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When I Was a Young Man: A Memoir Paperback – May 1, 2003

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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The Black Presidency by Michael Eric Dyson
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more

Editorial Reviews



"[Kerrey] tells his story with candor, simplicity and dignity, explaining himself with plain-spoken eloquence and near-mathematical precision."--The New York Times

"A remarkable record of a journey to self-knowledge . . . echoes the deceptive simplicity of [Kerrey's] fellow Nebraskans, the novelists Willa Cather and Wright Morris. . . . Sensitive, thoughtful and perceptive."--Chicago Sun-Times

"Bob Kerrey has always been one of the most intriguing of our public figures--independent, winning, yet distant and unpredictable, always slightly out of reach.  This memoir, exceptionally well-written, helps explain the man.  It is not so much a hero's celebration of his youth as it is the anti-hero's lament for the loss of it."--David Halberstam

"Kerrey is a good writer, an actual writer . . . And he's got a great story to tell."--Esquire

"[An] ineffably sad, tormented, and wonderful book."--The New York Review of Books

"In this fascinating memoir, Bob Kerrey delivers his version of a traditional American story which beautifully dramatizes his struggle to be honest with himself. This painful exercise of memory results in a work of classic status. I hope it will be widely read--and understood."--Paul Fussell

About the Author

Bob Kerrey, former governor and then senator of Nebraska, is now president of New School University. He served with an elite Navy SEAL team, and received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He is the father of three children and lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027434
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,923,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The book was well written and that it discussed what it was like living in Mid America in the 50's and 60's. It also discussed his experiences in Navy Seal training and his brief time in Viet Nam. I thought that the book was too vague about what he did to earn the Medal of Honor.

I did enjoy however, the experiences he discussed about recovering in military hospitalsf rom his wounds from the Viet Nam war. Having had the same experiences made this portion of the book meaningful to me.
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By Alyson on April 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is slow to begin with as the author gives a personal history of his entire family. But the history is also from an interesting viewpoint. It's not textbook history, but told from a person who was alive when these things happened. I like the authors style of writing because he doesn't want to apologize or try to excuse the things that he did. He explains it as it happened.
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