The Council of Dads: A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live

The Council of Dads: A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live

by Bruce Feiler


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Facing his own mortality, bestselling author Bruce Feiler decided to ask six men — a COUNCIL OF DADS — to play various roles in his daughters’s lives, representing the different aspects of their father that they knew best. Here is the moving story of Feiler’s illness and recovery — and the men who promised to be him.

When bestselling author Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his leg, he could only imagine all the walks he might not take with his daughters, the ballet recitals he would miss, the art projects left undone, and the aisles he might not walk down. Though his daughters would have plenty of resources in their lives, they wouldn’t have their Dad. He decided to write to six men who had been with him throughout his life- men who could become his voice and his daughters’ Council of Dads.

“Will you listen in on them?” he wrote. “Will you take them out to lunch every now and then? Will you go to a soccer game if you’re in town? When they get older, will you indulge them in a new pair of shoes? As time passes, will you invite them to a family gathering on occasion. Will you introduce them to somebody who might help one of their dreams come true?”

THE COUNCIL OF DADS is the intimate story of Feiler’s illness but it is also about the people who touched and shaped his life, and what it means to be truly known. But this is not just a document of one life that has been to the edge — rather it is a blueprint for how others can take Feiler’s experience and deepen their relationships with their own friends and leave behind a treasured legacy for their children.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062993908
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 379,495
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bruce Feiler is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including Abraham, Where God Was Born, America's Prophet, The Council of Dads, and The Secrets of Happy Families. He is a columnist for the New York Times, a popular lecturer, and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and twin daughters.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

October 25, 1964

Place of Birth:

Savannah, Georgia


B.A., Yale University, 1987; M.Phil. in international relations, Cambridge University, 1991

Table of Contents

1 The Orange Sting-Ray 1

2 The Council of Dads 9

3 Twenty Fingers and Twenty Toes 14

4 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume I 24

5 Jeff: Approach the Cow 33

6 Twentieth-Century Two-thirds 45

7 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume II 55

8 Max: Pack Your Flip-Flops 64

9 The Lesson of the Dunes 74

10 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume III 86

11 David Don't See the Wall 93

12 Use Your Words 103

13 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume IV 112

14 Ben: Tend Your Tadpoles 120

15 Be a Collector 132

16 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume V 142

17 Ben the Second: Live the Questions 152

18 The Last Few Steps 164

19 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume VI 175

20 Joshua Harvest Miracles 186

21 Always Learn to Juggle on the Side of a Hill 196

22 Chronicles of the Lost Year: Volume VII 206

23 Take a Walk with a Turtle 217

24 Hug the Monster 227

Afterword: The Council Convenes 237

Say Please and Thank You 243

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