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Book Review: Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me by Robert Lindsey

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Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me by Robert Lindsey is a fine portrayal of this most famous Hollywood actor and personality. Lindsey begins with Marlon Brando’s early childhood by relating stories of his tangling with authority which resulted in his flunking kindergarten at the Field Elementary School in Omaha.

There are memorable pictures of Brando with family members like his sister, Frannie, wrestling buddies at Balboa Beach, and a boxing incident which resulted in a badly injured nose. There is a memorable picture of Brando with Russell, the raccoon given to him by his mother.

Lindsey spends a lot of time detailing Brando’s work in the movies. Brando is pictured with Jessica Tandy in A Streetcar Named Desire. The movie opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on December 3, 1947 to rave reviews.

The author describes Brando’s role in Viva Zapata by John Steinbeck, based upon the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. Brando played in Julius Caesar but felt awkward in the presence of more experienced British actors who played the Shakespearean roles with an attentiveness to detail closer to the actual historical period.

Brando was, as Lindsey explains, more comfortable in The Wild One. There, he was dressed in t-shirts, leather jackets, and jeans to give the appearance of a rebel. Some people criticized his role as glamorizing motorcycle gangs.

Brando was at the zenith of his career in the movie On the Waterfront with Rod Steiger. This stellar performance won him an Oscar in 1954, although he could never fully understand why. The Academy honored him once more with an Oscar for The Godfather in 1972.

Despite his tough guy roles, Brando gave away tons of money to people during his acting career. Lindsey explains how Brando played important roles with noted actresses like Sophia Loren and Vivien Leigh who won the best actress award for A Streetcar Named Desire.

Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me is an excellent book which details the career of one of Hollywood’s most famous 20th century actors. The story of Brando, together with his pictures, will delight fans everywhere.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.