L.A. Times book club selects 'The Boys of Summer'
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Here is additional coverage from our archive about Dodgers' hero Jackie Robinson, the beloved Dodger Dog and the move from Brooklyn.
Jackie Robinson: Simply a Great Athlete
By Dick Balos
"Jack Roosevelt Robinson turned it around in an adventure that aroused the spirit of his race and opened the eyes of whites throughout the nation." Read more
The Boys of Summer, Past and Present
By Patt Morrison
"'The Boys of Summer' is the title of Roger Kahn’s seminal, beloved baseball book, the one he wrote 20 years after spending the long golden seasons with the team." Read more
Dodger Great Carl Erskine: Pitching Equality
By Patt Morrison
"A teammate of Jackie Robinson, he has watched the nation gradually understand the life lessons he wrote about in 'What I Learned from Jackie Robinson.'" Read More
When: Sunday, April 26th from 2-4 p.m.
Where: UCLA's Hall of Fame
RSVP: Click here to register
Baseball season is upon us, and there's no better time to pick up the Los Angeles Times' new book club selection, "The Boys of Summer" by Roger Kahn.
It's a classic work of sports journalism that weaves together Kahn's memories of growing up within shouting distance of Ebbets Field, rooting for the Dodgers with his father, and stories from his years covering the team during Jackie Robinson's legendary reign as a player and civil rights activist.
To celebrate this book, the joy of baseball, and our own Dodgers, we will be hosting an event at Jackie Robinson's alma mater, UCLA, in their prestigious Hall of Fame on Sunday April 26 from 2-4 p.m. Roger Kahn, L.A. Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke, Dodger great Maury Wills and other special guests will be there in person for a great conversation about baseball and the Dodgers' role in our community. Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and avid baseball fan, will moderate the conversation.
I hope to see you there.
— Austin Beutner
Publisher and CEO, Los Angeles Times
About the Book
The story of Los Angeles is, in so many ways, a story of trailblazers. From the Los Pobladores who founded the city, to those who have crossed deserts and oceans to start a new life, to the visionaries who created the first moving pictures, Los Angeles gave them a home. One of Southern California’s favorite sons and our country’s pioneers, Jackie Robinson, was no exception. He was born in Georgia and moved here with his family as an infant. After distinguishing himself at John Muir High School, Pasadena City College and UCLA, Robinson went on to integrate Major League Baseball by taking the field as a Brooklyn Dodger.
Journalist Roger Kahn grew up shouting distance from Ebbets Field and covered the Dodgers for the New York Herald Tribune during the 1950s. As the Brooklyn Dodgers hit their stride, winning the World Series in ‘55, the team’s owner had visions of moving West. Los Angeles rolled out the welcome mat as the Dodgers traded in dodging trolleys − the origin of their name − for freeways and fast cars.
In “The Boys of Summer,” Kahn weaves together his childhood memories of rooting for the Dodgers with his father, stories from his years covering the team during Robinson’s phenomenal performance as a player and civil rights ambassador, and interviews with legendary players like Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and Duke Snider that reveal the lives they led off the field as the years went on.
This season’s boys of summer have just begun their season and it’s a perfect time to read the celebrated book that popularized the phrase – borrowed, of course, from a Dylan Thomas poem. As Kahn says, “Baseball is for the leisurely afternoons of summer and for the unchanging dreams.” Whatever this season holds, Kahn will remind us what baseball means to us and how a game can change your life.
As an added incentive to join us in reading this month, we will be hosting an event at UCLA's Hall of Fame on April 26. The author, Roger Kahn, Dodger great Maury Wills, LA Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke and other special guests will be there in person for a great conversation about baseball and the Dodgers’ role in our community, moderated by former US Trade Representative and avid baseball fan, Mickey Kantor.
To keep up on our Reading L.A. monthly selections and events, sign up at latimes.com/bookclub.