Lament for a Father: The Journey to Understanding and Forgiveness by Marvin Olasky

120 pages | List Price: $12.99 | SAMPLE CHAPTER

Marvin played catch with his father, Eli, only once—it didn’t end well. Eli never laughed, rarely spoke with his son, and was periodically lambasted by his wife for his lack of ambition. How had a Harvard graduate failed to achieve all that he had once hoped for?

Now an experienced investigative journalist, Marvin Olasky uncovers the true story of his father’s past in his most personal work to date—facing Eli’s pain and his own in order to understand and forgive. He follows Eli from his Orthodox Jewish childhood in Boston to his days as a commuter student at Harvard to his traumatic experiences in Germany following World War II to his embrace of Reconstructionist Judaism, describing the many cuts that led to Eli’s “spiritual and psychological death”—and discovering what he himself owes to his parents.


“A poignant, intimate, and engaging memoir . . . with honest meditations on themes ranging from anti-Semitism to redemption. Beware: this book is addictive.”
—Robert A. Sirico, Founder, Acton Institute

“The work of a brilliant writer and thinker, Marvin consoles those who have had difficult parents and shows through his own experience they do not have to determine the course of the lives of their children.”
—Cal Thomas, Syndicated Columnist

“A sense of longing and loss pervades Marvin Olasky’s tribute to his father—a reckoning with his Jewish heritage that remains sensitive to time and culture, faith and freedom. A beautiful lament.”
—Trevin Wax, Author, Rethink Your Self

“Anyone who has experienced a difficult parent-child relationship will appreciate the wisdom in this book.”
—Wayne Grudem, Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

The Author

Marvin Olasky (PhD, University of Michigan) is editor in chief of World and the author of over twenty books, including Prodigal Press and The Tragedy of American Compassion. He is also dean of the World Journalism Institute and an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. He was a Yale Daily News and Boston Globe reporter and has published articles in The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, and Fortune. He taught journalism for twenty-five years at The University of Texas.

Click HERE to listen to Marvin Olasky talk about this book on the Life and Books and Everything podcast.