Farewell, Godspeed is a remarkable collection of eulogies for some of the most notable figures of our time, delivered by the people who knew them best. In the words used to eulogize the great and celebrated men and women of the world—sometimes reverential, sometimes funny, always poignant—we come as close as perhaps we ever will to seeing the warm humanity beneath their public personas.
Cyrus M. Copeland has gathered some of the greatest of these writings about artists, scientists, authors, public servants, entertainers, and others who have captured our attention by making the world a better, or at least a livelier, place. Here is Andy Warhol’s close friend describing Warhol’s hidden spirituality. Albert Einstein’s assistant recounting his humanism. Edward Kennedy remembering with a brother’s tenderness the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Larry McMurtry’s lively and loving tribute to Irving “Swifty” Lazar. And Robert Bernstein, longtime publisher and friend of Dr. Seuss, memorializing him with special, never-before-published verse. Also included are the eulogies of the Challenger astronauts by President Ronald Reagan; Charles Schulz by Cathy Guisewite (creator of the comic strip Cathy); Bette Davis by James Woods; Bob Fosse by Neil Simon; Lucille Ball by Diane Sawyer; Martin Luther King Jr. by Benjamin E. Mays; David O. Selznick by Truman Capote; Karl Marx by Friedrich Engels; and Gianni Versace by Madonna.
In these moving and personal tributes we see at last the vulnerabilities and nuances of character that are often hidden from the spotlight, and the true personalities behind the names we remember.
Saying goodbye is never easy, but this compilation of eulogies mourning the loss of some of the greatest contemporary legends celebrates the beauty and humanity of words that bid loved ones a final adieu. Copeland includes scientists, musicians, politicians, actors, and others who have contributed to culture and society, whose eulogies by close friends, family, or colleagues bring to the fore a sense of the individuals, of who they were on and off the world stage."In their recounting, we glimpse what made these people real--their fragile lives reconstructed as their vulnerabilities and nuances come to surface...Here also is a reminder of the heights of human accomplishment, told with the poetry of loss." With over 50 entries (Madonna on Gianni Versace, Ossie Davis on Malcolm X, Orson Welles on Darryl Zanuck), this collection pays homage to and often provides a unique perspective on the men and women whose lives and deaths influenced us all.