Brooklyn Boomer: Growing Up in the Fifties

Article excerpt

Martin H. Levinson. Brooklyn Boomer: Growing Up in the Fifties. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2011.

This compelling time-binding memoir and social history of Brooklyn and America in the mid-twentieth century is both entertaining and instructive. The author, who grew up in the "borough of immigrants and underdogs," clearly knows how to tell a tale. I was fascinated by his Mark Twain-like adventures through the Prospect Park woodlands; his trips to the Brooklyn Riviera, which was Coney Island in the 1950s; his descriptions of the ecstatic reactions of Brooklynites to their home team winning the World Series in 1955; and his escapades in and out of the hallowed halls of Erasmus Hall High School, the alma mater of Barbra Streisand, chess-wiz Bobby Fischer, and Neil Diamond.

Brooklyn Boomer also provides a rich overview of what was going on in the United States during the 1950s including chapters on TV programs that took place during the "golden age of television;" the birth of rock and roll, Playboy, female contraception, and the suburbs; America's obsession with cars; and a fascinating account of beatniks, science, and technology - the latter elucidated in a timeline going from the h-bomb to pantyhose. …

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