Unlikely Brothers: Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption

John Prendergast and Michael Mattocks, Crown, $24 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-46484-2
Two intertwining first-person accounts cover a 25-year span in this double narrative: Mattocks writes about growing up in homeless shelters and heading into a heavy drug scene as a teenager, while human rights activist Prendergast, a director of African affairs at the National Security Council and a special adviser at the Department of State during the Clinton administration, narrates from his point of view. In 1983, while visiting a friend who ran a D.C. homeless shelter, Prendergast met seven-year-old Mattocks and his six-year-old brother, James: "These boys had nothing and yet radiated with life and sunshine." As recalled by Mattocks, "J.P. got into it. He became a kid when he was with us." Mattocks was taken fishing, and he met Prendergast's parents, who lived in a "big-ass house" in Philadelphia. Their bond continued as Prendergast returned from trips to Africa, confronting the bureaucracy of foreign aid, while Mattocks, in D.C., became involved with alcohol, weed, weapons, and crack. While Mattocks was suffering arrests, shoot-outs, and Russian roulette, Prendergast was shot at in Somalia and had a gun stuck in his mouth on the Rwanda/Congo border; he eventually landed on the White House staff at age 33. In the end, this is a fascinating account of a long-standing friendship. (May 17)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Hardcover - 154 pages - 978-0-307-46486-6
Show other formats
Discover what to read next