Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Review - Good Day!, Paul Batura

Good Day!: The Paul Harvey Story


Paul Batura

Category: Nonfiction: Biography

Synopsis: Batura fleshes out Paul Harvey’s long history in the radio world.

Date finished: (approx.) 27 December 2013 

Rating: ***½

I wanted to love this book, because I love Paul Harvey. I grew up listening to his “Rest of the Story” stories at lunchtime (in the summer, anyway). He could tell a good story. And he was clever. He reminded me of the men I grew up around, grandfathers and uncles who were honest, strong, church-going, and patriotic. He embodied all of the best parts of American characteristics.

This book didn’t undermine that perception at all. Batura is obviously a fan of Harvey’s. There was no dishing, no unsavory surprises. It would seem Harvey was exactly who we all thought Harvey was.

The trouble is, the book wasn’t particularly well-written. And the editing was terrible-with-a-capital-T. Batura was writing this book at the time that Harvey passed away. And being the first biography of Harvey’s life, he and his publishers were likely in a huge hurry to get it printed. They seemed to skip editing altogether. And it shows. I have little tolerance for that, so my patience wore thin.

Still, I learned quite a bit about the man who is a broadcasting icon. I think it’s safe to say that never again will we have another Paul Harvey on the radio.

Some Harvey facts:

  • Harvey was born Paul Harvey Aurandt in 1918 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • He started in radio in 1933. That year he also became a licensed pilot.
  • Paul and his new bride, “Angel,” were in the radio business in Hawaii, but returned home on December 5, 1941—two days before the Pearl Harbor attack. (Awful timing for a newsman!)
  • Harvey would eventually command $30,000 per appearance.
  • Paul Harvey Jr. became a concert pianist and was responsible for writing “The Rest of the Story” stories.
  • In November 2000, Harvey signed an unprecedented 10-yr $100 million contract. He was 82-years-old.
  • President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
  • Harvey died in 2009 at age 90.

Would you recommend this to a friend?
There is another biography of Harvey called Paul Harvey’s America, and I couldn’t decide which to read, perhaps that book is better.

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