Beyond the Boys of Summer Review

Beyond the Boys of Summer
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I have never read a book by Roger Kahn that was less than five stars. This volume is a collection of Kahn's work from books and magazine articles from his illustrious career. Roger covered the Brooklyn Dodgers during the seasons of 1952 and 1953 which led to The Boys of Summer. The book is divided into sections with chapters devoted to athletes, mainly baseball players, that have been subjects of Kahn's work over the past several decades. The last chapter is a tribute to former Dodgers' outfielder Carl Furillo, The Reading Rifle. It is absolutely first rate. Some of the other sections of the book are devoted to New York's centerfielders of the 1950's, hitters and pitchers, fighters such as Dempsey and Ali, in addition to Billy vs. Reggie, and George M. Steinbrenner. A very touching section is entitled "Heroes Off the Field" in which chapters are devoted to Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Ring Lardner, and Pee Wee Reese. Another memorable section is devoted to "On Getting Old" with chapters on Robert Frost, Stan Musial (old as a ballplayer), sportswriters, and the previously mentioned Carl Furillo. I did find one minor error in the Introduction written by Rob Miraldi when he said "he (Kahn) was sent to cover the crosstown Giants in the Bronx" after covering the Dodgers in 1952 and 1953. The Giants as Miraldi knows played in the Polo Grounds which was located on the island of Manhattan. If you have enjoyed Roger Kahn's previous books you won't want to miss this one, especially if you are a baseball fan. This isn't a book to be read by a speed reader. This is a book to be savored.

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Spanning half a century, the first comprehensive anthology of the great Roger Kahn's writing, for a new generation of sports fans

Roger Kahn, author of 19 books including the modern classic The Boys of Summer, is arguably America's greatest sportswriter. Now, for the first time, Beyond the Boys of Summer presents a showcase of 50 years worth of Kahn's celebrated work. From a 1955 article on the incomparable Jackie Robinson to excerpts from his recent bestselling book on the controversial '78 Yankees, this unprecedented anthology spans an entire career to show off the grace, wit, and elegance of Roger Kahn's most memorable writing on sports, as well as his reporting beyond the world of baseball diamonds and boxing rings.

Uniquely organized around life's stages, the book brings readers face to face with some of the greatest names in sport, including Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey, Reggie Jackson, and Pete Rose. Through Kahn's fly-on-the-wall style, readers will see Duke Snider in the avocado fields of California, Mickey Mantle in Texas taverns, and Joe DiMaggio watching his famous wife, Marilyn Monroe, flirt for the movie cameras.

In the final segment, Kahn meets the 80-year-old poet Robert Frost, mourns the deaths of friends and heroes, and movingly writes about how sports stars--and even sportswriters--grow old, looking back on a long life well lived.

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Here's Holland Review

Here's Holland
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This is a "must have" book for visitors to Holland I only wish I had owned this book from day one, or even before I came to Holland. Its format is very clear and easy to follow and I can imagine I shall be dipping in and out of it for a long time to come. Part I, the main section, is dedicated to sightseeing, museums and amusement centres. Each of the twelve provinces is given a separate chapter. At the beginning of each there is a small useful map showing main towns, major roads and the borders of the provinces. These do help the geographically challenged (like me) to become more familiar with the layout of this relatively small country.
An introduction to the history and folklore of each province makes interesting reading. Every chapter, with its extensive coverage of museums, galleries, historic sites, cities, towns, villages and picturesque countryside, definitely gets the message across that there is more to Holland than Amsterdam.
Part II, entitled "Living in Holland" provides a wealth of information, advice and contact addresses. It covers the culture, gives an insight into "the system", education, sports and entertainment. It also includes a useful calendar of yearly special events. This section provides the newcomer not only with a vast array of specific information, but also presents it in a very practical manner, clearly written by someone with a close understanding of Dutch life. It is without a doubt an excellent aid to the newcomer, to help them settle quickly into this unique little country.

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Here's Holland is simply the best all-in-one guide to travel and life in Holland.
No other book covers so much, so well.
Travel destinations and first-hand tips for touring both well-known and less familiar sites from the Anne Frank House and world-class museums in Amsterdam, to picturesque villages in a landscape punctuated with windmills and breathtaking fields of tulips not to mention the superb beaches, medieval towns, and every kind of accommodation imaginable from the world s smallest hotel (a one-room gem in idyllic countryside) to castles and manor houses complete with moats. All this, plus opening times, websites and even directions on how to get there.
AND all the resources you need about life in Holland, whether you re planning a short or long-term stay.
Written by British expatriate Sheila Gazaleh-Weeversa long-time resident of Holland and updated with American expatriates Shirley Agudo and Connie Moser, there is enough practical advice here to make you feel instantly at home.
Like a well-packed suitcase, Here's Holland has all you need for your journey:a calendar of yearly events and entertainment; inside information about customs and culture, characteristic Dutch crafts and products, biking and shopping opportunities,eating outandstaying over,sports venues, markets, special activities and resources for children; a quick reference guide, and so much more...
It's all here, in Here's Holland.

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A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization Review

A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization
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Despite the hyperbole of the title, John Micklethwait and Adrian Woodrige strive to make this a book that does not take on of the extreme positions on globalization -- IE, neither an attack on it, like One World Ready Or Not, nor a full on, pie-eyed endorsement, like The Lexus and The Olive Tree. This is kind of a head fake, because really they are pretty much in favor of liberalizing trade as much as possible. They acknowledge potential problems, but almost always explain them away with a pro-market argument. If you're a fan of the Economist (I am) you'll enjoy the book no matter what your views on globalization, because it's written with the smarts and humor of that magazine. It's also lucidly argued, and packed with solid research and interesting anecdotes collected from every corner of the planet, even if they do cut corners from time to time when the facts aren't going their way, and are kind of cavalier about the losers in globalization. The biggest blind spot -- and of course it's easy to say this with the benefit of hindsight -- is that the shrinking of the world via increased trade etc. is much more fragile than it seemed a couple of years ago. They do acknowledge this to some extent -- there's a lot of good historical examples sprinkled in -- but the current environment feels more like one of fragmentation than oneness. (The paperback version is worth picking because the new introduction at least deals with Sept. 11.) Nevertheless, A Future Perfect is a solid introduction to a topic that is still incredibly important.

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A Future Perfect is the first comprehensive examination of the most important revolution of our time—globalization—and how it will continue to change our lives.Do businesses benefit from going global? Are we creating winner-take-all societies? Will globalization seal the triumph of junk culture? What will happen to individual careers? Gathering evidence worldwide, from the shantytowns of São Paolo to the boardrooms of General Electric, from the troubled Russia-Estonia border to the booming San Fernando Valley sex industry, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge deliver an illuminating tour of the global economy and a fascinating assessment of its potential impact.

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Lonely Planet Shanghai: City Guide Review

Lonely Planet Shanghai: City Guide
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This guide is so close to being excellent but for some unknown reason Lonely Planet has decided that it is not necessary to list the names of sites, restaurants and the streets on maps in Chinese characters. This has been a complaint with all the previous editions, so I was hoping when pre-ordering this for a mid-May trip that they would remedy situation....but no, that would make too much sense. As reviewers of previous editions have pointed out 99% of cab drivers cannot read the "English" spellings of Chinese places. As a result, we found ourselves stuck having to have Chinese friends or hotel concierges go through and translates all the names in the book.....makes you wonder why you bought the guide in the first place. The maps have some Chinese names, but probably only for about 10% of the streets, and often not enough for cab drivers to figure out where to go. It boggles my mind that this guide could have so much good and insightful information yet leave out the basic of most basics. In the end we ended up having all the Chinese names written into the guidebook by hand (so we manually had to do what LP should have offered in the first place). Heck, maybe I should just Ebay our much more useful version of the guide. Aside from this major (and I mean major) fault the guide is very good. My only other complaints is that the text is microscopic (I am guessing 6 or 8pt), which helps make the book light, but also difficult to read. Also, the map keying system is just bizarre in that listings direct you to a map page but not the specific location where that listing is on the map....for that you have to go to a separate index page which then gives you the location on the map.
So in the end, I find it hard to recommend a guide that you will most likely have trouble getting around with unless you speak the language. It is just completely unacceptable for LP to leave this basic information out and why I can only give it 2 stars. Please learn from your mistakes Lonely Planet.

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Lists the newest, best restaurants, clubs, and shops, hand-picked by Shanghai resident, Damian Harper. Chinese script for city maps. Mouth-watering food chapter and easting listings.

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My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 (Historical Studies of Urban America) Review

My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965 (Historical Studies of Urban America)
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Though I've read many books on obscure topics, Becky Nicolaides' 'My Blue Heaven' surely tops them all for being a conversation-stopper. Telling someone you're reading a history of a blue-collar suburb of Los Angeles through the middle decades of the 20th century nearly guarantees eye-glazing, if not outright abandonment. Yet, if a reader has even a passing interest in any of the ambitious ground Ms. Nicolaides covers--urban trends, suburban sociology, the political emergence in the 1960s of the famous "silent majority," among many others--I wholeheartedly recommend this work. Only some thready allegations in the final chapter mar an otherwise superb survey.
I'll also admit to a personal interest. Both my parent's families--at least two generations worth--hail from these neighborhoods. Beyond some sketchy childhood memories from the 60s, I don't have any solid impressions of how my immediate ancestors grew up and therefore found myself riveted by--in essence--a detailed family history.
So beyond supplying a nearly endless string of familial "ah-ha!" moments for me, Ms. Nicolaides also blankets her study with incredible (and often myth-puncturing) detail; among them:
* Impressive majorities of pre-WW2 homeowners actually *built* their own homes in the south LA "suburbs." Prototypical developer housing arrived much later.
* In the late 20s (*before* The Depression) the average household spent over a third of its income on food--but only a quarter on housing
* As soon as LA residents could drive, they did: 50% of residents owned a car by *1925* (concurrently compared to 16% nationwide, and 9% in Chicago), and as many commuted to downtown as took (excellent and cheap) public transit. This early automotive embrace neatly skewers the "Roger Rabbit myth," i.e., that evil oil companies "forced" Angelenos into smog-belching cars and conspiratorially drove the beloved streetcars out of business
* Teenagers commonly hitchhiked (!) to popular hangouts like movie theaters and the beach
This list could go on and on. The author is nothing if not comprehensive--and, as shown, she backs up her claims with reams of statistics. A more nuanced and revealing portrait of emerging suburban America would be hard to find.
But the book reaches far beyond strings of lifestyle anecdotes, however fascinating and well-supported. The formation and consolidation of local political attitudes provide both the strongest and most contentious parts of her thesis. The author rarely misses a chance to show how these blue-collar suburbanites swung from being 1920s "Republicans" (boot-strapping home-builders and farmers) to 1930s/40s "Democrats" (New Deal-embracing proponents of post-war government expansion)--and finally back to 1960s "Republicans" (anti-Civil right protectionists), the so-called "silent majority." Her best work shows the underpinnings of these political transformations, fleshing out how they were both formed at the local level and reflected nationally.
My strongest objection to her political theses comes in her final chapter--on race. Leaving aside any sensitivities about my south LA relatives being natural bigots (I can personally attest that many were), I'll only note that the author fails to connect some obvious dots about neighborhood segregation. For example, after a withering critique of blatant bigotry shown by the New Deal-spawned Home Owners Loan Corporation--their notorious loan appraisal maps included such lovely language as "blighted," "menace," and "subversive racial elements" while denying loans to blacks and hispanics--she conveniently neglects mentioning this government segregation complicity in any later contexts. This omission struck me as especially curious since she saves her strongest venom later for white homeowners who opposed many civil rights measures on economic grounds. Whether whites were segregationist bigots or trying to protect their property values (or both), to neglect the money-loaning agent who initially subsidized these conditions struck me as selective at best.
A further racial swipe perhaps comes closer to the author's philosophical biases. After noting that Southern migrants to the area brought "a new style of working-class populism, melding racism, economic populism, and anti-elitism," (a point I'll surely concede) she notes in the same paragraph that "self-help, Americanism, homeowner rights, and a distaste for activist government persisted as core values (among residents); in the new context of economic prosperity and racial encroachment, they *blended easily with the southern political style*." (Italics mine.) We're to conclude that racism and populism "blended easily" with self-help and "Americanism" (whatever that is)? To be fair, Nicolaides sets the context ("The values forged in the distinctive context of working-class suburbia during the interwar years fused smoothly with these imported ideals"), but unlike the rest of the book she provides no evidence for these profound statements.
Ultimately, I found 'My Blue Heaven' a five star effort with a severe markdown for these objections. Aside from an occasional anti-capitalist sneer ("the vagaries of the free market subjected working people to lives of economic instability ...")--almost *de rigeur* from an academic, I suppose--I found her scholarship sound, her organization tight, and her supporting data nearly overwhelming. (Indeed, she is her own worst enemy as topics lacking evidence clearly stand out.) I discovered more here about my parents and relatives than I could have probably ever unearthed on my own and for that Ms. Nicolaides has my utmost gratitude and respect.

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In the 1920s, thousands of white migrants settled in the Los Angeles suburb of South Gate. Six miles from downtown and adjacent to Watts, South Gate and its neighboring communities served as L.A.'s Detroit, an industrial belt for mass production of cars, tires, steel, and other durable goods. Blue-collar workers built the suburb literally from the ground up, using sweat equity rather than cash to construct their own homes.As Becky M. Nicolaides shows in My Blue Heaven, this ethic of self-reliance and homeownership formed the core of South Gate's identity. With post-World War II economic prosperity, the community's emphasis shifted from building homes to protecting them as residents tried to maintain their standard of living against outside threats—including the growing civil rights movement—through grassroots conservative politics based on an ideal of white homeowner rights. As the citizens of South Gate struggled to defend their segregated American Dream of suburban community, they fanned the flames of racial inequality that erupted in the 1965 Watts riots.

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Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island (Regional Guide) Review

Lonely Planet New Zealand's South Island (Regional Guide)
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This "new" South Island-ONLY offering from LP is simply their regular country guide New Zealand (Country Guide)cut in half. This South guide has 444 pages vs. the full-country guide's 765 pages. The weight difference is about 7 ounces.
My take on this book is "WHY?". Even if you're traveling to ONLY NZ's South Island, I feel that you'll still benefit from LP's insights about the entire country. In your South Island travels you'll constantly meet folks who'll invariably tell you stuff about what they saw up North, and if you can't pop open your book to read a bit and gain a better overall insight to the country...then it's only you who'll miss out on getting the "Full flavor" of NZ.
This South guide, other than a few extra pages of "front matter" and a more exhaustive word-for-word, page-for-page simply the bigger book cut in half. I looked thru it hoping to find more detailed insights about tracks or hot springs and such. Nope, just the big guide re-packaged and re-priced. I don't think that saving 3-4 bucks and 7 ounces is worth it. Get the full country guide. LP does a great job detailing all the history and culture stuff for NZ. I say get the full book rather than the half, I say don't overlook the hidden wonders of the North Island. I say that if you are going for only two weeks or less, then you should only choose ONE island to visit.

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Nobody knows New Zealand like Lonely Planet, and our 1st edition to its show-stopping South Island brings you the best of the Kiwi adventure. Whether that's tramping in Fiordland, washing down oysters with wine in Marlborough, skiing the slopes around Queenstown, or taking a city break in Christchurch - you decide.Lonely Planet guides are written by experts who get to the heart of every destination they visit. This fully updated edition is packed with accurate, practical and honest advice, designed to give you the information you need to make the most of your trip.In This Guide:New guide covering national parks, farmstays, wineries, galleries and moreIn depth coverage of outdoor activitiesGreen Index to help make your travels ecofriendly

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Eagle Pond Review

Eagle Pond
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When I was growing up in suburban New York, my parents sent me to a summer camp in rural New Hampshire for a number of summers. During these summers, I fell in love with the beauty and ruggedness of New Hampshire. I spent my summers riding horses, hiking mountains and swimming in ice cold lakes. I also spent my summers swatting mosquitoes and battling poison ivy. Donald Hall's anthology, Eagle Pond, brought back memories of these summers long gone, evoking memories both sweet and bitter-sweet. Hall's writing is lyrical and poetic, using words sparingly to evoke sounds, thoughts and memories. His commentary on the shallowness of our lives when they are based purely on the present and lack historical depth is right on target.
I wish that I had read Hall's works separately. Unfortunately, they do not work too well together in anthology form. There is too much repetition, which sometimes gets annoying. This repetition is necessary if each volume stands alone, but it becomes redundant in anthology form. This does not decrease the beauty of the writing, but it does lessen the beauty of the book as a whole.

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This original paperback brings together for the first time all of Donald Hall's writing on Eagle Pond Farm, his ancestral home in New Hampshire, where he visited his grandparents as a young boy and then lived with his wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, until her death. It includes the entire, previously published Seasons at Eagle Pond and Here at Eagle Pond; the poem "Daylilies on the Hill" from The Painted Bed; and several uncollected pieces. In these tender essays, Hall tells of the joys and quiddities of life on the farm, the pleasures and discomforts of a world in which the year has four seasons -- maple sugar, blackfly, Red Sox, and winter. Lyrical, comic, and elegaic, they sing of a landscape and culture that are disappearing under the assault of change.

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