All Out: A Father and Son Confront the Hard Truths That Made Them Better Man
Kevin Newman wanted to be a family man in an era when fathers are expected to be more engaged than ever before; he also wanted to reach the top of a profession that demands 24/7 commitment. The higher he climbed, the more irreconcilable those aspirations seemed. Meanwhile, his artistic, solitary son, Alex, was wrestling with his own competing ambitions: to be the sporty, popular son his dad wanted, or to be true to himself.
Paradoxically, their attempts to live up to expectations – their own, and each other’s – were driving them apart.
Two parallel identity crises forced a reckoning. Kevin reached the summit of American network television, becoming co-host of Good Morning America where he was instructed to develop a “quarterback” persona and change his accent, mannerisms, personality, hairstyle and everything else that made him Kevin.
At the same time, Alex was realizing he was gay, but frantically trying to mask and change that fact. Both felt like failures and hungered for one another’s approval, but didn’t know how to bridge their differences. A decade later, they’ve retraced the steps (and missteps) they took to reinvent their relationship, and become one another’s role models for what it means to be a man in our culture.
‘All Out’ is a moving chronicle of all the ways that fathers and sons misunderstand and disappoint one another, and a powerful reminder that they can become closer not despite their differences, but because of them.
Listen to Simi’s interview with Kevin Newman about his new book, All Out: