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Into My Own: The Remarkable People and Events That Shaped a Life Hardcover – May 30, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this engaging memoir, Kahn (The Boys of Summer) looks back at baseball and much more as he presents his episodic reminiscences as free-form essays arranged loosely around iconic figures from his past. In a profile of New York Herald Tribune sports editor R. Stanley Woodward, entitled "The Coach," Kahn elegizes the great postwar newsroom culture of the paper, where he learned to structure a narrative and slip in Milton references. He probes the epochal subject of racism in baseball through homages to integrationist hero Jackie Robinson and his teammate Pee Wee Reese, a white Southerner who literally embraced him. He evokes the 1960s in a kaleidoscopic essay that ranges from a thumbnail sketch of a washed-up Mickey Rooney to impressions of the Goldwater and McCarthy presidential campaigns. A regretful piece on his son's suicide recalls the crazy therapeutic culture of the "Me" decade, while getting off a few terse words about his ex-wife. Kahn has a graceful, personal style, full of deftly evoked color and characters, with a bit of the newspaperman's hard-bitten swagger and a two-fisted liberalism one doesn't see much anymore. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Kahn is most famously known for his elegiac 1972 bestseller, The Boys of Summer, about the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s, whom he covered as a twentysomething beat reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. That experience greatly informs this memoir, too, in chapters recalling an apprenticeship with his Tribune sports editor R. Stanley Woodward and his abiding friendships with Dodger immortals Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson. However, the book reveals a writer of broader interests and deeper reserves. One is his keen love of poetry, seen here in his friendship with Robert Frost (this book's title is from a Frost poem; The Boys of Summer, from a Dylan Thomas poem). Another is his interest in politics, revealed here in his vivid accounts of the 1964 Republican and 1968 Democratic presidential campaigns, focusing on Barry Goldwater and Eugene McCarthy, respectively. The book ends with Kahn's poignant profile of his son, Roger Jr., who committed suicide in 1987 at the age of 22. The essay presents a remarkable amalgam of factors--intent, happenstance, care, neglect, courage, pettiness--that can shape a life. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (May 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312338139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312338138
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,509,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Roger Kahn has been writing about sports and other topics for more than half a century, but it was only with THE BOYS OF SUMMER, his watershed account of the Brooklyn Dodgers, that he became a household name and a standardbearer for similar endeavors.

The product of an intellectual New York home, Kahn grew into a curious, if not exactly academically motivated, young man. School was tolerated, not embraced, until his father arranged an interview for him with the Herald Tribune. Thus began a long career in journalism, writing about other people and issues. With INTO MY OWN, he invites the reader into a personal world, focusing on several individuals who were influential in his life and work.

Among these are Stanley Woodward, his boss, mentor and friend, who challenged him to be not just another sportswriting hack. Kahn looks back fondly on his salad days as a young copyboy who broke into the ranks of the ink-stained wretches, earning more increasingly important assignments until he became the Dodgers' beat reporter.

Since the Brooklyn team was his ticket to middle-aged fame, it is fitting that two of the key members of the team receive significant attention: Harold "Pee Wee" Reese and Jackie Robinson.

Reese, the shortstop and captain, was a Southerner who literally embraced the African-American Robinson in full view of hate-spewing racists, thereby setting an example of gentility, cooperation, tolerance and friendship. Robinson was a more fiery personality and gave Kahn the opportunity to learn about the difficulties of being a black man in America on several levels. These relationships lasted long after the players had retired.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most of this was outstanding--his early years in reporting, his relationship with his son and ex-wives, and of course his relationships with both Robinson and Reese. And some was very good--I'd put his Robert Frost discussion in this category. But perhaps like life itself, it was uneven, both in writing style and interest level. It can't all be sublime, I guess. But read it if only for the last section about his relationship with his son, and how he writes both for the reader and himself as a form on ongoing therapy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book even if your not a sports fan.I bought the book because I was good friends with Roger Kahn Jr. and spent some time at Desisto school with Roger.Mr Kahn's remarks about Desisto are actually tame compared to what I have to say about him.The chapter about Roger Jr. brought tears to my eyes.Roger was such a fun loving good hearted kid and one of my best friends.Did we rebel at Disisto against him and his whacked version of life? You bet we did!And Im proud of it.No man or boy should back down to what he knows is wrong even if he pays a heavy price which we did.Bad boys at Desisto were beatin, druged,starved and thrown in the streets in the dead of winter ,druged out of there minds with out a penny in their pocket.The parents were told to leave these children on the streets hundreds of miles from home to be prayed upon while they were broke ,cold and hungry.Desisto called it Tough love .I call it child abuse and cruel and unusual punishment.I was one of these kids thrown to the streets with no where to go.Im now 47 years old and here to tell you that Roger was my pal and a good person.If he had mental and drug problems that led to his suicide I blame bad parenting and a sick child molester named Disisto who broke the law by forcefully drugging Roger against his will.Mr Kahn also mentions My friend Blake champion who I did not know was dead untill I read this book.You would not believe the list of rich and famous people,espically from the entertainment industry who sent there children to desisto at stocbridge.This place had a higher suicide rate than any prison in America and thats not counting the people like Roger who committed suicide after they left there.Mr Kahn is the first parent to write the truth about Desito.Thank you mr Kahn and may your son rest in peace untill we meet again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, "I am a part of all that I have met." Roger Kahn has provided us with a heartfelt tribute on those individuals who have influenced him throughout his adult life. Stanley Woodword, his mentor at the New York Herald Tribune, teammates Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson on the Brooklyn Dodgers, poet Robert Frost, polititian Eugene McCarthy, and his late son Roger Laurence Kahn are all written about in a way that author Roger Kahn can use his skill as a writer to bring these people who have special meaning to him to life. Anecdotes not found in other baseball books are included here such as Dodger pitcher Orel Hershier's kindness to Roger's late son, Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley sending a note of warning to the author when Kahn's late wife, Joan, had her nose broken by a batted ball while sitting in the stands, Jackie Robinson suppressing anger and quietly telling a teammate to deal the cards when pitcher Hugh Casey described what folks in the south used to do when good luck was needed. Kahn interviewing Robert Frost with the poet calmly describing his son's suicide little knowing that he, himself, would have to face the same tribulation lurking in the future. We all have people who have influenced our life in a positive manner, and Roger Kahn's sincerity fills the book on those who have touched his life. This is a book that will appeal to anyone who enjoys good writing whether you are familiar with Roger Kahn's previous books or not.
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