From the bestselling National Book Award finalist, a "masterful blend of history and memoir" ("San Francisco Chronicle") featuring the author's three brothers as well as iconic brothers in history--John and Henry David Thoreau; Vincent and Theo van Gogh; John Harvey and Will Kellogg; Edwin and John Wilkes Booth; and Harpo, Chico, Groucho, Gummo, and Zeppo Marx. In alternate chapters, Colt parallels his quest to understand how his own brothers shaped his life with an examination of the complex relationships between famous brothers in history. Edwin Booth grew up to become the greatest actor on the nineteenth-century American stage while his younger brother John grew up to assassinate a president. Will Kellogg worked for his overbearing older brother John Harvey as a subservient yes-man for two decades until he finally broke free and launched the cereal empire that outlasted all his brother's enterprises. Vincent van Gogh would never have survived without the financial and emotional support of his younger brother, Theo, in a claustrophobic relationship that both defined and confined them. Henry David Thoreau's life was shadowed by the early death of his older brother, John, who haunted and inspired his writing. And the Marx brothers collaborated on the screen but competed offstage for women, money, and fame. "Brilliantly conceived, daringly organized, endlessly fascinating" ("The Dallas Morning News"), this book is a revelation for any parent of sons, any sibling, anyone curious about how a man's life can be molded by his brothers. Colt's magnificent book is a history told through the lens of fraternal rivalry--and love.