July 8 — SALT PEANUTS, Dizzy Gillespie (1942)

IMG_1930For years I have considered Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Wait Till Next Year” to be the best book on baseball. But that was before I opened Roger Kahn’s classic “The Boys of Summer.”

With the 1940s and ’50s Brooklyn Dodgers as a centerpiece, Kahn’s writing brings to life the post-war years in New York. He creates the sound of the city and Ebbetts Field, the scuttle on the streets, the banter among he journalists. The rhythm of Kahn’s writing seems effortless, like a perfectly smooth swing of the bat.

Just sixty-eight pages into it, I can see why the book is considered one of the genre’s finest works. This is nonfiction writing at its best.



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