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Momma, Don't Ya Want Me to Learn Nothing? Paperback – April 1, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Southeast Missouri State University (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890551139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890551131
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,885,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Mary V. Ritter on June 8, 2015
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Absolutely loved this book. Especially since I know the author and grew up in the same town. We went to school together. This book was
just like revisiting my home town. Gene Munger learned a lot from living in Cape Girardeau, Mo. A great look at times in a gentler small
town in the 1940 era. I highly recommend this for a good read.
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Gene Munger captures in this book the magic for youngsters of the 1940s and early 1950s in Southeast Missouri. Any one who shared that experience, and perhaps anyone who grew up in a small town anywhere at that time, will find here some of his experiences. I did grow up in Benton, two years younger than Gene, and would not trade my youth there for anything. As John Brussman says in the book, we were lucky. Gene did us a service by recording his memories. If you identify with this era, and particularly with Southeast Missouri, this is a book to have in your library.

Gene's memory and mine vary slightly on a few matters, but even if I am correct it takes nothing away from the reading. For example, the WWI Memorial Fountain and Louie Mitchell's filling station were to the southeast of the Scott County Court House, not to the southwest. Gene in fact lived to the southwest of the court house, as did I and John Brussman. Dick Harrison lived yet a block further west. Also, St. Mary's High School in Cape became integrated in 1949, several years before Gene's Cape Central High School. Cairo, Illinois, is more like 25 miles from Cape rather than 12. His recollection of the WWII years, Dick Harrison, and John Brussman are spot on, as is Camp Lewallen. One opinion variance, I did not and do not think of Benton as analogous to a third world country.

I enjoyed the book and it will stay with me.
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Eugene Munger painted a picture, not always rosy, of life in small-town Missouri in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Mr. Munger's witty and insightful style was as enlightening as it was entertaining. Life seemed simpler back then -- not necessarily easier -- just simpler. He was/is a good son, brother, husband and friend. An Eagle Scout, hard worker, innocent and wide-eyed. His morph into a citizen of the world took root as a college basketball player, Naval officer and long-time employee of Shell Oil Company. But the story, the book anyway, ends in his 20s, some 50 years ago. So now, Mr. Munger, I want to read more about you. How about it?
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Momma, Don't Ya Want Me to learn Nothin?
This is a compilation of stories of life in middle America told from a boy's point of view. Gene has done a very good job of allowing the reader to view life in the 40s and 50s from an innocent unbiased viewpoint. Essentially, it's the story of his early years, but in telling the story the reader follows the challenges and changes that occured in Amercia. Gene views political and racial issues from a neutral perspective. His skill at causing the reader to wonder as he wanders is superb. This book is a good read and would make an excellent gift for anyone 50 or older.
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Each chapter contained a complete new story, detailing people and places familiar to me. Only because each chapter was complete, I was able to put the book down after reading a few pages. I could happily have read twice as many chapters as there were to read.
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