“In this deeply personal and poignant memoir, Tony Rogers describes the political, personal, and psychological challenges of growing up in the sixties with a powerful establishment father. It's a moving and very memorable tale, one that can help all of us better understand the issues of family, country, and finding your way. ”
CEO of the Aspen Institute
Author of Steve Jobs and Kissinger: A Biography
Former managing editor of Time
“This is a wonderful memoir. It provides unique insights into the times and a great behind-the-scenes look at one of the most interesting and tumultuous presidential administrations of our time. And it also presents a well-crafted and beautifully written account of family life in that period and one individual's brave and thoughtful journey. It is also a great story of a father and a son and their relationship at a difficult time for the nation and for family life in general as mores and habits were changing. The book is a pleasure to read and it stays with you for a very long time. ”
CEO of Sony Entertainment
Former chairman and CEO Pearson's Penguin Group (Penguin)
“Tony Rogers has written a lovely coming-of-age memoir, about a life of unusual privilege; and, because his father had been attorney general during the Eisenhower administration and secretary of state under Richard Nixon, a life filled with lessons in survival and moral choices. His story is full of fascinating encounters—Robert Frost was a visitor, Senator Joseph McCarthy tried to teach him boxing—but it's above all a deeply moving account of the awkward competition, and affection, between father and son during an extraordinary era in America.”
Former senior editor of The New Yorker
Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage
Published in: 2016
Hard Cover • 224 pages
(In Stock Now)
Fake Smiles is a graceful, moving and reflective memoir of a contentious fatherson relationship set against the backdrop of the Eisenhower and Nixon eras. The father—William P. Rogers—was attorney general in the Eisenhower administration and secretary of state in the Nixon administration, a period of dramatic change from post-war stability to the turmoil of the sixties. The author—Tony Rogers—the shy, introspective oldest son of the Rogers family marched against the Vietnam War while his dad was heading the State Department, played guitar in rock and jazz bands, built ham radios, spent two summers working on farms and had no appetite to "get ahead" which was his hard-driving and competitive father's constant mantra. Gradually and with great difficulty, father and son learned to accept each other. Always candid, never sparing himself, Tony Rogers—an award winning novelist and short story writer—recounts what the difficult time and that difficult relationship were like.
The famous and infamous were frequent visitors to the Rogers household. Richard Nixon often stopped for drinks after playing golf at Burning Tree, Robert Frost came to thank Bill Rogers for his help in getting Ezra Pound out of St. Elizabeths mental hospital, and the Red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy tried to teach Tony how to box in the family living room.
The record of an unorthodox life and a hard-won father-son relationship, Fake Smiles is an uncommonly literate, personal history that reveals fresh insights into a pivotal and still influential era of contemporary American history.