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The Good Times by Russell Baker

The Good Times (1989)

by Russell Baker

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Showing 5 of 5
1990: excellent story growing up + newspaper boy to reporter
1996: 2nd part growing up — ok — family interesting @ LBJ

Russell Baker rose steadily, from newsboy to college paper, from police reporter to rewrite man, from White House correspondent to Washington columnist. In outline these stages read like a successful resume, but it is Baker's recall of detail that make the story live. Nothing was easy. Success never is. Behind every triumph lies a pitfall, behind every joy a hard lesson. Baker tells it all from the mean streets of Baltimore to a seat at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and from watching Ike fish to sharing LBJ's secrets.
  christinejoseph | Nov 14, 2015 |
This was a nice, readable, enjoyable account of Baker's early adulthood, with fun glimpses into the world of newspapers in the mid-twentieth century. Baker frames the story with discussion of his mother's ambition for him. She was always telling him he should make something of himself, and even when he achieved success he was urged to try for greater things. His drive led him to a successful newspaper career. He served in London and did a lot of Senate, White House, and campaign reporting before finally settling into life as a columnist, where he ends this portion of his story.

Baker provides wonderful descriptions of life in London, his interactions with famous people, and the workings of the print media. He also provides a bit of commentary on the differences between his generation's ambition and his children's less ambitious, more freewheeling attitudes. Although he initially bemoans his mother's constant pressure to succeed, he eventually comes to the conclusion that this work ethic is a better approach.

I liked this one and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in journalism, history, or just a good memoir. ( )
  glade1 | Apr 24, 2014 |
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter talks about growing up in Baltimore MD in the 50'd; his first jobs as a reporter, and the famous people that he has covered. ( )
  CoraJoanBurgett | Aug 8, 2008 |
2719 The Good Times, by Russell Baker (read 12 Mar 1995) I read this because of how much I appreciated Baker's superlative book, Growing up. This book covers his time in newspapering from when he was a paper boy to when he became a columnist for the New York Times in about 1961. It is a fascinating account, and I much admire Baker. For one thing, he is till married to the girl he first married and who only had a 10th grade education. His account of being in England when the Queen was crowned and his time as White House and Senate correspondent in the fifties and sixties are sheerly absorbing reading. The last paragraph, on his mother's death, is a classic. The man is a superlative journalist. ( )
  Schmerguls | Mar 11, 2008 |
Russell Baker's memoirs continued from where "Growing Up" left off. Perhaps not quite as charming as the first installment, but only because boyhood always has more charms than adulthood, no matter how well the adult chronicles his memoirs. This is a worthy successor, though, and details Baker's career from newsboy to New York Times columnist. Baker is one of my favorite columnists, and I have always felt he had hidden talents that his column rarely brought out. These two memoirs support that belief. ( )
  burnit99 | Dec 27, 2006 |
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At the age of twenty-two I believed myself to be unextinguishable.
--Siegfried Sassoon, "Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man"
To Mimi
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My mother, dead now to this world but still roaming free in my mind, wakes me some mornings before daybreak.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688061702, Hardcover)

Picking up where Growing Up left off, the noted columnist recounts his odyssey from writing police reports in Baltimore to penning news stories about the Queen of England, offering his wisdom on the grownup world. Reprint. NYT.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:35 -0400)

An autobiography of the author of the classic "Growing Up," describing his twenties and thirties and this nation's years under Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy.

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