Emanuel book a family success story

April 4, 2013 10:00:00 PM PDT
The book The Brothers Emanuel is a look at the lives of three kids who grew up in Chicago and the suburbs, which each becoming very successful in their chosen field.

The sibling rivalry lovingly retold in the book was on full display in the mayor's office Friday as oncologist and author Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel laid out why he wrote the book and what it says about how their childhood highlights the effect committed parenting can have on any kid.

The University of Pennsylvania professor and Obamacare consultant says the book has been reasonably received by a family that was taught to hold nothing back.

"All the characters ring true you clearly got them," he said.

The 272-page tome details the immigrant story of a family that was formed when a young doctor from Israel met a girl from north Lawndale and built a home that turned on debate and living up to the promise of America.

"That kind of chip that was in your brain of what your parents expected and what you had to do and to beat that expectation? If you ask me what the biggest competition was, that would be the measurement," said Rahm Emanuel.

The mayor's big brother was a gifted student and Rahm was cast as a guy looking "to get the most return out of the least effort." The author maintains though that "Brothers Emanuel" is not about telling people how to bring up kids.

"We were granted a lot of freedom but we were expected to do something with that freedom," Zeke Emanuel said.

"They raised us with two qualities that were contradictory at the same time. One was to have tremendous respect for authority and to always challenge it," said Rahm Emanuel.

Zeke Emanuel acknowledges biographies often romanticize the past, but kidding aside, the sweep of yet another American immigrant story, starring his family, is cause yet again for Chicago's mayor to give pause.

"My father came here in 1959 as an immigrant, my mother's father came here in 1917, 13 years old by himself, to meet a cousin he never knew and within a generation or two," Rahm Emanuel said. "If my grandfather was alive today, to see his grandson as a mayor? It's a great country. It's a great country."

The brothers both say parental pressure has its drawbacks, but nothing beats the effect committed parenting can have on any kid, something both the doctor and the mayor stressed needs to be a huge part of the continuing debate on public education in Chicago.