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Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, June 2, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 464 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

When historian Goodwin was six years old, her father taught her how to keep score for "their" team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. While this activity forged a lifelong bond between father and daughter, her mother formed an equally strong relationship with her through the shared love of reading. Goodwin recounts some wonderful stories in this coming-of-age tale about both her family and an era when baseball truly was the national pastime that brought whole communities together. From details of specific games to descriptions of players, including Jackie Robinson, a great deal of the narrative centers around the sport. Between games and seasons, Goodwin relates the impact of pivotal historical events, such as the Rosenberg trial. Her end of innocence follows with the destruction of Ebbets Field, her mother's death, and her father's lapse into despair. Goodwin gives listeners reason to consider what each of us has retained of our childhood passions. A poignant but unsentimental journey for all adults and, of course, especially for baseball fans.?Jeanne P. Leader, Everett Community Coll., Wash.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Goodwin (No Ordinary Time, 1994, etc.) turns her gaze inward, looking back on a childhood enlivened by books and baseball. In many ways Goodwin had a typical '50s girlhood. She grew up on suburban Long Island at a time when many families were relocating to such communities. Her father worked, her mother was a homemaker. Perhaps the biggest difference between Goodwin and other girls growing up in this era was her deep and abiding enthusiasm for baseball. When she was six, she recalls, her father gave her a score book and taught her how to use it, a gift that ``opened [her] heart to baseball.'' Retelling games for her father's benefit after he came home from work was her ``first lesson . . . in narrative art.'' One can easily see how re-creating these games from the score book taught her to harness her imagination to quotidian details to re-create history. If baseball bonded her more deeply to her father, books served the same purpose in her relationship with her mother, a sickly woman with severe angina and numerous other problems. Goodwin also offers a child's-eye view of the Cold War, from the lunacy of bomb shelters and ``duck and cover'' drills to a particularly disturbing memory of reenacting the McCarthy hearings with other neighborhood children. Gradually we see her neighborhood unraveling under economic pressures, the Dodgers and Giants moving to the West Coast, and finally, her mother dying of an apparent heart attack at 51. Regrettably, Goodwin recounts all this in unimaginative prose, offering surprisingly few original insights into either baseball or the sociopolitical currents of the time. Except for the final chapter about her mother's death and her father's subsequent depression and drinking problems, the book falls far short of her compelling historical narratives. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Trade Paperback Edition edition (June 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684847957
  • ASIN: B0002OUQVC
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (464 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael R. Chernick on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
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 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
It goes without saying that Ms. Goodwin is among America's finest writers; her Pulitzer prizes prove that. Yet Ms. Goodwin herself has said in interviews that of all the books she has written, WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR seems to strike the strongest emotional chord among her readers.
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.
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Format: Paperback
As a genre, baseball books are of two general types- the rarely interesting memoirs of a jock or coach, or the baseball writer/enthusiast's dissection of the game in general, or of a season or team in particular.
"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.
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