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The Boys of Summer (Aurum Sports Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Roger Kahn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.00
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Book Description

This is a book about young men who learned to play baseball during the 1930s and 1940s, and then went on to play for one of the most exciting major-league ball clubs ever fielded, the team that broke the colour barrier with Jackie Robinson. It is a book by and about a sportswriter who grew up near Ebbets Field, and who had the good fortune in the 1950s to cover the Dodgers for the Herald Tribune. This is a book about what happened to Jackie, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others when their glory days were behind them. In short, it is a book fathers and sons and about the making of modern America. 'At a point in life when one is through with boyhood, but has not yet discovered how to be a man, it was my fortune to travel with the most marvelously appealing of teams.' Sentimental because it holds such promise, and bittersweet because that promise is past, the first sentence of this masterpiece of sporting literature, first published in the early '70s, sets its tone. The team is the mid-20th-century Brooklyn Dodgers, the team of Robinson and Snyder and Hodges and Reese, a team of great triumph and historical import composed of men whose fragile lives were filled with dignity and pathos. Roger Kahn, who covered that team for the New York Herald Tribune, makes understandable humans of his heroes as he chronicles the dreams and exploits of their young lives, beautifully intertwining them with his own, then recounts how so many of those sweet dreams curdled as the body of these once shining stars grew rusty with age and battered by experience.

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Product Description


'Perhaps the most celebated baseball book of the last 50 years.'

(Los Angeles Times)

'I cannot conceive that this year, nor next year, nor the year after that, will produce a more important book - a better written one, a more consistently engrossing one than this portraited of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s, as they were in the sinew and swiftness of their youth and as they are now.'

(The Boston Globe)


Focuses on the lives of the baseball stars who gained recognition playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1950's.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5429 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press; PB Reissue edition (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781312079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781312070
  • ASIN: B00EGWJT14
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #174,376 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why baseball is more than just a game... 26 April 2002
By A Customer
Some sports lend themselves to quality writing. In the UK the finest prose is almost always devoted to cricket. Perhaps it's the slow pace,allowing contemplation, punctuated by bursts of intense action, or its historical link to some pastoral England which may or may not have existed. . Baseball is similarly blessed in the USA,and Kahn's book with its thoughtful ,insightful and moving style, its unashamed and autobiographical content, and its warts and all description of the struggles of black athletes for acceptance in 1950s America, is outstanding. Its greatest triumph, though, is the obvious love and respect that the author has not only for the game but also those flawed and complex characters who played it. The book glows with this warmth, as it follows the mixed fortunes of the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers some 20 years later.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
There's no sugarcoating of the Jackie Robinson Dodgers in this story. We see them in full, pioneers, bigots, fathers and husbands.
The way that they have survived the changes in their lives says far more about their character than any penny-ante poem or polemic. Kahn lived and worked with these men for two years, and his achievement is that he makes us feel that we knew them as well as he did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad story, brilliantly written. 13 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This is a very sad story of how fate conspired to rob a team of the success they deserved and then dealt so cruelly with many of the players in their later lives. The story of the seasons Kahn spent with the team is absorbing. The stories of his meetings with them many years later are moving. The book is brilliantly written. It is about sport but more about the struggles of mankind. An undoubted 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I See The Boys Of Summer In Their Ruin... 12 Dec. 2007
Roger Kahn has long been hailed as the greatest American sports writer and after reading 'The Boys Of Summer' it is easy to see why. The book is divided into two main parts, with interludes and memoriums to fallen ball players filling the gaps.
Part one describes growing up in Brooklyn, within shouting distance of the no longer existing Ebbets Field, home of the no longer existing Brooklyn Dodgers. It starts with Kahn's family life and his early years in journalism which culminates in him being appointed to cover the Dodgers for two years, the team he has supported and obsessed about all his young life.
Starting his dream job, he follows the Dodgers from Miami, for Spring training to the World Series in both seasons making long lasting friendships with players that he knew fanatically as a regular at Ebbets Field and then as complex people each with differing philosophies, tastes, beliefs and anxieties.
The list of Dodger's in those two seasons include Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play Major League, the team slugger,'Duke' Snider, the greatest glove the game ever saw in 3rd baseman Billy Cox, Preacher Roe - the spit ball specialist, Erskine - the pitcher and master of the overhand curve, Campy - the catcher and winner of 3 straight MVPs, Black -the first black pitcher to win a World Series game and of course the short stop and captain, the late great Pee Wee Reese.
The second part of the book, sees Kahn tracking down The Boys of Summer, now retired from the game and living very different lives in different parts of the States. These stories are probably even stronger. I have read the book 3 times now and on the 3rd read I started at part 2 to soak in all the charateristics of these men and then finished with part 1, reading baout them in their sporting prime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful sports book. 17 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Richard Williams of the Guardian alerted me to this reissue of a book first published in 1972. It recounts the achievements of the the great Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team of the early 1950s, before the franchise was shifted to LA, but the real meat of the book is the author's pilgrimage to all parts of the USA to find out how the heroes of the fifties are faring fifteen years on. Roger Kahn was "embedded" with the team and enjoyed their confidences when he reported on their playing days, so he is welcomed and trusted when he reappears later in their lives. The stories which emerge are moving, inspiring, sad and funny, but from all of them you get a sense of the nobility of these professional sportsmen, and the telling is superbly done.
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