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Memories of Summer: When Baseball Was an Art and Writing About it a Game Paperback – April 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786883162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786883165
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,553,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Esteemed baseball writer Roger Kahn's Memories of Summer makes a fine companion to his earlier classic,The Boys of Summer. Both books plow similar soil--Kahn's roots in Brooklyn and his years covering the Dodgers with fertile prose--but the similarities end there. The new volume, subtitled "When Baseball Was an Art, and Writing About It a Game," foregoes its predecessor's route of wistful melancholy and broken dreams for the exhilaration of the sport itself. Kahn focuses his considerable powers on the ways baseball permeated America's post-World War II ethos, and why, in an era less blemished by cynicism, baseball blossomed into a writer's playing field. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Kahn's masterpiece is The Boys of Summer (1972), a nostalgic study of the great Brooklyn Dodger teams of the 1950s. Though Boys spawned a quickly tiresome onslaught of pastoral baseball memoirs, the original retains its charm because Kahn--now nearly 70--is a master at evoking a sense of the past. Here he offers a pleasing potpourri of autobiography, professional memoir, and anecdotal baseball history. Kahn came of age just after World War II, beginning his career as a copyboy with the now-defunct New York Herald Tribune. The sports section of that paper was referred to as the "toy" store, but it was an erudite one with legends such as Red Smith, Heywood Broun, and editor Stanley Woodward manning the typewriters. Kahn moved quickly up the ranks. By his mid-twenties--he was younger than most of the players--he was covering his beloved Dodgers. It was the start of a distinguished career that includes 16 books and stints at Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and the Saturday Evening Post. Interwoven among his journalism anecdotes are impressions of controversial New York Giants manager Leo Durocher and his relationship with young superstar Willie Mays; thoughts on Mickey Mantle; and reflections on Mays' last hurrah as an aging, largely ineffective superstar. Of special note to journalism buffs is Kahn's account of his role in the inception of Sports Illustrated. Kahn's reputation will generate deserved interest for this worthwhile, satisfying reminiscence. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
Kahn's fluid tales will highly satisfy.
Bookman
The combination makes this book a nice light, and quick summer read.
Andrew
A truly worthwhile and most enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to receive a preview copy of this book a few weeks before its release because I was interviewing Mr. Kahn on a radio interview program.
As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. Although I was not alive during the 1950's, I have always been fascinated with baseball during that era, particularly the lovable Brooklyn Dodgers. Kahn's latest book does such a wonderful job of describing what it was like to be around baseball every day in that bygone era.
The easiest interview I have ever done was that one I did with Roger. His love for baseball was evident from the first question I asked him. His insight gained from covering the Dodgers in the 1950's is something every baseball fan could use. In this season of home runs, the average fan is once again starting to appreciate baseball. Roger Kahn will make you appreciate it even more.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Kahn turns back the clock to the days when baseball was the true American pastime. His anecdotes and interviews about Mantle, Mays, and Early Wynn bring these individuals to life more than any statistics possibly could. His love of his father is written about in such a profound manner that is timeless. In all a classic piece of Americana that hopefully will be read fifty years from now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1997
Format: Hardcover
So much has been written about baseball in the 1950s that it takes a special writer to offer something truly new about the subject. Kahn is such a writer. His book includes original essays on Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, essays which offer new perspectives on the two great icons of '50s baseball. And Kahn's look back on his reporting days for the New York Herald-Tribune and the young SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is the best account of the PROCESS of sportswriting yet written. Kahn poignantly recalls how baseball brought him closer to his father and, later, his mother. He closes with a list of his favorite baseball books, certain to stir Hot Stove League discussions for the next few winters. MEMORIES OF SUMMER is a splendid evocation not only of a game, but of the three-dimensional people behind it
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tony McBeth (HbgEagle@aol.com) on June 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Kahn has done it again. His prose, from the unique perspective of veteran baseball writer who cares about his subjects, is at once soothing and revealing. Kahn's appreciation for the history that he witnessed - and helped create - is sure to enrich any baseball fan's appreciation of the history (to say nothing of vitally important players both on and off the field) of this great game.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Francis Demmler on June 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
In "Memories of Summer," Roger Kahn takes the reader back to a time when the Dodgers were an integral part of the life of a Brooklynite, through his career as a writer for several different newspapers and magazines, up to modern times where he interviews former baseball stars, including Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays.
Though he grew up a Dodger fan, forced to wait 'til next year seemingly forever, his love not just for the Dodgers, but for the game, is made manifest through his memoir and his reprinted articles. His painting of baseball in his earlier years as a game engulfed in wonder and mystique is shared by many who cherish old-time baseball.
Kahn is not remiss in placing baseball in the context of the social realm in which it was played--a time where writers were reluctant to write about the off-the-field lives of players and where racism, which barred blacks from playing in the majors for almost 50 years, slowly gave way to integration, very slowly. He saw the Jackie Robinsons and the Willie Mays and the Monte Irvins in Major League Baseball as baseball players, not black baseball players.
This book is funny at times, sad at others, but always piques interest. Kahn does an outstanding job of painting vivid images of a time when baseball truly was an art, and writing about it truly a game.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
The flowing pen of author Roger Kahn provides readers with books of nostalgia and heart. Here he covers baseball in New York City in the bygone 1950's, his love affair with the Brooklyn Dodgers (whom he covered as reporter from 1952-1953), plus the Yankees and Giants. Readers learn a few things about Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Leo Durocher, etc. There's the author's take on baseball racism, on the slow retreat in the 1950's. Kahn also traces his upbringing and close relationship with his baseball-addicted father. The book has a definite sense of loss, due to his father's passing, the Dodgers and Giants fleeing to California, and the urban decline that has since afflicted New York and many other once-tranquil cities. This moving book is something of a follow-up to THE BOYS OF SUMMER, the author's superb look at the Brooklyn Dodgers that was published in the early 1970's (this book came out in the late 1990's).

This book doesn't quite match BOYS OF SUMMER, but it's another gem by a writer whose heart clearly belongs to baseball.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By painterdave on May 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up in the 50's and baseball and the men who played it were superstars. Roger Kahn, the author brings it all back to life, while giving me a new outlook on the real men, not just what the media at the time allowed me to see. It felt good reading this book, a comfortable feeling that brought back many memories. I am also grateful that Mr. Kahn actually knew the players and wrote about them. This is not a book written by a person who was not at the games. I believe that this is one of the best books written about baseball.
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