Promises I Made My Mother

 
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Book Description
What would my mother say? How would she want me to handle this situation? How can I make this tough decision and stay true to myself?

What would my mother say?

Sam Haskell still asks himself these questions every day.

When Haskell was young, his devoted mother, Mary, instilled in her son the values of character, faith, and honor by setting an example and asking him to promise to live his life according to her lessons. He did, and those promises have served Haskell consistently from his Mississippi boyhood to his long career at the venerable William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.

In this inspiring memoir full of touching stories and amusing anecdotes, Haskell reveals how he kept his pledge to his mother to live a decent life–even in the shark-infested waters of Hollywood, where he handled the hottest stars and packaged the highest-rated shows–by refusing to become the clich®¶ of an amoral agent. Here is Haskell as a child in Amory, Mississippi (pop. 7,000), discovering the power of hope as he waits for an unlikely visit from the “Cheer Man” (a representative of the detergent company who gave ten dollars to anyone using the brand), learning humility after pursuing an eighth-grade “Good Citizenship” award he cockily assumed he’d win, confronting the complications of human character when a near-fatal car crash exposed his judgmental father’s true nature.

Years later, in Hollywood, Haskell would rely on his mother’s teachings–honesty, self-reliance, and belief in God–as he swiftly rose from the William Morris mailroom to eventually become the company’s Worldwide Head of Television. His capacity for friendship and his insistence on living his version of the Golden Rule (being “thoughtfully political”) allowed him to handle various client crises and the tense negotiations that nearly scuttled the last years of Everybody Loves Raymond and the entire existence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Haskell has achieved success through self-respect, and from his story we learn how we, too, can maintain our dignity when faced with life’s challenges. This stirring memoir is a testament to mothers everywhere who instill in their sons the lasting values they need to become good men and devoted fathers.

A Look Inside Promises I Made My Mother

Click on thumbnails for larger images

Sam Haskell with Ray Romano
Sam Haskell and his mother
The cast of Stars Over Mississippi




What would my mother say? How would she want me to handle this situation? How can I make this tough decision and stay true to myself?

What would my mother say?

Sam Haskell still asks himself these questions every day.

When Haskell was young, his devoted mother, Mary, instilled in her son the values of character, faith, and honor by setting an example and asking him to promise to live his life according to her lessons. He did, and those promises have served Haskell consistently from his Mississippi boyhood to his long career at the venerable William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.

In this inspiring memoir full of touching stories and amusing anecdotes, Haskell reveals how he kept his pledge to his mother to live a decent life–even in the shark-infested waters of Hollywood, where he handled the hottest stars and packaged the highest-rated shows–by refusing to become the clich®¶ of an amoral agent. Here is Haskell as a child in Amory, Mississippi (pop. 7,000), discovering the power of hope as he waits for an unlikely visit from the “Cheer Man” (a representative of the detergent company who gave ten dollars to anyone using the brand), learning humility after pursuing an eighth-grade “Good Citizenship” award he cockily assumed he’d win, confronting the complications of human character when a near-fatal car crash exposed his judgmental father’s true nature.

Years later, in Hollywood, Haskell would rely on his mother’s teachings–honesty, self-reliance, and belief in God–as he swiftly rose from the William Morris mailroom to eventually become the company’s Worldwide Head of Television. His capacity for friendship and his insistence on living his version of the Golden Rule (being “thoughtfully political”) allowed him to handle various client crises and the tense negotiations that nearly scuttled the last years of Everybody Loves Raymond and the entire existence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Haskell has achieved success through self-respect, and from his story we learn how we, too, can maintain our dignity when faced with life’s challenges. This stirring memoir is a testament to mothers everywhere who instill in their sons the lasting values they need to become good men and devoted fathers.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • An (Almost) Unbelievable Life - with Lessons Learned
    I will say that if I had not lived in Amory, Mississippi for seven years AND attended a "Stars Over Mississippi" event I would not believe that Sam Haskell was real. I would have never believed that a guy from a small town in the middle-of-nowhere Mississippi could have made it so big and remain so true to his virtues

    "Promises I made my Mother" is a refreshing take as a motivational book. It is has the ability to inspire with its humor and genuine take on life. Sam blends the experiences he learned from his mother while growing up in a small southern town to the Tensile Town and how he dealt with many of the world's most famous celebrities.... people like Kathie Lee Gifford, Dolly Parton, George Clooney, Ray Ramano, Kristie Alley to name a few. Not only did Sam have the ability to represent these celebrities in the Uber competitive world of Hollywood but he was able to build sincere friendships.

    Many of the stories that Sam shares are classics - such as making a sign for the "Cheer Man" to come to his house or how he worked his way up from working in the mailroom to become one of the most powerful men in television.

    While I have never met Sam Haskell I can say that I know a lot of people who know him (again I lived in Amory for 7 years) and he is universally respected. I applaud "Promises I Made My Mother" on a few levels,

    One - It is an outstanding read full of inspiring tidbits of advice on life. Many of the stories and examples are gems.

    Two - Here is a man who did not forget his roots and how they made him the man that he is. He is as proud of his family and Amory, Ms as they are of him.

    Final verdict - "Promises I Made My Mother" may not be a best seller - but it should be.

    5 stars...more info
  • Everyone Needs This Book!
    I just LOVED this book. Once I started, I did not put it down until I had finished it, at which point I felt as if Sam was an old friend, having told me his stories over a glass of wine instead of my having read them. What a lucky man to have had a mother who instilled such values in her son, and what an inspiration to me, a mother of two. I have already read many passages from the book to my children, and will continue to remind them daily of the importance of good character. I find myself telling them more often now how special they are and how their dreams can be achieved, no matter how great. This book will make you laugh out loud and cry until your tears have run dry. I will read it again and again; it's that kind of book. ...more info
  • Refreshing Read
    I thought this would be a great Mother's Day gift for my daughter but after reading a few pages to see what it was all about, I cound not put it down. It was a very refreshing read. ...more info
  • Promises I Made My Mother
    Great book! If everyone raised their children as Sam's mother raised him, the world would be a much better place. Here's to good old fashioned values!...more info
  • More than a "How To/How I Made It Book"
    Sam Haskell is "one of a kind"--how did a little boy from Mississippi get the guts to BELIEVE, in himself, in his dreams, in his God and his country and reach the pinnacle of success in the heartless world of Hollywood? Hard work and a mother who believed in him with her whole heart. But unlike so many of us today, this woman didn't "protect" her son FROM experience. No matter how painful, she instilled in him the knowledge that painful experiences can not only be survived through understanding but through applying that knowledge, he could be made stronger. She expected SO MUCH of him and that's the lesson in this beautiful book for me. Expect little of your children and you'll get little. By expecting her son to always be his best self, she set the stage for him to be a total success--not just by the world's standards...but by her own. And Mine. This book speaks to the power of love and the hope it inspires in our children and in all of us. Plus, I loved hearing all the "dirt" on the behind-the-scenes Hollywood stuff! Never once did Sam Haskell disappoint me. I know his mother must be so proud. ...more info

 

 
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