Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.12 × 8.27 × 0.39 in
Published: June 2, 1998
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0684847957
ISBN - 13: 9780684847955
Read from the Book
From Chapter One When I was six, my father gave me a bright red scorebook that opened my heart to the game of baseball. After dinner on long summer nights, he would sit beside me in our small enclosed porch to hear my account of that day''s Brooklyn Dodger game. Night after night he taught me the odd collection of symbols, numbers, and letters that enable a baseball lover to record every action of the game. Our score sheets had blank boxes in which we could draw our own slanted lines in the form of a diamond as we followed players around the bases. Wherever the baserunner''s progress stopped, the line stopped. He instructed me to fill in the unused boxes at the end of each inning with an elaborate checkerboard design which made it absolutely clear who had been the last to bat and who would lead off the next inning. By the time I had mastered the art of scorekeeping, a lasting bond had been forged among my father, baseball, and me. All through the summer of 1949, my first summer as a fan, I spent my afternoons sitting cross-legged before the squat Philco radio which stood as a permanent fixture on our porch in Rockville Centre, on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. With my scorebook spread before me, I attended Dodger games through the courtly voice of Dodger announcer Red Barber. As he announced the lineup, I carefully printed each player''s name in a column on the left side of my sheet. Then, using the standard system my father had taught me, which assigned a number t
From the Publisher
By the award-winning author of Team of Rivals and The
Bully Pulpit, Wait Till Next Year is Doris Kearns
Goodwin's touching memoir of growing up in love with her family and
Set in the suburbs of New York in the 1950s, Wait Till Next
Year re-creates the postwar era, when the corner store was a
place to share stories and neighborhoods were equally divided
between Dodger, Giant, and Yankee fans.
We meet the people who most influenced Goodwin's early life: her
mother, who taught her the joy of books but whose debilitating
illness left her housebound: and her father, who taught her the joy
of baseball and to root for the Dodgers of Jackie Robinson, Roy
Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, and Gil Hodges. Most
important, Goodwin describes with eloquence how the Dodgers'
leaving Brooklyn in 1957, and the death of her mother soon after,
marked both the end of an era and, for her, the end of childhood.
About the Author
Doris Kearns Goodwin won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No
which was a New York Times
She is also the author of bestsellers The Fitzgeralds and the
and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.
She is a political analyst for The NewsHour with
Jim Lehrer and lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with
her husband, Richard Goodwin, and their three sons.
From Our Editors
The bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "No Ordinary Time" presents the touching memoir of herself as a young girl, growing up in love with her father and baseball. "A fine writer's conscious mastery of her difficult craft".--"The Boston Globe". Photos
"As the tenured radicals attempt to rewrite our nation's history,
the warm, witty, eloquent personal testimony of someone of Doris
Kearns Goodwin's stature is well worth reading." -Maggie
Gallagher, The Baltimore Sun
Reading Group Discussion Points
- Like millions of Americans, Doris was caught up in the glory
days of baseball in the 1950s, exhilarated by the Dodgers''
victories, and pained by each and every loss. Individual players
became her heroes, as well-loved and respected as family and
friends. How important is it for people -- particularly children --
to have such heroes to look up to? How can we feel such a strong
kinship to people we have never met? Are sports figures the best
role models? What lessons can athletes teach us about life?
- Doris''s parents each pass on their own special gifts to their
daughter. Through baseball, Mr. Kearns teaches Doris the importance
of telling a story slowly, building the drama to a powerful
crescendo. Through reading, Mrs. Kearns demonstrates the beauty of
a well-chosen word, and how a good book can take you away to places
you might otherwise never go. Discuss how these gifts complement
one another and how they came together to make Doris the historian
and wordsmith she is today.
- In the 1950s, most fathers did not take their little girls to
baseball games. How did you respond to the female point of view in
this book? Did you see Doris as the son her father never had? Or
was she an extension of his sister, Marguerite? What does Mr.
Kearns'' relationship with Doris provide that he missed during his
- Although her childhood was marked by the untimely death of her
mother, Doris paints a near-perfect picture of life in the suburbs.
How does time affect our memories? Is it natural to "revise" our
own personal history? Are we destined to recall the best times of
our lives as rosier than they actually were?
- Idolizing her team as only a child can, Doris was fortunate
enough to have her childhood coincide with baseball''s most
glorious heyday. Discuss the sport''s changing role in the American
landscape through the second half of the 20th Century. Does
regional team loyalty still mean the same thing in today''s "global
village," or has the technology that has made our country seem
smaller altered the notion of the "home team?" What does baseball
offer that other sports cannot? Is it still our true national
- One of the most pleasant aspects of reading a well-written
memoir is that it often helps you recall dim memories of your own.
Did Wait Till Next Year spark any forgotten memories from
your childhood? Did it remind you of special moments you shared
with your parents, of family traditions that you enjoyed? Did this
book inspire you to write down any of your own history to share
with family members in years to come?
- Doris says that her "early years were happily governed by the
dual calendars of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Catholic Church." In
fact, Doris''s careful calculations of baseball scores and batting
averages charmingly mirror the manner in which she tallies up her
nightly prayers. Discuss the mingled roles of baseball and religion
in Doris''s childhood. Was baseball a kind of secular worship for
her? How are these different institutions similar to one another?
What does each offer that the other does not?
- Prior to television, Doris listens to baseball games on the
radio, relying on her imagination for visual images to accompany
the announcer''s play-by-play. This changed when the Kearnses
bought their first television set and Doris was able to watch the
games in the comfort of her own home. How did the addition of
television change the face of baseball for Doris and other fans?
How did it add to her enjoyment of the game? What did it take
- When Doris''s sister, Jeanne, is selected co-captain of the
"Blue Team" in a girls'' athletic competition, Doris is able to
witness first-hand the unification that results from competition.
Jeanne serves as a role model for Doris, teaching her that
sportsmanship and competition are not limited to the world of men.
But these types of events for women were rare in the 1950s. What
does this say about the culture of that time? Discuss the
importance of women''s sports and how our society''s views on
women''s athletics have changed. Have they changed enough? What do
women miss when they are discouraged from participating in
- The landscape of Doris''s childhood remains intact through the
first decade of her life, leaving her with a misguided notion that
her world will never change. But by the time Doris reaches
adolescence, everything that had seemed so permanent slowly begins
to slip away. Longtime neighbors move, the Dodgers and the Giants
leave New York, and, most important, Doris''s mother passes away.
How does Doris react to these changes? Has the strong foundation
her loving parents provided during her early years prepared her for
these sudden changes?
- An important rite of passage for all children is the moment
that they first see their parents as real people, not the
all-knowing figures they appear to be when we are very young.
Childhood is never the same after you see a parent in a moment of
weakness. How does Mrs. Kearns'' illness force Doris to grow up
more quickly? How does it affect her childhood, her relationships
with her parents? Can you recall the events that made you realize
that your parents were, just like you, infallible and human?
- In many ways, the Kearnses are a traditional, nuclear family of
the 1950s, with the father playing the role of a breadwinner and
the mother keeping house. Yet, in many ways the Kearnses are quite
progressive, teaching their daughters to reach as high as they can
to fulfill their dreams. How is Doris different from the other
girls on her block? Does her independence and faith in her
abilities have its roots in her love of baseball?
- Doris pays tribute to many of her female teachers in junior
high and high school. Many of these women rose to the top of their
field during World War II -- and then refused to "go back home"
when the war was over. Did you have any teachers who stand out in
your mind as particularly inspiring? Share your own recollections
of an important educator who encouraged you to be your best.
- Doris stands out as a child not only for her ability to realize
when she is observing history-in-the-making, but for her ability to
see herself as part of it. Is this the result of her early love of
reading, where she actually inserted herself into the action of the
stories she read? How does baseball play a role?
- One of the most memorable scenes in Wait Till Next
Year is when Doris and her young friends imitate the McCarthy
hearings which have captivated the nation. What begins as fun and
games ironically have the same result as the real hearings, driving
neighborhood kids apart and provoking mean-spirited attacks.
Discuss other important life lessons Doris learns through current
events, such as the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement, the trial and
execution of the Rosenbergs, the escalation of tensions between the
U.S. and the Soviet Union. How does her interest in these events
prepare her for her role as an historian?