Beginning with the first letter Bud wrote when Jay left home, this collection shows a father guiding his son toward his own path while stressing the importance of service to others. The embodiment of the scholar-athlete, Bud mixes encouragement with intellectual discussions. When Jay reads American philosopher William James for a class at Duke University, his father, a serious student of literature, reads the book, too, and uses its insights to help Jay deal with the challenges of his freshman year. Bud writes about his own challenges, as well, including his debate over whether to accept the Kennedy administration’s invitation to head the President’s Council on Physical Fitness. Jay’s comments about each of these letters provide context and further insight.