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Going My Own Way Mass Market Paperback – April 12, 1984


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (April 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449205444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449205440
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Of course it was child abuse!
Annette
I read this book over 20 years ago when I saw Gary on the Phil Donahue show talking about his upbringing.
Robin E. Ely
I found Gary's self-awareness (by the time of writing the book) to be heartening.
Mountain Mike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Terrance Richard TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 15, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
During this time of year people are inundated with Christmas specials on television. This was really the norm during the 1960's when Bing Crosby would host Holiday shows featuring his family perpetuating the image of a loving and attentive father to his sons. That image was destroyed when one of his children, Gary Crosby, wrote a tell-all book about his famous dad entitled "Going My Own Way". Released only six years after Christina Crawford's jaw-dropping memoir "Mommie Dearest" which dramatized her life with screen legend Joan Crawford, "Going My Own Way" was obviously written in response to the tremendous success of Crawford's book. Still, "Going My Own Way" is a story everyone should read.

In his revealing memoir Gary writes how his father continuously abused him emotionally and physically for years. He could never live up to his father's high expectations, and when Bing felt he couldn't control Gary the way he wanted to, whippings, usually with belts, ensued. This continued until Gary was 18 years old when he finally had had enough. One night, for some minor infringement of the rules, Bing grabbed a walking cane and told Gary to position himself for the upcoming beating which consisited of Gary croached over the arm of a sofa, with Bing hitting him. After about a dozen or so blows Gary turned around, grabbed the cane from his dad, broke it over his knee, and told Bing, "If you ever hit me again I'll kill you!".

Not only does Gary detail the abuse he suffered, but reveals Bing was not the dedicated family and religous man his image projected. Gary talks about Bing's womanizing, his drinking, and other hobbies he liked to indulge in. Gary also states that his own life-long battle with alcohol and drugs stemmed from the child abuse he endured.
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Robin E. Ely on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book over 20 years ago when I saw Gary on the Phil Donahue show talking about his upbringing. I just recently purchased a copy. The writing style of the book is highly reminiscent of the character Holden Caulfield in "The Catcher in the Rye", and just like that novel, there are laugh out loud parts in Gary's autobiography. I am disturbed that people who read the book would critisize his motives for writing it. Gary wrote it after Bing had died and without a doubt the writing of it was therapy. Clearly, Gary loved his dad. Most of us from that era who were abused by our parents still loved them. If Gary needed the money from book sales, so what? He did not receive an inheritance from his dad and his trust from his mother was modest. One reviewer said to read Bing's book if you want to know about Bing. That would only be one side of him. Read Gary's book if you want to know about Bing's family life and relationship with his 4 boys. I think "tell all" books are just fine after the person in question has died.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Mike on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never knew much about Gary Crosby. I remember when I was in Junior High and High School, there was a wonderful TV show called "Adam-12" on the air on NBC. I clearly remember seeing Gary Crosby in a number of episodes. My folks had mentioned that Gary and his ultra-famous father Bing didn't get along very well. (Everybody at that time knew who Bing Crosby was, doubt that can be said of the iPOD/texting generation today!) I never really knew more about it than that. Recently, I've been watching all the Adam-12 episodes available on DVD and of course have seen Gary Crosby.
On a whim I came across Gary's book from 1984. I bought it for 4 cents and for $4 more, it was mailed to me.
I find it hard to put the book down. I am a mental health professional and anyone who has been a psychiatrist, counselor, or therapist will immediately recognize this story as that of a highly dysfunctional family struggling with many serious issues including alcoholism--and not primarily a story about a kid who was a "whiner".
I found Gary's self-awareness (by the time of writing the book) to be heartening. I echo what some other reviewers have written here. Gary's love for his dad, as reluctant as it was, still comes through and it seems Gary was aware of it too (despite all the dysfunction.) At times it was painful to read about the stereotyped behavior he developed in order to cope with his fears, pain, and emotions. I agree, also, that it must have been rather therapeutic to review his life and focus on the relationships he had with his parents and siblings (and with others in his life.)
Most of us really have no truck with celebrities or with the wealthy. Perhaps reading Gary Crosby's story wouldn't even be a tiny blip on most people's "interest" radar scope.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Pat Powell on February 10, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The advent of Christina Crawford's "Mommie Dearest", spawned an entire genre of celebrity books. These are - as "Sophia" from the "Golden Girls" put it, the "Bitter child of celebrity" tales. I read this book for the first time when I was 13 years old. In reading it again, after becoming a parent myself, I can now more clearly see just how badly our children want our love and approval. Bing Crosby never approved of his oldest son Gary, named for his good friend Gary Coooper. Bing, and his first wife "Dixie", seem to believe that children are our natural enemies, and you have to "break" them, as you would an unruly mule. Here are some examples of their parenting techniques:
-- The "boys" and there were four, had to use the right utensils during dinner in the formal dining room. The right fork, correct spoon, fold the napkin properly- before they even started going to Kindergarten. If Dixie Crosby noticed they were making mistakes, she whacked the offender's knuckles with the back of her butter knife- which was heavy silver.
--The boys had to eat every bite of food, whether they liked the food in question or not. One of the brothers simply HATED eggs- as people do. One morning, he just couldn't face them, so he got the bright idea of hiding them under the hall carpet. His mother noticed the bulge under the rug, discovered the uneaten eggs, and made her son choke down every bite- as Gary put it "Dirt, hairs, and all."
-- Gary, eldest son, was, like his father Bing, prone to putting on weight. His father made him hop on the scale, every Wednesday. If the number was steady- great! Gary, at the age of nine or ten, would use his allowance to buy the strongest laxatives he could find, and his father made him run ALONGSIDE the Limo on the way to school in the morning.
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