Cover image for Letter to a great grandson : a message of love, advice, and hopes for the future
Letter to a great grandson : a message of love, advice, and hopes for the future
Downs, Hugh.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 124 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
General Note:
"A Lisa Drew book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BJ1601 .D68 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"When you are a great-grandfather, you will experience something so much more powerful and meaningful than being a father or a grandfather that you will look at the march of generations with new eyes."-- from Letter to a Great Grandson In this heartwarming book -- written for his great-grandson but perfect for readers of all ages -- a beloved commentator and trusted public figure shares his thoughts on topics ranging from relationships to science to life in general.When his great-grandson Alexander was born in 2002, Hugh Downs suddenly gained a rare perspective on the world from seeing American culture evolve through five generations (his parents', his own, his children's, his grandchildren's, and now his great-grandson's). Once Downs realized the extraordinary amount of love he felt for his brand-new descendant and the profound connection he sensed between them, he decided to write a letter to be read at the different stages of Alexander's life.Letter to a Great Grandson is thoughtful and touching, funny and wise. With his trademark insight, Downs discusses the joys, possibilities, and challenges of infancy, young adulthood, middle age, old age, and everything in between. Divided into eleven chronological decades of life, it describes the common problems, achievements, and expectations of each stage. Throughout, Downs offers his characteristically erudite thoughts on myriad subjects, as well as delightful anecdotes from his own life.A celebration of the remarkable bond between grandparents and their grandchildren (and great-grandparents and their great-grandchildren), this special book emphasizes the importance of maintaining that most precious possession -- family connections. It will resonate personally with each reading and in each new phase of life, and is a wonderful gift to be treasured for generations.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Respected broadcast journalist Downs delivers a heartfelt missive to his new great-grandson Alexander. Arranged chronologically by decades and addressed to Alexander at a different age or stage of life, chapters contain a wealth of advice pertaining to the vagaries of childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and, finally, old age. As a husband, father, grandfather, writer, celebrity, and avid witness to the second half of the twentieth century, Downs has plenty of useful knowledge to impart and tips to share. However, what is most appealing and shines through every page is his earnest attempt to preserve the precious and often precarious link between generations. Brimming with wit and wisdom, this earnest homily will appeal to readers of all ages and genders. --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although Downs has written this brief, epistolary tome for his great-grandson, Alexander, portions of it are likely to make sense to anyone. His assessments of what to expect at all stages of life, from early childhood to old age, will coach readers on setting goals, choosing an appropriate career, finding true love and giving in to frivolous impulses every once in awhile. Broken into chapters corresponding with the decades of life, the book speaks directly to Alexander (who?s sometimes referred to as ?Xander?), and reveals a good number of anecdotes from Downs?s own illustrious life. The former co-anchor of 20/20 and host of the Today show is now in his early 80s, and certainly has his share of valuable advice to impart. However, when he lapses into specific family references (e.g., ?Three of your four grandparents are living. Six of your eight great-grandparents are living. And you have one great-great-grandmother...?), readers outside the Downs family might find their eyes glazing over. Nonetheless, this humorous, sometimes saccharine, but always kind book of life guidance would make an appropriate graduation gift. (June 8) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.