The celebrated author of The Game They Played offers a must-have memoir for Yankees fans.
For Stanley Cohen, baseball is the prism through which he views the events of the last 70 years. In The Man in the Crowd, Cohen chronicles America’s changing mood and lifestyle from the years of World War II through the silent generation of the 50s, the revolutionary turmoil of the 60s through the social decay of the 70s, the excess of the 80s through the technological transformation of the 90s, up through the sobering uncertainty of the post- 9/11 present day. His narrative spans four generations as he recounts in sparkling prose how, for his immigrant father, sports was a means of assimilation into life in the New World; the warmth of watching his son and, later, his grandson both fall heir to his devotion; and how the game of baseball has provided his life with its truest sense of continuity.
Stanley Cohen's memoir is a deeply personal, wistful rumination on his 70-year passion for America's pastime. To him, baseball, or as he calls it, the "enduring, timeless game of geometric precision", serves as a metaphor for life, and it frames his view of family, culture, politics, and history.
Whether voicing a Boston cab driver or Cohen's mother, Daniel Wallace's performance is as colorful and evocative as Cohen's prose. He succeeds at capturing the full spectrum of emotions on display in the work - no easy task.
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- simon parsons-kilburn