John Wayne’s Way: Life Lessons from the Duke

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John Wayne transcended his role as a film star to become an American icon, the boilerplate with which every cowboy, “man’s man,” and soldier would be measured for the rest of time.

John Wayne’s Way examines the Duke’s career in chronological order as he rises through the ranks, from bit player to headlining superstar, and offers a quote from each movie that serves as that film’s central lesson, and words of wisdom from Wayne. It couldn’t have been easy to pull a message from seemingly every film in the Duke’s cinematic library–especially with him playing similar heroes in many of them–but Brode manages to make every entry feel distinct (even if there’s some understandable thematic repetition).

Whether he’s taking the high road or standing his ground, defying limitations or holding true to his beliefs in the face of authority and adversity, there are plenty of solid lessons to draw from his films. That being said, I found myself wishing for a few more anecdotes from Wayne’s life, which might have added something to the proceedings.

But, for the most part, Brode succeeds admirably in passing on the Duke’s lessons to a new generation of readers and moviegoers.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Globe Pequot Press
Publish Date 2014-Oct-07
ISBN 9780762796298 Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category Music & Movies


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