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Download Just Kids from the Bronx: Telling It the Way It Was: An Oral History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Just Kids from the Bronx: Telling It the Way It Was: An Oral History, by Sophie Littlefield Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sophie Littlefield, Arlene Alda Narrator: Kym Dakin, Alan Alda, Alan Alda, Regis Philbin, Christina Delaine Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A touching and provocative collection of memories that evoke the history of one of America’s most influential boroughs—the Bronx—through some of its many success stories

The vivid oral histories in Arlene Alda’s Just Kids from the Bronx reveal what it was like to grow up in the place that bred the influencers in just about every field of endeavor today. The Bronx is where Michael Kay, the New York Yankees’ play-by-play broadcaster, first experienced baseball, where J. Crew’s Millard (Mickey) Drexler got his street smarts and his first jobs, where Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dava Sobel were urged to pursue science, and where music-making inspired hip hop’s Grandmaster Melle Mel to change the world of music forever.

The parks, the pick-up games, the tough and tender mothers, the politics, the gangs, and the food—for people who grew up in the Bronx, childhood recollections are fresh. Arlene Alda’s own Bronx memories were a jumping-off point from which to reminisce with a nun, a police officer, an urban planner, and with Carl Reiner, Colin Powell, Maira Kalman, and many other leading artists, athletes, scientists, and entrepreneurs—experiences spanning six decades. Alda then arranged these pieces of the past, the mornings on the Grand Concourse and afternoons in the halls of Bronx Science, into one great collective story, a film-like portrait of the Bronx—and of America—from the early twentieth century until today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Among the wonders of Arlene Alda's wondrous book is the stunning quality of the storytelling. Just Kids from the Bronx is a Bronx tale, to be sure--a collective picture of a place characterized by citizen yearnings to be elsewhere and the glorious discoveries and self-discoveries that come with staying put. But the parts that go into this whole are equally rich as pieces of literature. Nearly every one of these offerings, including the author's own, is a little work of art, each contributor foraging for the meaning and the music of a life.The result is America in a borough--at once hopeful, dangerous, regenerative, tough, joyous, and in the end, beautiful. Roger Rosenblatt, New York Times bestselling author of Making Toast and of The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood

  • “I was mesmerized reading about the childhoods of celebrities and leaders in fields from art to science, revealing the roots that launched their journeys from humble beginnings in the Bronx to extraordinary success. An eye-opener into what drives the creation of remarkable lives. I will long remember this wonderful book. Walter Mischel, author of The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

  • “A down-to-earth, inspiring book about the American promise fulfilled.”

    President Bill Clinton

  • “Fascinating…Made me wish I had been born in the Bronx.”

    Barbara Walters, multi-award–winning broadcast journalist

  • “A complex, compelling oral history.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “More than sixty evocative oral histories…ponder the question she [Arlene Alda] poses: ‘How did they find a place for themselves?’”

    New York Times

  • “A loving portrait of a borough…Every story is a gem.”

    Huffington Post

  • “A terrific oral history…Of interest even to those who were not lucky enough to grow up Bronx.”

    Star-Ledger (Newark)

  • “An amazing cross section of personal stories that takes the reader through the Bronx in the eyes—and the words—of some of the borough’s most famous sons and daughters.”

    New York Daily News

  • “A fabulous collection…There are few readers who won’t be touched by this affectionate look backward, which is as much about the universal state of childhood as the specific borough of the Bronx.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Whether it was the women’s changing room at Loehmann’s department store, riding a bike to Pelham Bay Park, or running to an apartment block to fetch someone for a telephone call at the corner store, living in the Bronx made an impression on all of them as they worked their way up the American dream ladder…Entertaining and informative cherished memories from a diverse group from the Bronx.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Four talented narrators deliver the sixty-five biographical sketches—three to four minutes each—that describe growing up in the Bronx… Alan Alda, Christina Delaine, Regis Philbin, and Robert Klein deliver the sketches without much fanfare. Alan Alda reads most of the biographies in the soft voice we’re familiar with. Delaine takes on most of the female sketches, while Philbin and Klein switch off on the rest in slower, carefully enunciated tones. If you, your parents, or your relatives grew up in the Bronx, you’ll love these reminiscences.”


  • Among shortlisted titles for Audie Award Finalist, 2016
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