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A Brooklyn Memoir

 

On Sale Everywhere Books Are Sold

 

From the final days of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the mid-1950s to the arrival of the Beatles in 1964, A Brooklyn Memoir is an unsentimental journey through one rough-and-tumble working-class neighborhood. Though only a 20-minute and 15-cent subway ride from the gleaming towers of Manhattan, across the East River, Flatbush remained insular and provincial—a place where Auschwitz survivors and WWII vets lived side by side and the war lingered like a mass hallucination.

 

Meet Bobby, a local kid who shares a shabby apartment with his status-conscious mother and bigoted father, a soda jerk haunted by memories of the Nazi death camp he helped liberate. Flatbush, to Bobby, is a world of brawls with neighborhood "punks," Hebrew-school tales of Adolf Eichmann's daring capture, and grade-school duck-and-cover drills. Drawn to images of mushroom clouds and books about executions, Bobby ultimately turns the seething hatred he senses everywhere against himself.

 

From a perch in his father's candy store, Bobby provides a child's-eye view of the mid-20th-century American experience—a poignant intertwining of the personal and historical.

 

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