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The Boys Of Summer Paperback – Apr 27 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (April 27 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060883960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060883966
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M J Heilbron Jr. on July 4 2004
Format: Paperback
Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer" may very well be the best book written about baseball. It certainly lies in the Top Ten of any self-respecting baseball fan's own personal list. It is beautifully written, often poetic. It is elegiac yet alive and vibrant.
The book is neatly split into two parts. The first is a reporter's account of his own love of baseball, specifically the Brooklyn Dodgers, while growing up there. The era comes alive with descriptions of his neighborhood, of the city, of what baseball meant to kids at that time.
Of how baseball bonded fathers to sons, children to adults, neighbors.
In that scenario, imagine the fortune of this young reporter who gets the dream job to end all dream jobs: follow the Dodgers.
You get to watch baseball, played by your favorite team and then write about it. And get paid!
It's a lovely evocation of the time...things aren't like the way they used to be. The earth doesn't stop rotating when the Dodgers come back in the bottom of the ninth.
It used to.
You get a sense of how important and vital the Dodgers were to that community. Daily conversations were incomplete without a mention of last night's game. Stickball was everything. A glove was gold.
The parts about being a member of the press in Manhattan for a big newspaper are terrific. I swear I could hear the chattering typewriters, the traffic outside the window, the tinkling of ice in a bar glass...you are there. As the golden era of baseball was ending, so was an era of newspapers. Soon TV would supersede the papers as the way to get your news. The influence of the newspapers on public opinion (and vice versa) would never again reach the heights they did here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Adams on Jan. 13 2003
Format: Paperback
New York City in the '40s and '50s ~ twenty-three of forty pennant winners during those two decades came from the city (including the '59 LA Dodgers). Eight times in twenty years, the city enjoyed a subway series; thirteen times the World Series champion came from New York. Imagine being a baseball fan in New York; could there be a better time and place to be a fan? Imagine loving the game and adoring the Dodgers, all the while, living in Brooklyn and growing-up in the shadow of Ebbets Field. Imagine then, your chosen career path offers you the opportunity to be the Dodgers beat reporter in the early '50s.
Sit back and let Roger Kahn take you on a trip to Brooklyn in the 1950s. It's part baseball, part memoir, and a part Americana that is likely gone forever. The book is a moving tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the city in which they played. It's all about a special relationship between the team, the city, and its fans. Some critics argue the book is self-indulgent, imposing too much of Kahn's personal life onto the baseball story. I would argue that Kahn is part of the story. He is not only writing about the Dodgers' and their fans, he is a Dodgers fan. There is no way the author could write an emotional tribute without the emotions.
Pay special attention to the detail in Kahn's account. He is a baseball reporter before the internet and ESPN, when an fan's only real contact with the team came from newspapers and radio. His access to the Dodgers is remarkable and his detail spot-on. You follow the team and its players through all the emotional ups and downs of two major league baseball seasons. You go inside the game, as seen from the Dodgers' locker room, with a team that is on the forefront of racial integration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "tcd74" on Jan. 2 2003
Format: Paperback
One of the first baseball books I read was Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. I recently reread the book and it hasn't lost any of it's original impact. This isn't a book strictly about baseball, it is a book about life.
Having reread the book I was struck by how much I enjoyed the first part of the book which functions as an autobiography of the authors youth. The parts about his father and mother were very poignant. The reveleation about the importance of a simple game in people's relationships hit close to home.
The second part of the book deals with the players and their stories. Sadly so many of these men have now passed away Robinson, Hodges, Reese, and Campanella. Their stories are powerful but what was even more fascinating to me were the stories of the lesser known players. Billy Cox working in a bar, Carl Furillo working as a labourer, and especially the story of Carl Erskine and his mentally disabled son Jimmy.
I would recommend this book to anybody interested in baseball but I would also urge anybody to read it because it's the story about life, the good and the bad, and the past and the present.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral on July 29 2002
Format: Paperback
To use a bit of a cliche, saying that is just a book about baseball is like saying Moby Dick is just a book about a whale. The Boys of Summer deals with one man's different perceptions of baseball players over time, as they change from demigods to mere mortals.
The book starts with Kahn's recollections of childhood, when the Brooklyn Dodgers were heroes. As he reaches adulthood, he is lucky enough to get an opportunity to report on his favorite team, and he learns that these players are more flawed than they seem at a distance. In the second half of the book, it is years later, and Kahn sees what retirement has done to the players.
There was a time that baseball was the dominant sport in the U.S., and there is something sad in seeing these idols - worshipped by kids and adults alike - forced into mundane existences by age. There is more: a lot of insights into racism and various players reactions to integration in baseball.
This is a great book about the Boys of Summer, those Brooklyn Dodgers who played great ball from 1947 to 1957. For fans of baseball, this book is a must-read.
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