Peaceful Neighbor by Michael Long: Book Review

Mr Rogers

Full Disclosure: I received this Kindle book from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

Calling Mr Rogers a countercultural figure or radical pacifist seems to be an oxymoron! This could not  be the Mr Rogers that we all knew and loved. The man that sang sweet songs, brought us King Friday and Lady Aberlin, and a host of other characters while calming our children didn’t just have  a message for the little ones but his message was for all of us. This book is so good that I believe I will purchase it just to reread his quotes and thoughts. He was a complicated, pacifist who believed firmly that there should NEVER be a war EVER. Everything he did was geared toward making children feel safe. Like everyman he did have his faults but he believed in his goals.

The book is easily laid out in a format that explain in detail the stories he chose to tell in his make- believe neighborhood and how they pertained to the time frame and happenings of the world. It also explains the real life characters who played pivotal roles on the show. I was glad the author used so many quotes and statements from Mr Rogers. My only complaint would be that there may have been some personal opinion interjected by the author as to what Mr Rogers was trying to convey. However he does give a lot of references at the back of the book.

One reference was to the time Mr Rogers appeared before Congress to get more funding for PBS children’s programing.He faced Sen John Pastore (a tough, no nonsense senator from Rhode Island) At the end, Mr Rogers read the words to one of his songs. Pastore was not only convinced, he approved the 20 million dollars that PBS needed to continue children’s programs. Go to You Tube to see this wonderful exchange.

I wonder what Mr Rogers would think of our world today with all the violence and terrorism we are facing.It  sure would be nice to have a  Mr Rogers to make not only our children and grandchildren  feel safe but to calm the fear in all of us.

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