Rolling Pennies in the Dark: A Memoir with a Message

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 28, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
2 Reviews
“Our intoxicated mother had marched the three of us out into what passed for a living room in the cardboard and tarpaper shack we were existing in on the edge of Nowhere, New Hampshire. She assembled us like an audience on the broken yellow sofa, and said, ‘I’m going to kill myself now, and it’s all your father’s fault.’

“After the dramatic announcement, and once sure we were all looking at the tragedy playing out before us, she took a bottle of sleeping pills out of her purse, and swallowed the entire contents, using vodka as the lubricant.” —excerpt from page 44

Through determination, a deep faith in God, and belief in himself, Douglas MacKinnon has taken the pains of his childhood and turned them into the fuel of compassion. Through his words, you can do the same.

 A Memoir with a Message

 It’s impossible for most of us to imagine what it would be like, as a nine-year-old child, to have your own mother empty her .45 pistol into your cardboard bedroom wall, bullets flying above your head, as you hold your baby sister close to protect her. We can’t imagine this, but Doug MacKinnon can. Doug can do more than imagine—he can remember.

This very personal memoir is both heartbreaking and highly inspirational. In it, Douglas MacKinnon weaves his astounding story as a desperately poor child and his triumphant transition from living in abject squalor to becoming a White House writer who now has the political influence to change the system—especially as it affects children.

But this book is more than the story of one man’s personal journey; it is a memoir with a message. Through this message, the author not only inspires readers to move beyond their own difficulties, he also calls both political parties to task for their shameful neglect of tens of millions of Americans. You’ll be riveted to the story, moved to compassion, and inspired to see the world through new eyes.
 

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A truly unforgettable memoir!!!

User Review  - Heart2Heart - Christianbook.com

"For me and the millions of people across the planet who had or have it much worse than me, a recurring questions is "What's the point?" For many of our fellow human beings in indescribable pain, it ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I found this to be an extremely inspiration and educational read. To understand first-hand what it is like to grow up under such deplorable conditions was difficult, but also enlightening to the many preconceived notions both right and wrong that many have about "the poor". I like that he illustrates in a very non-partisan way, real solutions, as well as how both political parties have let those in poverty down. For those who criticize the author's writing skill/style, I think perhaps they just don't want to hear the message.  

Contents

A Stabbing Precedes the Gunfire
3
A TwoYearOlds Introduction to Poverty
7
Me Baby Jesus and My First Crime
9
In Desperate Search of Gold at the End of the Rainbow
13
Crashing a School Bus for My Sister
16
A Grandmothers Love and a Peek at Normalcy
21
Sunday Dinners and My Escape from the Kids Table
25
My Little Project and the Effects of Too Much Alcohol
28
A Minority Greeting and a Beating
91
Rolling Pennies in the Dark
94
The Deception That Gave Me a Chance
99
Writing a Novel at Seventeen
103
The Square Peg in the Round Hole of College
106
A Bridge Too High
111
The Agency Offers an Out
114
A Campaign Door Leads to the White House
125

JFKs Assassination and an Eviction
30
A Book Provides Escape While Planting a Seed
34
Poor Public Schools for Me Please
37
A NineYearOld Fires a Weapon in SelfDefense
41
Ducking Bullets Fired by Our Mom
44
A Gift Makes a Difference
51
The Caped Crusader Saves Our Lives
55
Shining Shoes Darts and the SheBeast
58
The Broken Bunch
70
Insane Friends and Armed Robbery
72
The Wrong Side of Crime and Attempted Murder
78
Dont Excuse the Inexcusable
84
Shedding Tears with the President
132
John F Kennedy Jr A Man and a Day to Remember
141
The Secret Service Thinks Im a Threat
151
A Presidential Election Hangs in the Balance and My Tiny Role in the Outcome
155
My Patrick
172
Am I Insane?
181
Breathe and Count for Something
184
WTP?
188
Povertys Unsung Heroes
200
Ignorance and the Poor
209
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About the author (2012)

Douglas MacKinnon served in the White House as a writer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and afterwards in a joint command at the Pentagon, where he had a top secret government clearance. He is a regular contributor to several major newspapers. To date, he has published more than 600 columns in every major paper in the country—including Investor’s Business Daily, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, and The Washington Examiner—and makes frequent appearances on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. He is the author of a memoir, Rolling Pennies in the Dark.

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