Meant To Be: The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother's Deepest Secret

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Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages

Published to strong reviews and major media attention, this heartfelt and inspirational rags-to-riches memoir by the highly regarded CEO of Parade Publications tells the emotional story of how he came to terms with an identity and a family that he never knew he had until he reached middle age.

Meant To Be begins when Anderson, a 21-year-old Marine returns from service to say goodbye to his dying father and tries to find the answer to a question that has inexplicably haunted him from his earliest years: Was the alcoholic, abusive man who has so tormented him in his childhood his real father? Shockingly, the answer turns out to be "No." Unbeknown to him, at least until that point, his mother, a German Protestant, fell in love during World War II with a Russian Jew and bore his child. Anderson learns this information as a young man but he and his mother keep this secret for another 35 years, until the day Anderson—now an unusually successful publishing executive—meets an unknown brother who, it turns out, has lived a nearly parallel life. Meant To Be is a love story, a journey of self-discovery and spirituality, and a provocative challenge to common notions about the role of heredity in our lives.


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User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Anderson, longtime editor of Parade , the Sunday newspaper magazine, had a wrong-side-of-the-tracks childhood and a loving mother who tried to protect him from a drunken, bullying father. He escaped ... Read full review

Meant to be

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Anderson had a real surprise when he returned from Vietnam; he learned that his real father was not the man who raised him but a POW with whom his mother had an affair. That didn't stop Anderson from becoming editor of Parade. Read full review


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Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14

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Page 63 - This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Page 63 - I master my life. My rifle without me is useless. Without my rifle I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count.
Page 183 - I am descended from anonymous ancestors who could have been poor people seeking riches or zealots in a noble cause or rabble-rousers fleeing some mischief, or worse.
Page 33 - It was my fortune, either good or bad, I don't know which you will term it, to have one teacher nine years, from the time I was five years old until I was fourteen, the golden period of every child's school life, and during that time that teacher never stood up before a class and told them anything more than the children could find in the book. A class in arithmetic he never had. As the boys of the present time would say, " every fellow ciphered on his own hook.
Page 11 - One bleak evening he was visiting the graves of his parents. The sky darkened, and the wind blew, and the boy, afraid, started crying. Suddenly a deep voice roared, 'Keep still or I'll cut your throat!
Page 9 - My father — drunk, his face flushed — reeled before me, glowering, menacing. My legs started to tremble. I knew I would be beaten. There could be no escape. My father had found me reading. "Doin
Page 161 - At three in the morning I got out of bed and went into the living room to make a stiff gin and tonic.
Page 127 - Little did I know that I was about to meet someone who would change my life.

About the author (2009)

Walter Anderson has been editor of Parade since June 1980. He is a member of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences, and he serves on the boards of Literacy Volunteers of America, the National Center for Family Literacy, the National Dropout Prevention Fund, Very Special Arts, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and PBS.

He received a 1994 Hortio Alger Award, for which he was nominated by the late Norman Vincent Peale, and the Jewish National Fund's Tree of Life Award, which he received from Elie Wiesel. He lives in White Plains, New York, with his wife Loretta. They have two children.

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