Brothers Barry and Tommy Moser were born of the same parents in Chattanooga, Tennessee, slept in the same bedroom, went to the same school, and were both poisoned by their family's deep racism and anti-Semitism. But as they grew older, their perspectives and their paths grew further and further apart. Barry left Chattanooga for New England and a life in the arts; Tommy stayed put and became a mortgage banker. From attitudes about race to food, politics, and money, the brothers began to think so differently that they could no longer find common ground. For nearly 40 years, there was more strife between them than affection.
After one particularly fractious conversation when Barry was in his late 50s and Tommy was in his early 60s, their fragile relationship fell apart. With the raw emotions that so often surface when we talk of our siblings, Barry recalls how they were finally able to traverse that great divide and reconcile their troubled brotherhood before it was too late.
We Were Brothers, written by preeminent artist Barry Moser, is a powerful story of reunion told with candor and regret that captures the essence of sibling relationships, with all their complexities, contradictions, and mixed blessings.
This generous, deeply-felt history of a "burdened brotherhood" is an act of love and redemption. If you already know some of the Pennyroyal masterworks of the greatest artist-illustrator of our time, the humanity and heart and close-observation accuracy of Barry Moser's writing will not surprise you. But here in the story of his lifelong attempt to understand himself and his brother and their angry, sometimes violent responses to the bitter culture that raised them are the scourging, stinging truths of a classic struggle. Moser's self-portraits can be found etched---almost bootlegged---into his great works, if you know how to look. Here is his greatest, etched in darkest blood and cloud-parting grace. Here are healing powers that this divided nation needs now more than ever. David Michaelis [N. C. Wyeth: A Biography]