Recent Read: Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters

MockFew novels have proven to be as important and influential as To Kill a Mockingbird, and few films have become just as important as its source material. Tom Santopietro (The Godfather Effect, Sinatra in Hollywood, Becoming Doris Day) is one of the finest pop culture writers working today. In his new book, the author take a deep dive look at the cultural impact of both Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, published in 1960, and the now iconic film released in 1962. Over its more than 50 years existence, To Kill a Mockingbird has been both praised and banned. Criticized and hailed by both liberals and conservatives.

Santopietro paints a detailed look beginning with Harper Lee’s childhood in the tiny town of Monroeville, Alabama, the inspiration for Maycomb, the fictional town in Lee’s classic. It ends with the publication of Go Tell the Watchman, Lee’s original and extremely different first draft. In between, we get well known and little known details such as Spencer Tracy was originally considered for the role of Atticus Finch. We all know Gregory Peck landed the part in what would turn out to be the role of a lifetime. Who else can be Atticus Finch!

Almost sixty years after its publication, To Kill A Mockingbird remains one of the most read and influential books in America, required reading in many high schools. As relevant today as it was back in the 1960’s. It asks some,hard questions. Can a country that has fought to make the world safe from tyranny and fascism somehow save itself and live up to its potential as a democracy where there is justice and freedom for all. Today, we are failing. As the author  points out, substitute Muslims and Mexicans, along with other South Americans attempting to enter the country, for blacks and you have to asked yourself how much has really changed?

With over 40 million books in print, everyone whether liberal or conservative wants to have an Atticus Finch in his or her life.


5 thoughts on “Recent Read: Why To Kill a Mockingbird Matters

  1. One of my favorite books and a favorite movie as well. If ever there was a work of fiction we could all be inspired by, surely this is it.
    Have faith John. America is still good. Perhaps there is a higher purpose for these turbulent times. “…He raises up kings, and He takes them down.” The tide will turn, and when it does it will carry the haters and instigators out to sea and there will be no one willing to save them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. John, I hope you’re watching the news right now. I think the tide is turning. I’m praying that it is. The news conference in Helsinki was a fiasco. Even the Republicans are upset. Even Fox News is critical. This is the beginning of the end, I believe. I think it is going to be swift.


  2. Pam, I have been out all afternoon, but I just read and posted on FB a devastatingly written opinion on the Helsinki news conference. Putin in was in command clearly expressing his ideas on Russian-U.S. relations while our President had no clear plan and kept rambling on about U. S. domestic affairs notably the 2016 election.


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