on the still and quiet mornings and listen for the howl of the coyotes."

"        I had never seen a car before and that model T was beautiful. It was polished black with a shiny brass radiator cap. The top could come down, of course, and it was something to see. It worked in town, but wasn't too practical. We didn't get a lot of rain, but when the rain came down it was often a downpour. Our roads turned to mud, and the autos just couldn't make it. After a good rain, I saw cars being towed by a mule or a team of horses. Most people agreed as to how those cars were close to useless, but I still liked them anyway."

From the Inside Flap:

makes a happy person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father—a belief that "life is so good"—as he offers valuable lessons in living and a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century.

Born in 1898 in Marshall, Texas, the grandson of slaves, George Dawson tells how his father, despite hardships, always believed in seeing the richness in life and trained his children to do the same. As a boy, George had to go to work to help support the family, and so he did not attend school or learn to read; yet he describes how he learned to read the world and survive in it. "We make our own way," he says. "Trouble is out there, but a person can leave it alone and just do the right thing. Then, if trouble still finds you, you've done the best you can."

At ninety-eight, George decided to learn to read and enrol

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