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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Defending A King ¬ His Life & Legacy by Dr. Karen Moriarty

About the book:
Title: Defending A King ` His Life & Legacy
Author: Dr. Karen Moriarty
No. of Pages: 485

When I was first asked by the author and a certain book site if I would like to do a complimentary read and review or a book on Michael Jackson, my reaction was: 'Will anyone even refuse?" I mean, it's a book on MJ..Who on Earth can say No to that? And I am so glad I went on to read this gem of a book...Trust me, this is ONE of those books that you HAVE to read.
* This is a complimentary review copy and NOT a purchased one.

Even if you have till date managed to remain a non-fan of MJ the artist, the reading and subsequent understanding of MJ the man ll make you an instant fan.

I've always been a huge fan of MJ - I love the fact that he was a self-made man, a little boy who worked hard from the age of five in the glare of flashlights and the media, always the performer, trying hard and working harder to give his family a better life, who made it his passion to see to it that the message of love and peace was shared across the globe in the best way that he could - through his music and his compassion.

So when I began reading, it was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I must, in the very beginning, give full credit to the author, Dr. Karen Moriarty, for her detailed research and for being able to provide more than enough proof against all those allegations that MJ has faced throughout his life.

The MJ we saw was the MJ that the media portrayed to us. The MJ who lives in the pages of this book is the real MJ - a father whose only world was his three children, an unconditional giver of love and support, a man with a golden heart who always kept his home, his property, his finances open for all those needy children and their parents who would benefit from some help or other - the soul of a small, innocent boy trapped in the body of an adult man.

Rumour after rumour, author goes on to describe how Michael's insecurities and acts of kindness have been turned into a media circus day after day:
The biggest fear that Michael had was not being able to protect his children. And it was because of this that he went to unfathomable lengths to keep them shielded from the media, from the world. He kept them in veils, he always kept a large amount of cash in his bedroom, in case he ever needed to pay a ransom and the bank happened to be closed. The media made a spectacle of this 'veiling' and labeled him a 'whacko.'
Not many were aware that Michael suffered from a skin condition that caused his skin to pigment, and that he was medically required to stay away from sunlight. Hence the umbrella, which fueled a lot of criticism in the media.
When Michael donated a chamber to a children's ward in a hospital he wanted to check for himself how it worked, and the next day the media splashed pictures of him, claiming Michael used a special oxygen chamber for himself to maintain his looks.
From the age of 5, Michael had always been surrounded by bodyguards and had people work on his accounts. He never got a chance to handle things on his own. This led to a dependency on others. But those around him were not as honest as they led Michael to believe, and as the author also sadly realised, people stole from him left, right and center - not only outsiders, family members too!
The staff at his ranch Neverland was instructed to permanently give free access to sick children and their parents to his own home there, his kitchen, his property and any  place they wished for. They stayed for weeks, months, all on MJ's money. And later, when they recovered and were asked to leave, they filed lawsuits, claiming compensation.

The worst mistake Michael did was to never speak out. Being intensely private, he believed if he would only give people what they asked for, the problems would be over. But this only brought on more trouble. Michael faced upto 50 lawsuits a per week throughout his life! And he paid them all! Without ever being proven guilty!

Michael was so affected by the sad plight of children that he was repeatedly scared of reading the papers or switching on the TV, so that he did not stumble across a picture of a hurt child. Everywhere he toured in any part of the world, he made it a point to visit one place where needy children would benefit and make donations for them. Even on his last day, after Dr. Conrad Murray gave him the doses that was to bring an end to this great man, Michael, in his dazed state, was speaking of his final dream, of making the Michael Jackson Children's Hospital, which would be the biggest and the best in the world.

The bodyguards who were with Michael 24*7 remember him as being the kindest and most soft-spoken person they have ever met. They remember him with a love that is rare. They share details that will bring tears to anyone who reads of those times that Michael yearned for love, understanding and appreciation from the world.

It's a shame what we did to him. Each rumour, each fact, each gesture can only make you cry and want to reach out to this purest of pure souls envelop him in a hug. If only we had been a little human towards him. What a shame on us all!  

Of course you know how many hearts for this one:

- Debolina Raja Gupta