75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great story about a child and her father with the love of the dodgers as thier strongest bond
Doris Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize winning author. She is a democrat and mostly she writes about politics. However several years back she took part in Ken Burns documentary film on baseball and portrayed her memories and love of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s and later as an adult in Massachusetts, the Boston Red Sox.
This stimulated her to reflect on her...
Published on January 22, 2008 by Michael R. Chernick
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BFBA'S Thoughts
I enjoyed parts of this book. The parts I enjoyed were the parts that did not go into detail about baseball. The story of her life was well written and interesting and baseball was a part of her life. There was just too much information about individual games, pennant races etc for me. What the author included about growing up in the 50's and 60's was the reason I gave...
Published 15 months ago by BFBAtk
Most Helpful First | Newest First
75 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great story about a child and her father with the love of the dodgers as thier strongest bond,
This stimulated her to reflect on her childhood days as a Dodger fan and she decided to write a book about it. But as she carefully researched her memory and her past she found that it was all intertwined with her life groing up as an impresionable girl on Long Island in the 1950s. Her parents her friends and her future wriing career were all tied togehter. So this delightful book is a memoir of her childhood growing up and living and dying for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
I am 55 years old, slightly younger than Goodwin but I too grew up in the 1950s on Long Island and can relate to many of her experiences. She discusses how she started learning about baseball and the Dodgers when her father taught her how to fill out a scorecard. In the evenings during their quiet time together she would use the scorecard like a cue to narrate the game she listened to on the radio that day. This brought the game to life for her father and created an interest in her in narration that carried on into a career of writing.
The book flows marvelously and you see the world from the eyes of an impressionable grammar school girl. Goodwin is somehow able to go back and put herself back in the mind of that little naive child. We see her devotion to the Catholic church, the fear of polio in the ealry 1950s before the vaccines. I know this so well as I contracted polio in the summer of 1953 though I never got it so bad as to need an iron lung. We here of her confessions as she admitted to her priest that she wished harm on the Dodger opponents. We learn about the kids in the neighborhood, all Dodger, Giant or Yankee fans. I was a Yankee fan but my brother and all my friend that I played ball with as a kid were Dodger fans. The Dodgers were the most popular team in New York. They were the underdogs and the team for the common working man.
Goodwin's first boyfriend was a boy she got to know because he was a Dodger fan and they could talk so comfortably about the Dodgers. This is a story about the Dodger players she admired; Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Don Newcombe and Carl Furillo and the Yankees and Giants that she dispised, Mays, Mantle, Martin, Berra and others. It is a story about devotion and heartbreak; Bobby Thomson's home run, the story of Mickey Owens' dropped third strike. Billy Martin's heroics is 52 and 53. But it is also the thrill of 1955 when Dodger fans finally didn't have to say wait till next year.
As all this goes on we also hear about her mother's health problems and her childhood girlfriends, the beginning years of television, the Army - McCarthy hearings, the cold war, the civil defense drills and the fallout shelters, memorable events for those growing up in the 1950s.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You,
This review is from: Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir (Paperback)I have read that authors read reviews by readers. I hope Ms. Goodwin reads this. This is simply a wonderful book
This is the second time I read this book. I read this for a book club. I had remembered the portions about baseball and the wonderful relationship between Ms. Goodwin and her father. The rereading does not diminish the pleasure of this portion of the book.
The second reading permitted me to think about the the insightful description of growing up in the 50's--an experience I share with Ms Goodwin. It was a simpler time when fathers came home the same time and mothers stayed home and raised the children. Children owned the streets and everyone was growing together. Ms. Goodwin also points out that it also was a time when woman could not work. A simpler time is not always the better time.
The most interesting portion of the book on the second reading is the foreshadowing of what is required to be a historian. Joining her ability to recreate a ball game as the beginning of her career as a historian, which she points out depends upon the ability to tell a story. SEcond when historical events such as the integration of Little Rock we see her mastery of history.
I used to think that No Ordinary Times was my favorite book. I will reread that as well but right now it has taken second place.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book about a Great Game,
"Wait Until Next Year" by Doris Kearns Goodwin is of the latter genre. A lifelong baseball fan who grew up in a Long Island suburb of New York City, Goodwin grew up rooting for her father's favorite team- the Brooklyn Dodgers in what many regard as the golden age of baseball, the late 1940s and early 1950s.
It was an era where the Dodgers went to six World Series in ten years (1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956) and won the title over the hated Yankess in 1955. It was an era that saw baseball integrated by Jackie Robinson, and some of the best players in history (Robinson, Duke Snider, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin) wowed the fans time and again with their spectacular play. And Goodwin watched it all while growing up. "Wait Until Next Year" is as much a memoir of growing up in suburban Long Island in the 1950s as it is a remembrance of what baseball was like in that long-gone era.
Anyone who followed sports as a kid can remember what it was like to watch their heroes on the television, fervently hoping they may emerge victorious (this baseball fan was crushed to watch the big, bad Oakland A's slaughter his heroes, the San Francisco Giants, in the 1989 World Series) or being so fortunate to actually attend a game in the flesh. This reader smiled as he read Goodwin's memories of attending a game at Ebbets Field, her horror at Robby Thomson's miracle home run in the 1951 playoffs that lifted the Giants over the Dodgers, her satisfaction with the Dodgers triumph in the 1955 World Series, and finally her sadness at the Dodgers decision to depart for Los Angeles in 1957.
A very good book that even non-baseball fans will find hard to put down.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfectly Clear Snapshot of A Time and A Place,
This book is writing at its best and, therefore, it's good reading. It will be of special interest to anyone with a passion for baseball, particularly the Dodgers, especially before the team left Brooklyn.
Yet this memoir is more than just a baseball story, though that part is fascinating. It offers a good picture of the energy found in the States during those years immediately following World War II, and an excellent history of the expansion of New York City and the immediately adjacent suburbs at that same moment in time.
My father and his brothers, like all little boys born in Brooklyn in the first decades of the 20th Century, were avid Dodgers fans. By 1986, three of the four brothers had died. My bachelor uncle remained alone, 85 years old, though I phoned him every day and visited him frequently. During the '86 World Series, I was trying to engage his attention; his mind was clear, but his enthusiasms had abated.
So I tried to instigate a conversation. "What do you think of the Mets? Can you believe that they won the Series?"
He responded, "I have to tell you, sweetheart, that after the Dodgers left Brooklyn, we never again cared that much about baseball." I understood that when he said "we," it wasn't meant in the royal sense--he was referring to three brothers who had predeceased him.
My uncle died in 1994, at the age of 93. He remained a voracious reader until the day he died. The highest compliment I can pay Ms. Goodwin is that I am sorry that he did not live long enough to read WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR. It's a wonderful book, and he would have reveled in it.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let this be the year!,
If you were a city girl who grew up during this same period in America, many of the author's stories will resonate with you: not being able to play in the water on a hot summer's day, not even a wading pool, because of your parent's fear of polio; ducking under your desk or filing down into the furnace room during your school's air-raid drills; the book-and-brick smell of the local public library, where each of the books had a date-stamped sheet glued to its back cover.
The most angst-filled stories in the book were about the author's father, who raised his young sister after being orphaned at an early age. His brother died of tetanus, his mother in child-birth, and his father, of grief. His one remaining sister died a few years later in a freak accident, but he managed to pull himself together after all of those untimely deaths, educated himself, got married, had children, became a Brooklyn Dodgers fan--all of this without self-pity or rancor. Maybe he really did belong to 'The Greatest Generation.'
This is a sweet coming-of-age story, guilelessly told--an excellent read for a nostalgic baby-boomer or a rabid baseball fan.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to Touch the Heart,
Experiencing her youth in the forties and fifties as I and many of my reading friends did, Goodwin struck chords that reverberated movingly with us. Though the story takes place in Rockville Centre, New York, a suburb just a train ride away from Brooklyn, her pictures of herself and her friends in front yards and back yards, her schools and churches, drug store and neighborhood could have been taken in any American suburb of those distant days.
These memories make up a different kind of "fan's notes," as she tracks the ups and downs and near misses of her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers, the team she followed faithfully as a six-year-old in 1949, until "dem bums" finally delivered a World Series championship in 1956. Her team, with Gil Hodges and Roy Campanella, and even their radio announcer, Vin Scully, moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and became my wife's favorite team. My "Whiz Kids," the Philadelphia Phillies of the fifties, with Robin Roberts and Ritchie Ashburn and Eddie Waitkus received mention and reminded my wife and me of the days when you could count on the same players returning loyally to play year after year for the same team.
In addition to the thread of baseball running through the book, Goodwin touches on national events that characterized the times for anyone who lived through them: the death of FDR, the Korean War, the Rosenberg spy case, McCarthyism, and forced school integration in Little Rock. She remembers Elvis and James Dean and covers faithfully the rituals of growing up in the Catholic Church. There is something here to touch the heart of anyone who grew up in those naive times of the 1940s and 1950s.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing Up with the Brooklyn Dodgers,
Doris Kearns Goodwin
This memoir of Doris Kearns Goodwin's childhood on Long Island brings back memories of growing up the 1950's. She tells how all the neighbors in her subdivision knew one another, how their children played together through all the houses, and how the first neighbor to get a television set in 1946 invited all the others over to watch, at a time when there were only 7,000 sets in the entire country. Mrs. Goodwin's story of following the ill-starred Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team along with her family and most of her community of Rockville Center evokes a melancholy for an America that slipped imperceptibly away from those of us who lived through the time.
I long ago ceased to care about major league baseball and the millionaires who play it. They go where the money is, but the players of the fifties mainly stayed with the same team for most of their careers. Reading the names of the 1950's Brooklyn lineups in this book -- names like Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, Duke Snyder, Preacher Roe, and Johnny Podres - re-acquainted me with my long lost knowledge of the teams and players of those days.
It was charming to read about how the young Doris Kearns schemed to break Gil Hodges out of a hitting slump one year by giving him her St. Christopher's medal and how much she treasured a long-sought autograph finally obtained from Jackie Robinson, major league baseball's first black player.
The portraits that Mrs. Goodwin paints of her mother, who died when the author was fifteen, and her father are created with fine strokes. Her frail mother taught her to respect people, such as a poor, elderly Ukrainian woman in a rundown house whom the neighborhood children thought was a witch. Her father gave her a guide for the struggles of life through a love of baseball and loyalty to the long-suffering Dodgers.
From 1941 through 1953, six times the Dodgers won the National League championship and six times they faced the New York Yankees in the World Series and lost. But in 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers played the Yankees a final time in the Series and won, four games to three. In a fifteen-minute period that followed the game more phone calls were made in the immediate area than at any time since VJ day. Trading on the New York Stock Exchange pretty much came to a standstill. Thousands of people converged on Brooklyn to dance in the streets.
The headline the next morning in "The New York Daily News", with a twist on the hopeful slogan that had been the watchword of Dodger fans for years, read, "This is Next Year!"
It is fitting that Mrs. Goodwin, a well-known presidential historian, endowed her own sons with a love of the game of baseball. After all, one of the better things that one learns from sports, as this book affirms, is to take pride in the accomplishments of the past and to look forward optimistically to the future.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of the Ordinary,
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing up in the Fifties,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Steve Bank , SouthSide '54
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all!,
This review is from: Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir (Hardcover)Doris Kearns Goodwin is famous for her biographies, especially the Pulitzer Prize winning, NO ORDINARY TIME. Her new book, though, is not about someone else's life, it's about her own. "When I was six, my father gave me a bright-red score book that opened my heart to the game of baseball." Goodwin begins to recall the game that was her childhood into this "score book". Although the cover of her memoir, WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR, is not bright-red, it serves it's purpose well. Goodwin writes a "play by play" account of her life from the time she first recieved that score book till the end of her childhood at age fifteen. Underlying it all is her passion for baseball and the New York Dodgers and her hope that they will win the World Series. The author attributes her love of narration to baseball. Every day, Goodwin would recount to her father, using the system he taught her, that day's game as he got her ready for bed. As well as a sign of her father's love, this ritual introduced her to the art of storytelling. "It would instill me in an early awareness of the power of the narrative, which would introduce me to a lifetime of storytelling..." This book is filled with poignant stories about the relationships between the author and her family and friends. It also draws on the many experiences of Goodwin's from her first trip to Ebbet's Field, to her hero, Jackie Robinson. There are stories about her religious experiences as a Catholic, her obsession with James Dean and how, at first, television brought her neighborhood together. The significance of the era is portrayed well. For me, this book was particularly interesting because of my own love of baseball. Just reading it made me long for those hot summer days when major league baseball is played. I can also simpathize with Goodwin over how many times her team came close to winning the World Series. As a Cleveland Indian fan, I have been waiting my whole life for the Indians to be crowned champions. They have not one a World Series since my Dad was born, in 1948. This theme of resulted in the title of her book, a popular saying among Dodgers fans,"Wait till next year". Not only did the story amaze me, Goodwin is an extraordinary writer. Her writing clearly and smoothly tells her story. I could almost hear her narrate the book while once in a while two characters would have a conversation. I could visualize it all too. WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR is a passionate, well written, captivating book. A must read for all!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin