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Showing 1-10 of 64 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 105 reviews
on September 3, 2017
GRUMPY OLD PARTY: 20 Tips on How the Republicans Can Shed Their Anger, Reclaim Their Respectability, and Win Back the White House

In 1983 I was a freshman in college selling New York Times subscriptions at night by phone. Russell Baker was a columnist for the Times. I read that newspaper every day back then (no longer do) because I respected it (no longer do), because even in its criticism of the president (Reagan, at the time) and other politicians, its news stories remained objective, and its opinion piece were civil.

Baker was one of those writers I respected.

One evening, probably in early 1983, just a few months after Growing Up was released, a prospective customer on the phone told me: "I just read a GREAT book called Growing Up, by Russell Baker Have you read that book? I"ll take a subscription if you promise to read Growing Up. Russell Baker, Growing Up." Eager to make a sale, I replied: "Ok, I promise!"

I fully intended on keeping that promise, but autobiographies never really interested me (they still don't), unless the entire story is about what makes the author famous in the first place. In Baker's case, I wanted a book on what it's like to work for the Times - not what his childhood was like. Obviously, I concluded, a title like Growing Up suggests the latter, and so I put it off. The weeks turned into months, and soon enough, I forgot about the promise.

Years later, I saw the book in a bookstore and thought to myself: "I'm going to buy this and read this one day, but not today."

Last month, however, while looking for the newly released book Growing Up Italian-American, by Fedinand J. Visco, MD, the father of a friend of mine, just to see the reviews, the sales, etc. the first "Growing Up" that came up in the search was Baker's book. Well, that did it - 34 years was long enough! And so, I bought the book and I just finished it - less than 20 minutes ago!

It could very well be as good as any autobiography I ever read. That's why I gave it five starts. I still don't like autobiographies, but that's no reason to give it a bad rating. For what it is - it is great. So, if you want to read about a boy's coming of age in rural America from the days of the Depression to the end of World War 2, you won't find a better book.

I hope that some way, somehow, and in some dimension, the man on the phone who asked me 34 years ago to read Growing Up knows that I have - finally - made good on that promise.
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on May 16, 2017
This is a homespun feel good story of an author remembering his youth and doing a fine job of it. The time is many moons gone by...the 30's and 40's and depicts the flavor of those days and of a domineering mother greatly respected by Russell;. Family is the star of this book and loving results the answer to a fulfilling life.
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on January 16, 2013
I first read this Pulitzer Prize winner when my son was growing up. I would read a page outloud, and then he would read a page. A line from the book is, "Make something of yourself." When I told my son, with a wink, "Make something of yourself," he would laugh; and he did make something of himself. The story of Mr. Baker's life is one I will never forget, and the time that my son and I spent reading together was a special time, made even more so by this book. Of all of the books we read together, this was our favorite book.

Now that my husband and I are retired, we are reading this book to each other. The other day I read to my husband the part of the book that talks about Mr. Baker's wife when he didn't know he was going to marry her. He thought that he would just be a playboy until he saw his future wife kissing another guy . . .

More than a wonderful story about a wonderful man who made something of himself. Well written and well deserving of the Pulitzer Prize. This is a book that will be enjoyed 100 years from now. Today, Mr. Baker is in his eighties. He has left for us this gift of telling us about his life.
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on July 10, 2017
Everyone should own this book. It should be next to other staple books on the shelf.
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on July 21, 2017
True, I requested 3 paperbacks, but as the paperback I have long owned is standard hardback size, I was disappointed that I received regular sized small paperbacks. No one's error, just a surprise on my part
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on January 4, 2014
AND, I FINALLY BOUGHT IT AND READ IT. MR BAKER SURE CAN WRITE SO FUNNY I LAUGHED OUT LOUD THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE LONG BOOK.THERE ARE EVEN SOME PICTURES IN THE BOOK. WHICH IS NICE.I LAUGHED OUT LOUD WHEN I READ THE [ARTS OF WHEN HE MET MINI HIS LIFE HIS MOTHER WAS N;T A MWAN OLD LADY JUST BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T LIKE MINI TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I DIDN'T LIKE MINI EITHER. HE COULD HAVE AVERY SWEET NICE GOOD LADY. TO ME MINI IS AHUSHIE. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. BUT RUSSELL LOVED HER ALOT MORE THEN I THINK SHE LOVED HIM. ABYWAY THE BOOK IS WONDERFUL I LOVED IT ALOT.
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on July 27, 2016
A good oral history of the depression era.
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on February 13, 2017
Russell Baker won the Purlitzer prize for this book and it is well deserved. The story is beautifully written and takes you with him on his journey. I have bought this book a few times because I lend it out and never get it back.
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on December 28, 2016
This book is amazing. It's amazing to have such an engaging story that is a non-fiction and cited source material. An absolute gem for Depression-era studies and early 20th C research.
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on July 20, 2016
Awesome book . Baker makes you laugh and cry. Through his eyes as a young boy growing up in the depression and losing a dad at a young age he had to grow up fast. A moving story of survival and American success.
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