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Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir

A book by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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Let this be the year!

  • Jan 27, 2003
There isn't much of a plot to "Wait Till Next Year"--Brooklyn girl and rabid Dodger fan grows up very Catholic in the late '40s and early '50s, while her mother slowly wastes away and dies. The title is a catch phrase that Brooklyn Dodgers fans used over and over again when their team was eliminated from the pennant race for yet another year. Dodgers trivia jostles against family history, and wonderful set-pieces on, for instance what it was like to own the first television on the block.

If you were a city girl who grew up during this same period in America, many of the author's stories will resonate with you: not being able to play in the water on a hot summer's day, not even a wading pool, because of your parent's fear of polio; ducking under your desk or filing down into the furnace room during your school's air-raid drills; the book-and-brick smell of the local public library, where each of the books had a date-stamped sheet glued to its back cover.

Is that really me and my sister in the photograph on the back cover, or did all little girls wear bangs and plaid back then?

The most angst-filled stories in the book were about the author's father, who raised his young sister after being orphaned at an early age. His brother died of tetanus, his mother in child-birth, and his father, of grief. His one remaining sister died a few years later in a freak accident, but he managed to pull himself together after all of those untimely deaths, educated himself, got married, had children, became a Brooklyn Dodgers fan--all of this without self-pity or rancor. Maybe he really did belong to 'The Greatest Generation.'

This is a sweet coming-of-age story, guilelessly told--an excellent read for a nostalgic baby-boomer or a rabid baseball fan.

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More Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir reviews
review by . March 23, 2006
Doris Kearns Goodwin took a break from national history to get personal in this 1997 memoir of her experiences growing up a Long Island girl in the 1940s and 1950s rooting for the hard-luck Brooklyn Dodgers. Like Bob and Ray used to say, her loss is your gain.    I admit approaching this book with some trepidation. Clearly the book was inspired by Goodwin's participation as one of many talking pinheads on Ken Burns' self-important 1994 TV documentary "Baseball." On that show, …
review by . December 30, 1999
Pros: wonderfully written, fabulous book     Cons: it ends     Last fall, I would read "Wait Till Next Year" every morning while eating breakfast. I didn't want to put it down. As a result, I had to rush to catch the bus. When the book ended (entirely too soon!) I felt a void in my life.       Doris Kearns Goodwin is a fantastic historian. Her other works include books on FDR, JFK, and other important figures of our time. In "Wait …
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Elaine Lovitt ()
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I'm a retired geek whose goal is to move to Discworld and apprentice myself to Granny Weatherwax. I have degrees in Astronomy and Computer Science, but was seduced by the Dark Side a few years before … more
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About this book


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 theAudio Cassetteedition.
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ISBN-10: 0684847957
ISBN-13: 978-0684847955
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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