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Unlikely Brothers

Our Story of Adventure, Loss, and Redemption

By , (Author)

Paperback published by Broadway Books (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book
“You don’t look like brothers . . .”

Peace activist and cofounder of the Enough Project, John Prendergast is known as a champion of human rights in Africa. 

But the not-so-public face of J.P. is the life he’s led as a Big Brother to Michael Mattocks. As a curious, driven, and emotionally wounded twenty-year-old, J.P. made the life-changing decision to form a “Big Brother/Little Brother” relationship with then seven-year-old Michael, who was living out of plastic bags and drifting from one homeless shelter to the next with his mother and siblings. Lacking a connection with his own brother and distancing himself from a disastrous relationship with his father, J.P. formed a unique bond with Michael the moment they met. Michael and J.P. became like family, with Michael and some of his siblings even living with J.P. one summer. In the years that followed, J.P. took Michael and his brothers on outings, whether it was fishing, playing basketball, patronizing cheap restaurants, or going on road trips. This friendship would continue for over twenty-five years as the two coped with varying degrees of violence, instability, and trauma in their own lives. 
 
Told in duet, Unlikely Brothers follows Michael as he grows up on the tough streets of Washington, D.C., where as a young teenager he watched his best friend get shot, dropped out of school, and started dealing crack cocaine shortly thereafter. By sixteen, Michael had become the kingpin of his neighborhood, guns and drugs always close at hand. Meanwhile, J.P. was traveling to and from African war zones. J.P. offered Michael a refuge from the streets, never really confronting the gravity of what Michael was going through in his adolescence. In turn, Michael afforded J.P. an escape from his own turbulent personal and professional life.

As the years go by, the two swoop in and out of each other’s lives, slowly disconnecting as they disappear into their respective worlds, but making their way back to each other at a critical moment for both of them. The effect the two have on each other is extremely significant to both of their paths to redemption.

Inspirational and deeply moving, Unlikely Brothers beautifully showcases how life’s most random moments can often be the most profound.  


From the Hardcover edition.
Show less
“You don’t look like brothers . . .”

Peace activist and cofounder of the Enough Project, John Prendergast is known as a champion of human rights in Africa. 

But the not-so-public face of J.P. is the life he’s led as a Big Brother to Michael Mattocks. As a curious, driven, and emotionally wounded twenty-year-old, J.P. made the life-changing decision to form a “Big Brother/Little Brother” relationship with then seven-year-old Michael, who was living out of plastic bags and drifting from one homeless shelter to the next with his mother and siblings. Lacking a connection with his own brother and distancing himself from a disastrous relationship with his father, J.P. formed a unique bond with Michael the moment they met. Michael and J.P. became like family, with Michael and some of his siblings even living with J.P. one summer. In the years that followed, J.P. took Michael and his brothers on outings, whether it was fishing, playing basketball, patronizing cheap restaurants, or going on road trips. This friendship would continue for over twenty-five years as the two coped with varying degrees of violence, instability, and trauma in their own lives. 
 
Told in duet, Unlikely Brothers follows Michael as he grows up on the tough streets of Washington, D.C., where as a young teenager he watched his best friend get shot, dropped out of school, and started dealing crack cocaine shortly thereafter. By sixteen, Michael had become the kingpin of his neighborhood, guns and drugs always close at hand. Meanwhile, J.P. was traveling to and from African war zones. J.P. offered Michael a refuge from the streets, never really confronting the gravity of what Michael was going through in his adolescence. In turn, Michael afforded J.P. an escape from his own turbulent personal and professional life.

As the years go by, the two swoop in and out of each other’s lives, slowly disconnecting as they disappear into their respective worlds, but making their way back to each other at a critical moment for both of them. The effect the two have on each other is extremely significant to both of their paths to redemption.

Inspirational and deeply moving, Unlikely Brothers beautifully showcases how life’s most random moments can often be the most profound.  


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (272 pages)
Published: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780307464859
Other books byJohn Prendergast
  • Crisis Response

    Crisis Response
    Humanitarian Band-Aids in Sudan and Somalia
    The UN has classified 26 conflicts around the world as complex emergencies. These affect around 59 million people, a large number of them in Africa. There are currently some 70,000 peace keepers in 70 countries serving 17 missions, all requiring different humanitarian responses. The war-induced famine in Sudan and Somalia has received a huge international response, but has raised many controversial questions about the most effective way to deal with such crises.In this challenging book, John Prendergast analyses the effectiveness of all the major humanitarian interventions in recent years, and provides a range of initiatives on how the international community can respond more appropriately. He argues that the failure of military intervention and state building efforts in Somalia, and the attempt at a negotiated access response to aiding the victims in the Sudan provide insights into other crises. Sudan and Somalia are crucial as pointers for the future because they are part of the Horn of Africa legacy of cyclical famines and massive responses which come too late and fail to address the cause of the crises.

    The Enough Moment

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    Had Enough? Join activists, organizations, and celebrities to fight human rights crimes in Africa. Human rights activist John Prendergast and Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle bring us an empowering and hopeful new book, as they reveal the steps being taken by engaged citizens—"Upstanders"—famous and unknown, here and abroad, to combat genocide, rape, and child soldierdom in Africa, and show how you can be a part of the movement. Learn how a high school student in Chicago rallied fellow students all over his city to raise awareness of genocide... a former child soldier in Uganda formed a group of others like him to aid in reconciliation... and a mother and teacher gang-raped by soldiers in Congo found strength to help other survivors. John and Don present ways for you to form alliances, contact Congress, alert the media, enlist corporations, and use social media to become part of the solution. Featuring testimonies and interviews with: • Ben Affleck • Madeleine Albright • Emmanuelle Chriqui • Sheryl Crow • Ann Curry • Annie Duke • Dave Eggers • Mia Farrow • Ryan Gosling • Mariska Hargitay • Emile Hirsch • Iman • Angelina Jolie • Nicholas Kristof • Joel Madden • Nicole Richie • Martin Sheen • Robin Wright • As well as a number of members of Congress and many others making a difference

    Sacred Mirror

    Sacred Mirror
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    How is modern psychotherapy impacted when it is approached from the presence and understanding of the unconditioned mind? What happens when therapists are able to function as a sacred mirror for their clientsÆ essential nature, reflecting back not only the contents of awarenessùthoughts, feelings and sensationsùbut awareness itself? Informed by their direct experience as well as by nondual teachings from both eastern and western wisdom traditions, the authors take a fresh look at what psychotherapy can be. These seminal essays will challenge and inspire readers to approach psychotherapy in a new wayùas a potential portal for experiencing their deepest nature as free and joyful beings.Seasoned clinicians, Dan Berkow, Stephan Bodian, Dorothy Hunt, Sheila Krystal, Lynn Marie Lumiere, Richard Miller, John Prendergast, John Welwood, Jennifer Welwood and Bryan Wittine, and innovative western spiritual teachers, Adyashanti and Peter Fenner, explore critical issues at the interface of psychology and spirituality from a nondual perspective.

    Listening from the Heart of Silence

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    Listening from the Heart of Silence: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, Volume 2 is a companion volume to The Sacred Mirror. It expands and deepens the groundbreaking dialogue begun in The Sacred Mirror.

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