From beloved CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca, a rigorously researched, “funny and smart” (Jon Stewart) book that celebrates the dead people who have long fascinated him.
Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries—reading about the remarkable lives of global leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and innovators who changed the world. But not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves. His quest to right that wrong inspired Mobituaries, his #1 hit podcast. But here, in this “delightful, hilarious romp through history” (Booklist) he has gone much further, with all-new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers, and more. Even if you know the names, you’ve never understood why they matter...until now.
Take Herbert Hoover: before he was president, he was the “Great Humanitarian,” the man who saved tens of millions from starvation. But after less than a year in the White House, the stock market crashed, and all the good he had done seemed to be forgotten. Then there’s Marlene Dietrich, well remembered as a screen goddess, less remembered as a great patriot. Alongside servicemen on the front lines during World War II, she risked her life to help defeat the Nazis of her native Germany. And what about Billy Carter and history’s unruly presidential brothers? Were they ne’er-do-well liabilities…or secret weapons? Plus, Mobits for dead sports teams, dead countries, the dearly departed station wagon, and dragons. Yes, dragons.
Rocca is an expert researcher and storyteller who offers “joy for curious minds” (Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci), and with his dogged reporting and trademark wit, he brings these men and women back to life like no one else can. “In our fact-challenged times, Rocca’s joyful tour through the didja know’s of history is an unexpected antidote” (The New Yorker).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
First things first—what exactly is a Mobituary? It’s a look into the life of a fascinating but forgotten historical figure, as listeners of Mo Rocca’s popular podcast already know. Rocca foregoes the plodding stroll through the past that characterizes some bios. Instead, he leads us on a romp alongside some of history’s most singular characters, from famed conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker to early civil-rights advocate Elizabeth Jennings. The former Daily Show satirist—and current CBS Sunday Morning correspondent—clearly relishes unearthing the stories of fascinating and significant figures who aren’t widely known or are somehow misunderstood. And it’s not just people: Mo’s eulogy for the great American station wagon genuinely had us misty-eyed with nostalgia. Overflowing with fascinating tidbits and Rocca’s offbeat wit, Mobituaries puts the fun in funerals.
Had such a great time with this book. The stories really pique curiosity but always treat the subjects with respect, and a bit of kindness. Wry asides a bonus! Mo, give us more!!!
Podcast and book = great pairing
Always looking for new, interesting podcasts, so I was really excited to find Mobituaries is not only a book, but also a podcast. I am a librarian, so recently added this book to our collection. With Time Magazine listing this as one of the top 10 podcasts for 2019, I have already listened to several episodes on the podcast. Mo Rocco brings a unique interest and energy to his topics that keeps me wanting to learn more. Looking forward to both Mobituaries - keep up the great work!
One of the best
I just listened to the Laura Brannigan episode and immediately started listening to all her music. Great show!