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The Boys of Summerby Roger Kahn
Synopses & Reviews
There never has been a sports event, perhaps never an event of any kind, that received the attention of so many Americans in so many places around the world.andrdquo; So wrote a reporter on December 2, 1944, about the greatest Army- Navy football game in the long history of that storied rivalry. World War II raged in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific; President Roosevelt was seriously ill, and just a few short months from his death; Americans on the home front suffered through shortages, including a Thanksgiving without turkey or pie just days earlier. But for one day, all that was forgotten.
Armyandrsquo;s team was ranked number 1; Navy, number 2. Armyandrsquo;s years of football misery had been lifted by a wartime team and a brilliant coach that made them a contender, and if they beat Navy on that day, they would be national champions. Around the world, the war stopped as soldiers listened to a broadcast of the game. Everyone everywhere forgot everything for a few short hours.
Randy Roberts has interviewed surviving players and coaches for nearly a decade to bring to life one of the most memorable stories in all of American sports. For three years, Army football upperclassmen graduated and joined the fight, from Normandy beaches to Pacific atolls. For three hours, their alma mater gave them back one unforgettable performance.
Kahn recreates the magic of Dodger baseball as played in Ebbets Field during the brief dream when Brooklyn was the center of the universe. Along the way, he masterfully interweaves the story of his own youth, from early fandom to young reporterhood, traveling with and writing about his childhood idols.
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.
About the Author
Roger Kahn, a prize-winning author, grew up in Brooklyn, where he says everybody on the boys' varsity baseball team at his prep school wanted to play for the Dodgers. None did. He has written nineteen books. Like most natives of Brooklyn, he is distressed that the Dodgers left. "In a perfect world," he says, "the Dodgers would have stayed in Brooklyn and Los Angeles would have gotten the Mets."
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