Boston Boy: Growing up with Jazz and Other Rebellious Passions
Paul Dry Books - 212 pages
Boston Boy is Nat Hentoff's memoir of growing up in the Roxbury section of Boston in the 1930s and 1940s. He grapples with Judaism and anti-Semitism. He develops a passion for outspoken journalism and First Amendment freedom of speech. And he discovers his love of jazz music as he follows, and is befriended by, the great jazz musicians of the day, including Duke Ellington and Lester Young.
"Nat Hentoff knows jazz. And it comes alive in this wonderful, touching memoir." —Ken Burns, creator of the PBS series "Jazz"
"This memoir of [Hentoff's] youth should be appreciated not only by adults who grew up through the fires of their own youthful rebellion, but by those restless young people who are now bringing their own views and questions to the world they are inheriting. They could learn from this example that rebels can be gentle as well as enraged and compassionate in their commitment." —New York Times Book Review
"[A] charmingly bittersweet memoir." —Boston Globe
"This is a touching book about a painful, wonderful time in Boston…I loved it." —Anthony Lewis
"[A] richly textured, vivid memoir of growing up in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood…It weaves a colorful and varied tapestry." —Senator Paul Wellstone
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BOSTON BOY: Growing Up With Jazz And Other Rebellious PassionsUser Review - Kirkus
Jazz critic and social writer Hentoff recalls his early years and formative influences in this stream-of-consciousness memoir. In his boyhood, the charmingly corrupt Mayor James Michael Curley ruled ... Read full review
BOSTON BOY is quite simply one of the finest, most honest, enlightening memoirs I have ever read. By turns witty and heartfelt, Nat Hentoff writes of growing up in Roxbury with a keen eye. One meets his hard-working, wonderful parents; local titans like Samuel Caploe (once met, never forgotten); the brave and beautiful Frances Sweeney; and jazz immortals such as Frankie Newton, Jo Jones, Lester Young, and Edward Kennedy Ellington. If you were ever a child, ever an adolescent, ever a questing human being, you will love this book. Very highly recommended.