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Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom…

Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest…

by Nick Offerman

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Anyone familiar with Nick Offerman or his on-screen alter ego, Ron Swanson, will not be surprised to learn that he values gumption and those who embody it. In this book, Offerman provides profiles twenty-one Americans who inspire him with their gumption-fueled actions across a wide range of professions. For example, he includes founding fathers, writers (such as Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan), skilled tradesmen, artists, and musicians. It’s an interesting blend of thoughtful rumination, earnest admiration, puckish humor, and irreverence as he reflects upon the lives of the exemplars of gumption and draws connections from their works to current social issues. Chances are you’ll be inspired to learn more about these “troublemakers” and/or create something, possibly something made of wood. I highly recommend the audiobook, which is narrated by the author. Fans of Offerman’s humor or the television show "Parks and Recreation" are likely to enjoy this book, as well as those who are interested in woodworking.

Rachel H. / Marathon County Public Library
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  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
EXCELLENT second foray into the world of book writing!

Nick Offerman (the delightful actor behind my favourite character of all time - Ron Swanson) proves once again through his offering [b:Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers|23604325|Gumption Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America's Gutsiest Troublemakers|Nick Offerman|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1420787867s/23604325.jpg|43205961] that he is an all around beautiful human being, whilst suffering from the same foibles as us all. I must admit that as a Canuck, I am not completely familiar with all of the great American troublemakers that he presented, but I will admit that as an informal student of history and pop culture, it did make me wonder more about some of the people he included.

I will admit that I have never read Wendell Berry (a wrong that I will right very soon) and I have never read Michael Pollan (another wrong that I will right, I swear sir) but the delicious use of language and his vibrant enthusiasm for their works (one fiction, and one non-fiction) makes me curious to know more. I had a generalized high school knowledge of some of the leaders mentioned (George Washington, FDR, etc.) but I realize that some of the esteemed personages presented in this tome are worthy of a closer investigation. More people should be like Mr. Offerman, then the world would be a grander place indeed!

I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Yoko Ono and Conan O'Brien. One thing that struck close to home was that the vast majority of the men and women on his list were voracious readers! This is something that I aspire to, myself. There is no greater pleasure in the world than the many worlds that you can find inside the pages of a book.

My favourite quote (on Conan O'Brien)

He’s like if Tilda Swinton had a threesome baby with a Viking and a stork. He just wants to put on a hell of a show for us, a goal at which he succeeds with great regularity. The moral? "It’s always been shit."

If you love Nick Offerman, if you love Ron Swanson, even if you just love American History you should read this book for a charming rendition of a working man's inspirational heroes who are chock full of gumption.
( )
  ilerya82 | Sep 19, 2017 |
Very amusing. I would like to know how often the word "gumption" (or some variant) is actually used in the book. 54 times, sez Amazon's search inside feature, but that seems far too low. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Aug 22, 2017 |
Offerman talks about his own personal selection of American heroes, starting with George Washington. ( )
  lilibrarian | Jul 12, 2016 |
In Gumption, Offerman covers a hodge-podge group of "great Americans." He meanders from one to the other in a very conversational way, with all sorts of side notes and personal anecdotes. And, of course: meat, woodworking, politics, and manliness. Offerman includes a surprising number of women "great Americans," and it's not at all pandering.

I haven't read Paddle Your Own Canoe, his autobiography, so I wasn't ready for the utter verbosity! He writes like someone with a thesaurus open at their elbow -- no, that's not right. He writes like someone who occasionally enjoys reading the thesaurus. Surprisingly not as annoying as it should be.

Fans of any kind of American history; he doesn't contain himself to the usual "great Americans."

Like a rambling one-sided conversation-cum-monologue, probably over a pint in a pub. ( )
  Andibook | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525954678, Hardcover)

The star of Parks and Recreation and author of the New York Times bestseller Paddle Your Own Canoe returns with a second book that humorously highlights twenty-one figures from our nation’s history, from her inception to present day—Nick’s personal pantheon of “great Americans.”

To millions of people, Nick Offerman is America. Both Nick and his character, Ron Swanson, are known for their humor and patriotism in equal measure.

After the great success of his autobiography, Paddle Your Own Canoe, Offerman now focuses on the lives of those who inspired him. From George Washington to Willie Nelson, he describes twenty-one heroic figures and why they inspire in him such great meaning. He combines both serious history with light-hearted humor—comparing, say, Benjamin Franklin’s abstinence from daytime drinking to his own sage refusal to join his construction crew in getting plastered on the way to work. The subject matter also allows Offerman to expound upon his favorite topics, which readers love to hear—areas such as religion, politics, woodworking and handcrafting, agriculture, creativity, philosophy, fashion, and, of course, meat.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jul 2015 02:24:27 -0400)

The star of Parks and Recreation and author of the best-selling Paddle Your Own Canoe pays tribute to inspiring mischief makers, from George Washington to Willie Nelson, while expounding on such topics as religion, handcrafting and meat.

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