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The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn (1972)

A book about baseball, Brooklyn, and life

Matthew Fishbane
September 17, 2013

The title is from a Dylan Thomas poem (a line: “I see that from these boys shall men of nothing”), not the Don Henley ditty that came later, and the subject is ostensibly the one sport (OK, one of the sports) in which some postwar Jews excelled. But Roger Kahn’s often sentimental 1972 elegy to time and space, the indomitable pillars of baseball, is also about fathers and sons and Civil Rights in the Brooklyn that defined a generation of American Jews: the ones who saw the Dodgers beat the Yankees in the 1955 World Series, two years before they up and moved to L.A., and 10 years before Sandy Koufax declined to pitch on Yom Kippur.

Matthew Fishbane is a senior editor at Tablet Magazine.

Matthew Fishbane is Creative Director at Tablet magazine.