Boston Boy: Growing up with Jazz and Other Rebellious Passions

Front Cover
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 Passions

User 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

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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. 

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
6
Section 3
9
Section 4
12
Section 5
18
Section 6
26
Section 7
33
Section 8
37
Section 19
106
Section 20
110
Section 21
113
Section 22
125
Section 23
132
Section 24
140
Section 25
147
Section 26
151

Section 9
42
Section 10
51
Section 11
68
Section 12
71
Section 13
77
Section 14
89
Section 15
92
Section 16
94
Section 17
95
Section 18
101
Section 27
163
Section 28
166
Section 29
168
Section 30
172
Section 31
174
Section 32
180
Section 33
188
Section 34
199
Section 35
204
Copyright

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About the author

Nat Hentoff was born in Boston in 1925 and lived there until he moved to New York City at the age of twenty-eight. For many years he has written a weekly column for the Village Voice. His column for the Washington Times is syndicated in 250 newspapers, and he writes regularly about music for the Wall Street Journal. For twenty-five years, he was a staff writer for the New Yorker and for many years was a columnist for the Washington Post. His numerous books cover subjects ranging from jazz music and musicians to civil rights and civil liberties, on which he is a recognized authority. He was jazz critic at Down Beat and has written liner notes for many important jazz recordings. His work has won him honors not only from the music industry, but also from the American Bar Association and the American Library Association.

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