Fear, Fathers and Family: In Search of the American Dream

 
9781478757177: Fear, Fathers and Family: In Search of the American Dream

WHEN A FAMILY REACHES FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM
      When Jon Masters was 10, his parents, seeking access to the American upper class, cut off their families, became Episcopalians, and made him promise not to tell anyone they had ever been Jews - not any woman he might marry, and not his brother who was in the crib in the next room.  For more than 30 years, he lived parallel lives: in one he was constrained by his parents' fears of exposure; in the other he acted as if his family's past did not exist and he could be whoever he wanted to be.     Within the family his father was in charge, threatening to die if the secret was revealed.  In his public life, Jon believed he was immune to the consequences of denial.  He went to top schools, was mentored by high ranking superiors, and as a young naval officer was marked for success among a circle of seasoned Washington policy-makers.        By the time he was 40, it all started to come apart.  He didn't know who he was.  By then, he was a father and a husband.  He had no confidantes and held his wife at arm's length for fear of exposing the secret and terrified of the consequences of doing so.      This is the story of what brought him to that point and what he did to protect his children, save his marriage, maintain his career, and nourish his soul. Family took precedence over power and healing the family trauma became his priority.  Helping his children become independent, caring, and accomplished in ways of their own choosing was his goal.                                                                                                                                   "Though fashioned as a memoir, Jon Masters has actually written a compelling guide in the vein of Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What haunted (and inspired) Masters may seem specific, but the themes are universal-ethnic self-consciousness, dark family secrets, difficult parent-child relationships-and how one moves beyond them into that elusive American Dream. Masters' no-nonsense life-lessons and evolving priorities are conveyed at a page turning pace. He is a riveting storyteller, a mentor for everyone who wants to make it or has children they hope will reach for the sky." -Dr. Ron Taffel, internationally recognized therapist, author and educator on family-life issues
                                                                                                                                                      "Jon Masters' memoir, Fear, Fathers and Family, aligns one man's life along the crooked paths of history and family, anti-Semitism and secrets. Charged with preserving the secret of his Jewishness as a child, and learning to embrace the power of truth as a man, Masters models how to navigate the complexities of love and identity to become the father, and the man, he can proudly show the world." -Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College
      "Jon Masters' Fear, Fathers and Family is a vivid and candid portrait of a classic father-son conflict. The dominating father in Mr. Masters' engaging memoir challenges his son's as well as his family's identity by demanding assimilation as a secret and unchallenged commitment. As Mr. Masters narrates his passage from repressed Jew to enrolled Episcopalian, he treats his readers to an insightful evaluation of the social as well as spiritual values that plagued so many families of immigrants in mid-twentieth century U.S.A. Fear, Fathers and Family achieves that rarity among intimate memoirs-a painful personal confession that dramatizes an aspect of our social history." -Sidney Offit, author of novels and two memoirs, conducts writing workshops at The New School and Hunter College

   

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About the Author:

While this memoir was inspired by Jon's desire to provide his descendants with a window on their past, he hopes his life stories and the lessons he learned will enrich the lives of all who read it. Jon lives with his wife Rosemary in New York City and the Berkshires.

Review:

Princeton Alumni Weekly: "When Jon J. Masters '58 was 10, his parents cut off their families and became Episcopalians in an attempt to join the American upper class. Jon is sworn to never tell anyone -- his baby brother, any woman he may marry -- that they had ever been Jews... Masters reveals how he lived a parallel life for more than 30 years, constrained by his parents' fear of exposure but acting as though he could be whoever he wanted to be. ...Masters, a corporate governance consultant, provides a look at issues that plagued many families of immigrants in mid-20th century America." 

The Berkshire Record: "Jon Masters vividly remembers the Sunday afternoon in 1948 when his father came into his bedroom while he was reading the comics and made him promise never to tell anyone that the family was Jewish - not his friends, not his baby brother, and not his future wife.  'If I (told anyone), he threatened at my bedside, he would die, and I believed him,' said Masters, who was ten years old at the time.  Masters kept that promise for 30 years, and has recently written a compelling memoir of growing up in New York City in the 40s and 50s when anti-Semitism was 'widespread. respectable and as commonplace as white bread in the United States.'  His memoir tells the  story of an ambitious young man who built a highly successful life within the WASP establishment, and explains what led him to reveal the family secret to his wife and the world at large when he was 40, a decision that would change his life completely. Masters shares how and why he was finally able to tell them the secret, the ramifications of withholding that information from his wife and brother and the reaction of his father to the news.  It's a page-turner that could have you staying up all night.  I did." Julie Ruth, January 22-28, 2016 issue

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Book Description Outskirts Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.When a family reaches for the American dream. Though fashioned as a memoir, Jon Masters has actually written a compelling guide in the vein of Covey s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What haunted (and inspired) Masters may seem specific, but the themes are universal-ethnic self-consciousness, dark family secrets, difficult parent-child relationships-and how one moves beyond them into that elusive American Dream. Masters no-nonsense life-lessons and evolving priorities are conveyed at a page turning pace. He is a riveting storyteller, a mentor for everyone who wants to make it or has children they hope will reach for the sky. -Dr. Ron Taffel, internationally recognized therapist, author and educator on family-life issues Jon Masters memoir, Fear, Fathers and Family, aligns one man s life along the crooked paths of history and family, anti-Semitism and secrets. Charged with preserving the secret of his Jewishness as a child, and learning to embrace the power of truth as a man, Masters models how to navigate the complexities of love and identity to become the father, and the man, he can proudly show the world. -Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College Jon Masters Fear, Fathers and Family is a vivid and candid portrait of a classic father-son conflict. The dominating father in Mr. Masters engaging memoir challenges his son s as well as his family s identity by demanding assimilation as a secret and unchallenged commitment. As Mr. Masters narrates his passage from repressed Jew to enrolled Episcopalian, he treats his readers to an insightful evaluation of the social as well as spiritual values that plagued so many families of immigrants in mid-twentieth century U.S.A. Fear, Fathers and Family achieves that rarity among intimate memoirs-a painful personal confession that dramatizes an aspect of our social history. -Sidney Offit, author of novels and two memoirs, conducts writing workshops at The New School and Hunter College. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781478757177

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Book Description Outskirts Press, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. When a family reaches for the American dream. Though fashioned as a memoir, Jon Masters has actually written a compelling guide in the vein of Covey s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What haunted (and inspired) Masters may seem specific, but the themes are universal-ethnic self-consciousness, dark family secrets, difficult parent-child relationships-and how one moves beyond them into that elusive American Dream. Masters no-nonsense life-lessons and evolving priorities are conveyed at a page turning pace. He is a riveting storyteller, a mentor for everyone who wants to make it or has children they hope will reach for the sky. -Dr. Ron Taffel, internationally recognized therapist, author and educator on family-life issues Jon Masters memoir, Fear, Fathers and Family, aligns one man s life along the crooked paths of history and family, anti-Semitism and secrets. Charged with preserving the secret of his Jewishness as a child, and learning to embrace the power of truth as a man, Masters models how to navigate the complexities of love and identity to become the father, and the man, he can proudly show the world. -Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College Jon Masters Fear, Fathers and Family is a vivid and candid portrait of a classic father-son conflict. The dominating father in Mr. Masters engaging memoir challenges his son s as well as his family s identity by demanding assimilation as a secret and unchallenged commitment. As Mr. Masters narrates his passage from repressed Jew to enrolled Episcopalian, he treats his readers to an insightful evaluation of the social as well as spiritual values that plagued so many families of immigrants in mid-twentieth century U.S.A. Fear, Fathers and Family achieves that rarity among intimate memoirs-a painful personal confession that dramatizes an aspect of our social history. -Sidney Offit, author of novels and two memoirs, conducts writing workshops at The New School and Hunter College. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9781478757177

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Book Description Outskirts Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 208 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.4in.When a family reaches for the American dream. . . Though fashioned as a memoir, Jon Masters has actually written a compelling guide in the vein of Coveys 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What haunted (and inspired) Masters may seem specific, but the themes are universal-ethnic self-consciousness, dark family secrets, difficult parent-child relationships-and how one moves beyond them into that elusive American Dream. Masters no-nonsense life-lessons and evolving priorities are conveyed at a page turning pace. He is a riveting storyteller, a mentor for everyone who wants to make it or has children they hope will reach for the sky. -Dr. Ron Taffel, internationally recognized therapist, author and educator on family-life issues Jon Masters memoir, Fear, Fathers and Family, aligns one mans life along the crooked paths of history and family, anti-Semitism and secrets. Charged with preserving the secret of his Jewishness as a child, and learning to embrace the power of truth as a man, Masters models how to navigate the complexities of love and identity to become the father, and the man, he can proudly show the world. -Gail Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College Jon Masters Fear, Fathers and Family is a vivid and candid portrait of a classic father-son conflict. The dominating father in Mr. Masters engaging memoir challenges his sons as well as his familys identity by demanding assimilation as a secret and unchallenged commitment. As Mr. Masters narrates his passage from repressed Jew to enrolled Episcopalian, he treats his readers to an insightful evaluation of the social as well as spiritual values that plagued so many families of immigrants in mid-twentieth century U. S. A. Fear, Fathers and Family achieves that rarity among intimate memoirs-a painful personal confession that dramatizes an aspect of our social history. -Sidney Offit, author of novels and two memoirs, conducts writing workshops at The New School and Hunter College This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781478757177

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