"Call me Tom: the life of Thomas F. Eagleton" by James N. Giglio traces the life of one of our city's greatest statesmen. The book is an interesting 251 pages, but Senator Eagleton's life warranted a few more. Granted, there are 40+ pages of footnotes, but some issues are glossed over.
One barely gets the sense of how Eagleton could humorously and succinctly summarize a situation. There are a few examples of how great a friend and mentor he was, but as that was the hallmark of his life, it should have been featured. When Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden attend your funeral decades after your political career ended, there's some good reason.
The author does a good job delving into the relationship between Tom Eagleton and his father, Mark. The older Eagleton was not just influential in his son's life; he was the driving force behind Tom's relentless public service. Even when the Eagleton federal courthouse was dedicated in downtown St. Louis, Tom preferred to share the honor with his father.
As a die-hard fan, it was hard to read about the decline of Senator Eagleton's health. One of his last wishes was to have lunch with a friend at Crown Candy Kitchen, a good example of how much he loved St. Louis. The book fails to illustrate that the love was mutual.
--Julie C., Headquarters