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Of Mule and Man


Mike Farrell’s gripping and often hilarious book tour memoir provides a framework for grassroots civic engagement.

$15.95 $11.96

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What people are saying…

“Farrell doesn’t just take his case for human dignity and the value of life into the purified chambers of a liberal audience, but debates it in the unfriendly halls of those who are convinced that an eye for an eye is the way to go. He withstands shouts and vilification with an equanimity of spirit possessed only by those comfortable with their beliefs and willing to tolerate abuse on their behalf. It’s what makes the soul glow.”
Los Angeles Times

“Saying Mike Farrell is an activist is like saying M*A*S*H was a cute little show. Farrell has been intensely vocal on behalf of . . . antiwar, antipoverty, anti-death penalty, and anti-torture movements.”
Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune

“Mike Farrell’s Of Mule and Man is a one-of-a-kind American road trip. It’s a quite enjoyable ride with an observant and generous friend who is at home crisscrossing the country with a rental hybrid he calls Mule. Farrell travels through both the beautiful and busted landscape from desert to bayou, urban to rural, listening in and arguing silently with conservative talk radio found in even the most remote places, and ending each day at bookstores and community organizations to have conversations with activists, friends, and family who are doing the hard work of social justice in every neighborhood. ‘Heroes abound in this world,’ Farrell writes. He is one of them.”
—Walter Mosley, author of The Tempest Tales

“Not since Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley in Search of America has there been a more beautifully written and compelling journey into the heartland of America. Mike Farrell celebrates his beloved country with great honesty and sincerity, with humility and grace. A beautiful and courageous book, an American classic.”
Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July

Praise for Just Call Me Mike:

“A simply told, extraordinary story. It is the best in storytelling, as if Farrell is sitting in the room with you.”
Los Angeles Free Press

“This is the most revealing and honest personal story that I have read in a long time. A genuine gem.”
—Senator George McGovern

“After years of searching and some spectacular professional successes, Mike Farrell made an uncompromising commitment to his fiercest passion—a love of global fairness, collaboration, and civility. This is a fascinating account of that journey.”
—Governor Mario Cuomo

“First of all, Mike Farrell is an honest guy. Then you add in that he’s a stand-up guy as well. The combination means his book, Just Call Me Mike, will entertain and inform you far beyond most autobiographies. Farrell’s life is fascinating and his journey is well worth your time.”
—Bill O’Reilly, anchor, FOX News Channel

“I’ve always just called him Mike. But now I have to call him talented, brave, principled, indefatigable, thoughtful, generous, and a man driven by his conscience. I learned things about him in this book I never knew before. So now I have to call him humble, too. He’s really kind of irritating.”
—Alan Alda

“These pages contain pure, luminous self-revelation. We watch Mike Farrell’s unfurling soul from an unsure, unsteady little boy longing for his father’s approval into a man of integrity and grace as he reaches out to suffering people in Cambodia and Central America, the condemned on death row, and gay people subjected to withering, homophobic prejudice. No one can read these pages and continue to live a narrow, anxious, self-absorbed life.”
—Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

“Mike Farrell’s personal journey is a wonder in itself. Those in the cultural community who have ever been concerned about the arts and political activism should have all their fears assuaged by this wonderful documentation.”
—Harry Belafonte

“Mike Farrell’s passion to discover, portray, and improve the human condition shines through his book and brings credit to his profession as an artist and as an activist.”
—Warren Beatty

“I have long since come to understand and appreciate Mike Farrell’s sincere devotion and commitment to justice, fairness, and equality. Despite being an accomplished actor and gaining notoriety as a human rights activist, he remains humble and focused. Just Call Me Mike confirms Mike’s love and compassion for people. This book must be read by all of those who profess to be committed to First Amendment rights and human rights, but do not have the courage of their convictions to stand up and speak truth to power. Mike’s work and courage puts us all to shame. We can all do better. Thank you, Mike.”
—Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Just Call Me Mike is a riveting tale of personal, professional, and civic growth from sallow California kid to mature citizen committed to a more just social order. Whether Latin America, the Middle East, the death penalty, or a whole host of other human rights issues, Mike Farrell has confronted government abuse with courage, dedication, and tenacity. It is a life lived in a way that would make Voltaire proud. In short, I loved it.”
—Ambassador Joseph Wilson

“This informative, courageous, and sometimes scary account of the life of a modern American male grabs the attention early and never lets go.”
—Sidney Poitier

“Mike Farrell’s memoir is a sometimes funny but always serious development of a committed artist’s life. Read it and enjoy—and wonder why there aren’t more like him.”
—Julian Bond

“I admire Mike Farrell for his citizen activism. He has used the influence that accompanies his celebrity as a force for doing good, and the lasting impact of his humanitarian work is his legacy. The story of his rise to stardom and his commitment to service is inspiring.”
—Rosalynn Carter

“It’s the illumination, the light that Mike Farrell kindles with his life, and the wonderful complexity of his humaneness that shine through this extraordinary book. It will ennoble and empower all who read it.”
—Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman

“An intimate, compelling memoir by a popular actor and dedicated humanitarian, Just Call Me Mike is even more: It’s an exciting page-turner, a modern spiritual odyssey, and, as the reader discovers, an account of one man’s courageous battle against injustice in all its nefarious forms. Mike Farrell makes the world a better place—and this book may change your life.”
—Donald Spoto

“Mike is one of the most gifted, committed, and interesting people I know. His book is a fascinating perspective on his own remarkable life, as well as our shared history. Full of great stories, valuable insights, and powerful inspiration.”
—Bonnie Raitt

“In Just Call Me Mike, the author tells of his campaigns across our country and around the world on behalf of the poor, the forgotten, and the oppressed. To this battle, our modern Don Quixote brings a skeptical intelligence, a disciplined passion, and an informed contempt for those in authority ever ready to sacrifice human rights on the altar of imperial ambition. Without boast or brag, Just Call Me Mike testifies to the vital role played by citizens who ennoble our nation by their willingness to denounce abuses of power.”
—Ambassador Robert E. White

“With raw honesty as his constant companion, Mike Farrell reveals a journeyman’s stirring quest for truth, which brought him to work tirelessly on human rights, protection of the environment, abolition of the death penalty, and so many other issues on behalf of the voiceless. Just Call Me Mike is a riveting read, and left me inspired by the determination of one person to create a more just world.”
—Kerry Kennedy

“lncapable of putting his conscience on hold, Mike Farrell beautifully articulates why he is a rebel without a pause.”
—Larry Gelbart

“Mike Farrell’s passion for life and compassion for people are formidable. Just Call Me Mike is not merely an autobiography, but rather a roadmap and a book of directions for those desirous of making positive change. He makes believable the principle that one person CAN make a difference—we should all be that kind of citizen.”
—Stanley K. Sheinbaum, economist

“This book never, not for a page, emerges as self-congratulatory, and yet one cannot help but be overwhelmed by Mike Farrell’s principles, his profound commitments, and his extraordinary courage. The account of his life experiences is so real, so moving, it went straight through my heart.”
—Loretta Swit

“Each paragraph inspires . . . each page a sermon . . . the book, a history lesson not generally taught. Mike Farrell is both poet and fighter, his pen a sword that cuts through pretense and hypocrisy and enables each of us to be courageous in pursuit of justice. His greatest role is offstage acting on behalf of those who have been silenced . . . His book is a gift for all. I am proud to ‘call him Mike’—friend to all.”
—Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, chair of the Progressive Faith Foundation

“Mike Farrell proves that ferocious conviction is the organizing principle of an extraordinary life. In his memoir, Just Call Me Mike, Mike describes the fantastic, sometimes painful, and ultimately redeeming journey that his conscience has led him on. Like his life, the book dances seamlessly between his great passions—from fond memories on the M*A*S*H set, to nervous moments at military checkpoints on his way to help refugees in war-torn Central America, to scrubbing-in to real-life surgery on a prisoner of war in El Salvador. In a disarmingly honest and gentle voice, Just Call Me Mike collects an extraordinary diversity of experiences, so diverse that it’s difficult to believe that one person could accomplish so much, in art and in service to others.”
—Kamala Harris, District Attorney of San Francisco


Check out Mike Farrell’s previous work, Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist.

In May 2008—shortly after being named by the Los Angeles Times as a “Person of the Year”—Mike Farrell drove himself across the country on a book tour like no other. Networking with political groups (and friends like Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame), Farrell redefined the very concepts of book touring and “promotion” through a progressive lens.

Departing his hometown of Los Angeles with a trusty rental car—a Prius he quickly nicknamed “Mule”—as his only companion, Mike provides here a funny and fascinating account of his road trip across the country and back. In addition to his (and occasionally Mule’s) musings are statements from some of the political groups that cosponsored his tour, including Death Penalty Focus, the ACLU, Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, and many more.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Published: 5/1/09
  • IBSN: 9781933354750
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750410


Best known for his eight years on M*A*S*H and five seasons on Providence, MIKE FARRELL is also a writer, director, and producer. Farrell has served on human rights and peace delegations to many countries around the world. He is the author of Of Mule and Man and Just Call Me Mike, which was a Los Angeles Times best-seller.

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