Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Boys of Summer

The Boys of Summer Review

Roger Kahn's magnificent portrayal of how the glory and anguish of a very talented, yet flawed baseball team---the Brooklyn Dodgers of the early '50s---became an aging group of men who experienced an inordinate amount of personal travail; and in the process, the reader is made acutely aware of how fleeting fame can be, and above all else, how transitory one's athletic prowess can be. Indeed, we all grow older, but in some cases, the aging process can bring about much pain over the course of just a few years; especially when contrasted to the seemingly endless years of youth and vitality, while playing ball for one of baseball's most storied franchises.

Kahn's compelling look at this wonderful group of ballplayers, whose lives after their playing days ended became something less than a fairy tale for most; in fact, it was filled with an inordinate amount of pain & anguish; almost a metaphor for their seemingly endless degree of post-season futility at the hands of the mighty New York Yankees; it wasn't until 1955, when Dem Bums finally broke that curse, although some of the star players from just a few years earlier had already faded off into the sunset.

Although few teams in baseball history advanced to post season play with such regularity as the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s; yet the results were often a harsh reminder of the frailties of human athletic endeavors. The Dodgers seemed to epitomize the frustration of never seeming to be quite as good as many of their fans hoped they would.

In the final analysis, the harsh realities of retirement brought even a higher degree of personal frustration; even tragedy. Somehow, we are left to appreciate the Boys of Summer for what they represented to America in the 1950s---a uniquely superior group of athletes who always seemed to have the cards stacked against them, even in their post-baseball endeavors.

Kahn's work is timeless; his words are poignant. Whether you're a fan of the game or not, this is a remarkable piece of writing; a true classic, to be appreciated for generations to come.

The Boys of Summer Feature

  • ISBN13: 9780060883966
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

The Boys of Summer Overview

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 color 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 about America, about fathers and sons, prejudice and courage, triumph and disaster, and told with warmth, humor, wit, candor, and love.

The Boys of Summer Specifications

"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. What follows only gets better, deeper, more sentimental, and more bittersweet. The team, of course, 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. It is the rare sports book that cannot be contained by the limitations of its genre; it is equal parts journalism, memoir, social history, and poetry.

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