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There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir (2018)

de Casey Gerald

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2228122,269 (3.46)2
Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year's Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather's black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey--following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team--is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he's never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme.… (mais)
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DNF. Couldn’t get into this memoir.
  eringill | Dec 25, 2022 |
"From poor black neighborhood to the Ivy League" is a well trodden redemption memoir path. Good thing Casey Gerald didn't take it. Yes, the ingredients are there: poverty, drugs, mental illness, racism, and football (in Texas). Plus, Gerald is gay. What makes it work is that he has an unusual level of self awareness and a really delightful sense of humor. I hate to use "insight" to review a memoir (naturally, I'm using it anyway) but he's able to connect his family experiences to the big picture.

This isn't a full on, poverty porn confessional, and I don't hold that against him. He's definitely omitted some details (fine with me). The memoir mainly stops after college graduation, which is a bit of a shame; I would have liked to have heard what he thought of his time at Harvard Business School. I also think he downplayed his academics a little bit. I don't think he waited until he was nearly done with Yale to actually read books, football player or not.

I'm curious to see what he goes on to do, and if he writes anything else, because he has talent. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
I came to this book because I heard an episode of The Nod podcast called How to Make Free People. They interview Casey Gerald and I was so drawn in by his voice and his take. The book didn't land as well for me. The message is harsh but sort of hopeful a little bit. Gerald's voice in the book is really stream-of-consciousness and I found it hard to follow sometimes.
I was more moved by his Ted Talk, The Gospel of Doubt. It's possible that as a white person, the Ted Talk format is just more comfortable for me (that's kind of a joke). Either way, I think this message is really important, that even if you win the American Dream you're not really winning if you're black (or gay or any other minority group). You're just being used as a tool to keep everyone else from revolting. If you couldn't make it through this book, please listen to the podcast or the Ted Talk or seek him out some other way! ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
This book should be getting more attention. ( )
  jostie13 | May 14, 2020 |
Casey Gerald may have an interesting and worthwhile story to tell, but I was unable to stick around for another 300 or so more pages to find out. I couldn’t stand what to me was an affected, ostenatious, fake and folksy, down-home-jokey narrative voice. Unfairly or not, it made me mistrust him and any observations he might make. I stuck my toe in the water, and the writing so turned me off that I could wade in no farther. I can only report that no, there were no miracles here—with respect to lean, compelling prose. If I’m going to be with someone for 400 pages, I need to like his voice. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Dec 31, 2019 |
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Casey Gerald comes to our fractured times as a uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides. His story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year's Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather's black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey--following in the footsteps of his father, a gridiron legend who literally broke his back for the team--is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he's never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. He sees how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising. And he sees, most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme.

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