"Heroes For My Daughter"

On radio this morning, Glenn interviewed "Heroes For My Daughter" author Brad Meltzer about his new book. Watch the full interview in the clip above.

Rush Transcript:

GLENN: Brad Meltzer is here. Out today is a new book called Heroes For My Daughter, a follow-up to a book that he wrote -- how many years ago was that? Two, three?

MELTZER: Two and a half years ago.

GLENN: Two and a half years ago. Heroes For My Son. Brad is a good friend of mine and the Heroes For My Son is a great book. Heroes For My Daughter includes stories on Tina Turner and what she had in her pocket. Brad, do you want to tell this story?

MELTZER: Yeah. You know the story. Basically six years ago when my daughter was born, I decided to write a book that lasts her whole life and I was going to fill it with all the things she needed to become a great woman and I wrote rules for her like love God and be nice to kids and the truth was I had done Heroes to My Son, as you know. You helped me launch it. For three -- for two years now my daughter has asked me, where the heck is my book? That's been the No. 1 thing she wants to know, because she's, like, you've got the son one. Where is mine? But I looked at people like Tina Turner. You know, Tina Turner what I loved about her -- and, you know, we have obviously Rosa Parks and Amelia Earhart, all the people that, you know, we all know and love, but why I wrote about Tina Turner is when she ran out of the hotel room after Ike had beat her up, do you know what she had in her pocket? She had $0.36 and a Mobil credit card. That was it. And after 16 years of cruelty, she walked out on Ike Turner and what I think her lesson is for, you know, every young girl but also every woman is just to know that you have to fight back and you have to never forget that no matter how deep the hole is, you can always find a way out because she kept saying to herself over and over, I will die before I go back. And, you know, she fought her way to become, again, this great rock icon and I said, I want my daughter to learn how to fight. I want her to learn how to stand up for herself and so I picked heroes like Rosa Parks, you know --

GLENN: Tell me about Sally Ride. Tell me about Sally Ride. Why was she picked to be an astronaut?

MELTZER: People say it was because -- when she was picked to be an astronaut, it was just because she was (inaudible) great athlete, some say because she was fearless and all those things are true, but here's what she also had to do: She had to answer an ad in her college newspaper that said NASA was looking for astronauts and she had to look at it moment and see this and I said, I want my daughter -- you know, that's how she became the woman that did what no one had ever done before. She saw a moment and she seized it and I want that lesson for my daughter and that's what Heroes to My Daughters was designed to be, is to give her those lessons and examples.

GLENN: One of my sister's heroes is Julia Childs because Julia Childs was a massive failure.

MELTZER: Yeah, she was. You hit it right on the head. You know, everyone knows Julia Childs. Everyone loves Julia Childs. You know, she's one of my heroes because she was actually a spy, also. People don't know that about her. She was a spy for the U.S. Government as part of the OSS. But what I love about her is, you know, she wrote the greatest cookbook of all time, mastering The Art of French Cooking but, you know, she got rejection letter, rejection letter, rejection letter, over and over again after six years of working at it and everyone said this book is never going to work and she never, ever ever gave up. Her secret ingredient was the most vital ingredient of all. It's to never give up on what you love and I said -- the funny part is, again, when I was writing the book, I handed in the first draft and my editor said to me, We have a problem. I said, what's the problem? She said, you use one word over and over again in all these heroes. I said, What's the word? She said fighter. She said, you use the word fighter for the

Dalai Lama's entry. The Dalai Lama's a passivist and I use the word fighter, but clearly it tells you about me as a father. One, I'm overprotective of my daughter. No question about it, but, two, and here's what I don't apologize for -- I do want my daughter to learn how to fight. You know, I tell her all the time, I said, you know, you have to fight for something when you want it and when you see injustice, you have to fight harder than ever before and I also tell her, don't be the princess who's waiting for Prince Charming to come save you. You can save yourself and I said, that's what I want the book to be full of examples of that.

GLENN: Do you think that heroes for your daughter is more important in today's world or Heroes For My Son?

MELTZER: You know, when I started doing the book, I thought I was going to do equal books, one for my son, one for my daughter, my son's would have more male heroes, my daughter would have more female heroes and it would be the exactly the same and I would treat them the same, but what I realized in this fighter comment that I just was talking about is I do treat my daughter differently and do you know why I do? Because the world treats my daughter differently. It is a statistical fact and I wish this weren't the case, but my daughter will have a harder life just be by being a woman. She is going to statistically make less money, have a harder time getting a promotion and I hope these things will change. We all hope these things will change, but I know that I do treat my daughter differently for that. And people sometimes say that with our sons, we inspire and with our daughters we try and teach them how to battle and we try and protect them and I fight myself every day to be a good father and just put them on equal ground, but I know that, like any father with their daughter, I'm just always going to be protective of her.

GLENN: Okay. Can I ask you a question? There are male heroes in this book, as well?

MELTZER: Of course there are male heroes. If I just put male heroes for my son, I wouldn't be doing it justice and for my daughter, of course I -- I mean, how do I not --

GLENN: I can't believe that the Three Stooges is in --

MELTZER: Do you want to hear -- you've got to hear the Three Stooges story. So, yeah, let me start with the big one. Yeah, I've got to give my daughter Abraham Lincoln, I have to give my daughter Christopher Reeve, I've got to give my daughter Ben Franklin and I want to give my daughter, you know -- there are male heroes I want her to have. I saved Ben Franklin for her because I just love him, but I have the Three Stooges in there and I put that in there because my dad, when I was growing up, used to show me the Three Stooges. My mother hated it. My wife hates it. Most women hate the Three Stooges. Here's what I want you to know about the Three Stooges is that the three stages were actually the first ones to parody Adolf Hitler on film. Everyone thinks that Charlie Chaplin The Great Dictator was the great one, but the Three Stooges who were three Jews, the Three Stooges were the first one to parody him. They actually did it two years, almost two years before Pearl Harbor, the three Stooges stood up to the bully and said, You know what? Everyone said we can't make propaganda. Everyone said you're not allowed to do any propaganda about Hitler. Hollywood really kind of had a serious push not to do such things and these three so-called idiots were the ones who stood up to him and I said, I love that. I've got to give my daughter the lesson of what it means to stand up to the bully.

GLENN: So, the name of the book is Heroes For My Daughter. It's out today. I have Heroes For My Son. I will be getting Heroes For My Daughter, as well. Just great books. Brad is a good friend, a great writer, knows heroes. In my book he is -- he is a hero himself and, Brad, it's always great to talk to you.

MELTZER: Yeah. No. I appreciate it, Glenn, and I appreciate your support from the very start. Can I say one thing? The last hero in the book is the most important one because it's a blank page and it says: Your hero's photo here and your hero's story here and I promise you, you take a picture of your mom or your grandmother or military for you family and you write one sentence of what they mean to you and you put in in this book and it is the most perfect page in Heroes For My Daughter is the hero they live with every day.

GLENN: Brad, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

MELTZER: Thank you, sir

GLENN: You bet. Heroes For My Daughter, available in book stores everywhere today.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.