Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
I must have thought like millions of others
on 6 October 2014
Truly engaging … the real story at last!
I’ve always wanted to know the true story, and the psychology, behind the persona of Michael Jackson. I must have thought like millions of others; how could I trust the way the media portrayed him? All that hype … all the shouts of “fire,” when most of it must only be smoke. For example, I couldn’t believe such naïve transparency by a smart, international talent like Mr. Jackson was a true admission of guilt. I’m talking about the child molestation charges of course, and the agonizing court battle that he eventually won. And what about his carnival-like eccentricity in every facet of his life? All that bad press was entertaining, but was it all true? Even a little bit?
My curiosity was sated when I read Defending a King, by Dr. Karen Moriarty. The result of years of painstaking research into the life of Michael Jackson, Dr. Moriarty’s book tells the real story, and explains Mr. Jackson’s bizarre, misunderstood behavior once and for all. Skillfully-written with layer after layer of facts and presented with interesting style, this book tells the heart-wrenching story of that most interesting and complex entertainer.
The author points out (through countless interviews with Jackson insiders, and supported by her doctorate in Psychology), that Michael’s childlike behavior resulted from not having a childhood of his own. Due to the immense amount of work as the center of The Jackson Five, he was forced to be an adult too early in his developing years. That explains a lot. As Dr. Moriarty astutely points out; “He felt like an alien soul with adults, but he felt within himself the stirrings of a child. He felt wonder at their innocence, was awed by their charm, and he realized their vulnerability.”
Truthfully, I was never a fan of Michael Jackson. But I am keenly interested in the few who skyrocket beyond the heights of celebrity strata through hard work and sheer brilliance. Dr. Moriarty helped me appreciate this performer who, in spite of his eccentricities (which many great personalities seem to acquire), was a highly talented, creative, good man trying to do the right thing.
As the book illustrates so well, much of the world wanted a piece of him, but he reacted in the only way he knew … from deep disappointment and a desire to be loved as if his notoriety were a burden around his neck. He became a man who ran from everyone, into the arms of his Neverland home and his three children. And when it came to children, there were thousands the public did not know about that he helped in numerous ways. Only two posed as a problem—publicly at least—and Dr. Moriarty’s research strongly describes they too were the subjects of sensationalist press.
Finances, lawsuits, trials, accusations of child abuse, two-faced reporting by an English journalist, a naïve trust of others—all worked to create havoc in the life of a man who just wanted to be loved. Defending a King details these behind-the-scenes events, and the trauma that led to his death. Even the ensuing prosecution of his personal physician. Dr. Moriarty’s extensive vocabulary and keen insight lends even more credibility to this unbiased, comprehensive account of a complex, brilliant individual.
When the hype of the media skews the truth, you will find satisfying resolution to your doubts through this extraordinary book.
Kenneth R. Overman – Author, A Lion in Spring