Tuesdays with Morrie (An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson) by author Mitch Albom

An Inspiring Final Course on Living Fully: A Review of Mitch Albom’s Masterpiece “Tuesdays with Morrie”


What would you do if you learned your beloved college professor, a man who fundamentally shaped your worldview, was dying from a terminal illness? Would you travel cross-country to visit him one last time? For acclaimed sportswriter Mitch Albom, news of sociology professor Morrie Schwartz’s ALS diagnosis compelled him to do just that.

I found myself on the edge of my seat as, in Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch described their emotional reunion. Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch spotted Morrie speaking lovingly about living and dying from his wheelchair on TV. Mitch was stunned. The “coach” who had mentored him in college—a man brimming with passion for life even while battling a lethal disease—was now in his final months. Mitch knew he needed to see his professor one last time.

So began Mitch and Morrie’s series of fourteen “Tuesdays together” in the professor’s study. As Morrie’s body failed him, he shared his evolving views on everything from family to emotions to money to marriage. Captivated, Mitch returned week after week to document these precious final lessons.

Tuesdays with Morrie (An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson) by author Mitch Albom

You can find Tuesdays with Morrie (An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson) by author Mitch Albom on your favorite bookstore, including Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

About author Mitch Albom

Author Mitch Albom

With over 39 million books in print worldwide, Mitch Albom is one of America’s most beloved storytellers. He has touched the hearts of readers around the world with his insight into the human spirit. Known for his inspirational non-fiction as well as his moving novels, Mitch’s books have spent over 227 weeks combined on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Mitch first made a name for himself as an award-winning sports journalist. After graduating from Brandeis University, he took a job with the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel. His unique takes and engaging writing style soon brought him national attention. After a successful 17-year run in newspapers, Mitch turned to television and radio, hosting his own talk shows for nearly two decades.

Yet it was a promise Mitch made to his college professor that first led Mitch to writing books. In Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch chronicled his heartfelt conversations with his dying mentor, Morrie Schwartz. Published in 1997, the moving memoir placed Mitch on the literary map. The heartwarming true story about love, loss and forgiveness spent over 205 weeks on bestseller lists and has been translated into 46 languages.

Since then, Mitch has leveraged his skills as a journalist and storyteller to pen compelling books across genres. In inspirational books like Five People You Meet in Heaven and non-fiction works For One More Day and Have a Little Faith, Mitch explores themes of humanity, second chances and the power of compassion. Emotionally resonant novels such as The Time Keeper and The First Phone Call from Heaven examine loss, regret, and the role of fate.

No matter the format, Mitch’s books share an aspirational message that has connected deeply with readers around the globe. His honest, compassionate writing style makes complex philosophical ideas feel accessible and relevant. Though Mitch writes on serious topics, his books retain an optimistic tone and reaffirming spirit. This signature blend of hope, wisdom and morality shines through his entire body of work.

Now in his 60s, Mitch shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to publish new bestsellers, including the recent memoir The Stranger in the Lifeboat. Mitch also runs a charitable foundation focused on funding life-changing wishes for children and families.

With his unique insight into essential questions about existence, Mitch Albom’s uplifting books have made an indelible impact on modern literature. His stories will no doubt continue inspiring readers and bestowing optimism for years to come.

Between Life and Death

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” —Morrie Schwartz

The central storyline follows Mitch visiting Morrie each Tuesday, despite his demanding job as a sports journalist. During his visits, Mitch is confronted with Morrie’s ever-declining health as ALS robs his mentor of basic functions. However, as Morrie’s body falters, the clarity and insight of his mind magnify.

Teachings on Emotional Intelligence

From their first Tuesday together, I found myself highlighting Morrie’s thought-provoking gems on what it means to live fully. He coaches Mitch on vital principles like:

  • Listening openly without judging
  • Expressing feelings to those who matter
  • Staying present in each moment
  • Nurturing relationships and community

As Morrie loses control of his body, he gains more command of his emotions—and more understanding for the hearts of others. Each week, he has breakthroughs on rage, sadness, longing, and fear. He encourages Mitch to embrace his full emotional spectrum rather than suppressing difficult feelings.

“Only when you give up trying to be perfect,” Morrie declares, “can you have the freedom to embrace all of life.”

Letting Go of Cultural Delusions to Clarify Life Priorities

Morrie continually returns to the idea that our cultural values often miss the mark. American society spins illusions of more money, stuff, and image leading to happiness. He urges Mitch to see through these mirages.

As Morrie detaches from worrying what others think, his compass shifts solely to nurturing his body, mind, and connections. Health becomes a precious gift he learns not to take for granted. Each affectionate hug or laugh with friends grows more valuable than all the money in the world.

“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” —Morrie Schwartz

I found myself re-evaluating my values as I journeyed along with them. Which cultural mores uplift my life? Which distract or deteriorate? Am I living intentionally?

The Final Thesis: Death Gives Life Focus and Purpose

In their early meetings, Mitch is anxious visiting the ailing Morrie as an eerie preview of his decay. But over time, his view transforms:

“As my visits with Morrie go on, I begin to read about death, how different cultures view the final passage…I notice interesting patterns, hear echoes from ancient times, comparisons to visions now emerging in science…And always, always, questions that Morrie’s dying forces me to consider.”

Confronting mortality moves Mitch to analyze life’s meaning from new angles. As Morrie detaches from his future plans, he gains perspective that each breath has significance. His dwindling time makes prioritizing present joys and nurturing relationships urgent.

As Morrie draws his last aching breath in the final chapter, neither he nor Mitch are quite the same. They rest in the love and wisdom they shared in their Tuesday dialogues together.

Final Takeaways from Professor Schwartz

As Mitch Albom leaves Professor Schwartz’s study for the last time, he has learned how live more presently and lovingly. Morrie hopes his life lessons will ripple out forever into the future through Mitch’s writings. I believe they will continue changing lives for generations.

I wholeheartedly recommend Tuesdays with Morrie if you too could use some inspiration to:

  • Cherish your days and relationships
  • Share your feelings more freely
  • Focus on fulfillment rather than money
  • Simplify rather than chasing excess
  • Confront what death means for how you live

This moving memoir will prompt introspection about your priorities and patterns—as you laugh and cry along with Mitch and Morrie during their precious final days together.

“Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.” —Morrie Schwartz

More Reads to Inspire Mindful Living and Loving

If you appreciated the thoughtful themes of Tuesdays with Morrie, here are a few similar books I recommend adding to your reading list:

  1. The Shack by William P. Young – A novel exploring faith, humanity, and redemption. Emotional and inspiring.
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – A coming-of-age story set in Afghanistan that tackles themes of friendship, betrayal, and atonement. Deeply affecting.
  3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – A classic tale promoting what’s truly important in life even for grown-ups. Charming and philosophically profound.
  4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – A young neurosurgeon diagnoses with terminal lung cancer works to find meaning and purpose as his life ends early.
  5. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – A professor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer delivers his “last lecture” full of wisdom and humor on living fully.
  6. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – An insightful memoir on losing meaning in life after the sudden death of her husband.
  7. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande – A surgeon analyzes how medicine fails to understand what matters most to patients at life’s end.
  8. The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseki – A Buddhist teacher shares lessons on living and dying gleaned over decades caring for the dying.

Let these books inspire you to embrace each moment. Have conversations that matter. And nurture your connections along life’s precious journey.


What inspired Mitch Albom to reconnect with his professor Morrie Schwartz?

Mitch felt compelled to reach out to his beloved former professor 16 years after graduation when he saw Morrie speaking openly about his battle with ALS on TV. Mitch regretted losing touch as Morrie had been a mentor who taught him lasting life lessons, and Mitch hoped to reconnect and offer his support before it was too late.

What important wisdom did dying professor Morrie impart to Mitch each Tuesday?

Every Tuesday until his death, Morrie shared insights with Mitch on family, feeling sorry for yourself, emotions, fear, aging, forgiveness, love, and even death. Mitch discovered Morrie’s lessons focused on living life to the fullest and treasuring each moment and relationship despite mortality.

How did Morrie’s “Fourth Tuesday” teachings on death impact Mitch?

Though apprehensive at first, Mitch gained unexpected comfort and perspective from Morrie’s positive approach to death. Morrie believed accepting death freed you to embrace life and not “waste time thinking about what is good and what is bad …the small stuff.” This motivated Mitch to reexamine his priorities.

What ALS symptoms did Morrie exhibit during his meetings with Mitch?

Over the course of their 14 Tuesdays together, Mitch watched helplessly as ALS withered Morrie’s once vigorous body. Soon Morrie needed assistance eating, dressing, and using the bathroom as his arms, hands and legs grew progressively weaker and less coordinated.

How did Morrie reconcile dependency on others for care as his illness advanced?

Despite losing independence, Morrie chose to find joy in each new experience of human closeness caregiving afforded, stating when you need love “…you can get it, and that is so satisfying.” He worried society dismisses the elderly and ill, and believed embracing interdependence could enrich all lives.

What were the topics of the professor’s final three life lessons shared with Mitch?

Knowing death was imminent, Morrie distilled his last three dialogues down to ever more succinct yet profoundly moving topics – family, emotions, and goodbye. Morrie wished to impart one penetrating life lesson with each labored breath as their farewell approached.

Why did Mitch entitled his memoir of professor Morrie’s final months Tuesdays with Morrie?

Mitch titled his bestselling biographical tribute Tuesdays with Morrie as that was when Morrie held his renowned seminars, first as an energetic professor and later as Mitch’s mentor. Those rich Tuesday meetings framed Morrie’s remarkable spirit and wisdom as he faced death, and came to symbolize Morrie’s love of teaching.

What is the significance of the Tuesdays with Morrie’s subtitle An Old Man, A Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson?

The subtitle captures how vibrant elder Morrie still had important lessons to impart to Mitch and the world, despite his physical decline. As an “old” man he mentored Mitch the “young” man on how we can all age consciously and embrace mortality as our greatest teacher.

How did Morrie’s death finally reawaken Mitch’s love of music?

Attending Morrie’s funeral awoke in Mitch a longing to play piano again – something he had abandoned since childhood for his busy career. Morrie’s example reminded Mitch to rediscover activities that fed his spirit. He now plays the piano regularly as a tribute to Morrie’s life lessons.

Why does Tuesdays with Morrie resonate so deeply with such a diverse global readership?

Tuesdays with Morrie profoundly moves all readers as it distills life’s essential teachings we all must grapple with – love, death, purpose, fear, aging, family – through an unforgettable friendship during precious final days together. It universally touches our shared bonds and mortality.

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