Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers

Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers - Michael G. Long I received an ARC copy of this e-book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As I was reading this very thoughtful and deeply theological book I realized that I was not the right audience for this—sort of like I had accidentally wandered into the wrong movie. I was looking for a biography with some insight into Fred Roger’s philosophy/theology. I am a huge fan of this man and feel that he is one of those few people that left the world a better place than he found it. What I got was a thoughtful and deep exploration of his theology with biographical facts along the way. I would say that if you are looking for a biography (as I was) then look elsewhere; if you enjoy theology and its impact on US politics (of 70’s and 80’s in particular) then this book is for you.

I learned that Roger’s philosophy and his theology are not separable. I didn’t know that he was an ordained minister but it didn’t surprise me. I started this book thinking of Rogers as a gentle and enlightened man of grace and substance yet emerged from this realizing that he was tougher than I knew and that that he was as much a fighter for his ideals as he was a leader by example. Rogers, always from his perspective of protecting and nurturing children, considered war to be the most heinous act of child abuse possible and he was not above taking people, especially world leaders, to task for not working for peace.