Gumption by Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman, best known as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, has another new book coming out soon. This isn’t that book yet, but I wanted to read an older book of his in preparation. Stay tuned for the review of the new Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside.

In the meantime, get excited with Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers!

Nick Offerman has now completed 5 books. He is an incredible actor, woodcarver, and author. I love his honest writing style.

As a nature lover, I really relate to what Offerman writes. He is a true outdoorsman; ready to fish, hunt, paddle, and hike at a moment’s notice.

In Gumption, Offerman features 21 of America’s greatest people ranging from Frederick Douglass to Eleanor Roosevelt to Michael Pollan. It’s witty, it’s informative. These people are gutsy.

The gender ratio was a bit one-sided for me, but this is a list of people that Offerman finds inspiring, not me. I did find several people to relate to though.

Below is the table of contents for Gumption:

Part 1: Freemasons

  1. George Washington
  2. Benjamin Franklin
  3. James Madison
  4. Frederick Douglass

Part 2: Idealists

  1. Theodore Roosevelt
  2. Frederick Law Olmsted
  3. Eleanor Roosevelt
  4. Tom Laughlin
  5. Wendell Berry
  6. Barney Frank
  7. Yoko Ono
  8. Michael Pollan

Part 3: Makers

  1. Thomas Lie-Nielsen
  2. Nat Benjamin
  3. George Nakashima
  4. Carol Burnett
  5. Jeff Tweedy
  6. George Saunders
  7. Laurie Anderson
  8. Willie Nelson
  9. Conan O’Brien

See anyone you admire on this list? Anyone you want to learn more about?

History buffs will especially appreciate the first 7 chapters. Theodore Roosevelt has a well-known history of establishing our nation’s national parks and being a true nature-lover. It’s easy to see why Offerman respects and admires this man.

I love getting book recommendations from other books. I’m not familiar with George Saunders’ work or Wendell Berry’s work, but Offerman sure is. I think Saunders and Berry both just made my TBR list.

This book makes me want to take a long walk in the woods with some good friends. Maybe go for a boat ride. It’s wonderful and inspiring.

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

-Nick Offerman

Offerman admits a few of the people featured in this book were ones he wanted to meet. This book was the perfect excuse for him to meet his heroes.

A few historical figures, a few modern celebrities, and a few somewhere in between. Conan O’Brien is featured in the last chapter and I genuinely enjoyed that interview. Good job, Mr. Offerman, on choosing excellent role models and friends.

I recommend Offerman’s book for a wide range of readers: history buffs and music buffs, writers and readers, comedians and actors, young and old. There’s a lot to be learned and loved.

Check out any of Nick Offerman’s books and you won’t be disappointed. I know I’m looking forward to reading more.

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