Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Boston Boy: Growing up with Jazz and Other Rebellious Passions” as Want to Read:
Boston Boy: Growing up with Jazz and Other Rebellious Passions
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Boston Boy: Growing up with Jazz and Other Rebellious Passions

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Boston Boy is Nat Hentoff's memoir of growing up in the Roxbury section of Boston in the 1930s and 1940s. He grapples with Judaism and anti-Semitism. He develops a passion for outspoken journalism and First Amendment freedom of speech. And he discovers his love of jazz music as he follows, and is befriended by, the great jazz musicians of the day, including Duke Ellington ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published December 1st 2001 by Paul Dry Books (first published 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Boston Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Boston Boy

Little Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Cider House Rules by John IrvingThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel HawthorneA Prayer for Owen Meany by John IrvingThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
New England Books
586 books — 276 voters
Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael AzerradClothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv AlbertineWhite Bicycles by Joe  BoydMiles by Miles DavisPsychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung by Lester Bangs
Music Books
109 books — 13 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Secor
Jul 05, 2011 Paul Secor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I reread this recently to commemorate Nat Hentoff's recent passing, and enjoyed it more than I did when I first read it.
The essence of this book is its stories. Like the great jazz musicians whose music he loved, Nat Hentoff could tell a captivating story. They told their stories through music and he told his with words.
John Owen
Apr 27, 2017 John Owen rated it it was amazing
Nat Hentoff's autobiography of his early years is an fascinating story. I grew up in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston and Hentoff gives a perspective that is different from mine in some ways and typically Boston in others. He writes about how segregated Boston was and he is right but I never thought about it back then. It is interesting to get another view of Boston. I am not very interested in jazz but Hentoff makes me think I'm missing something.
Jean
Jun 09, 2009 Jean rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good memoir by an author I had only previously associated with jazz criticism. Assured, confident, and not at all self-important, he describes growing up in Roxbury, MA, the section of Boston then known as a sort of Jewish ghetto for newly arrived eastern European Jews. He calls himself a heretic, for his estrangement from Judaism and swimming against the stream in many other things; but can celebrate his feelings upon his son’s bar mitzvah; and he can also identify strongly with th ...more
Scott Schneider
Jan 16, 2012 Scott Schneider rated it really liked it
This was a fun memoir about growing up Jewish in Roxbury/Boston in the 30s and 40s. It had a lot of great anecdotes and funny stories. My cousin Mel grew up kicking around jazz clubs with Nat back then so I've always wanted to read this. It was enjoyable.
Patrick Butler
Feb 16, 2012 Patrick Butler rated it it was amazing
I love Nat...His writing is great,his stories both funny and heartbreaking,and his political conscience is right on the money...
John
Aug 03, 2012 John rated it liked it
Nat Hentoff writes (or did) in the Village Voice...neat biography!
Reid
To self: first half totally enjoyable, 2nd half less so.
Scputval
Aug 09, 2013 Scputval rated it really liked it
excellent and entertaining - very well written
Rona
Mar 14, 2017 Rona rated it really liked it
Nat just died. It brought me back to his memoir of his early years in Jewish, working-class Boston. He wrote beautifully about many things not so beautiful.
Ted
Feb 04, 2017 Ted rated it it was ok

It had been a long while since I had read any of Hentoff’s articles. I remembered him as a clear writer and thinker—a man of the left, certainly, but one who was generally thoughtful and articulate. Perhaps he could trace the cogency of his writing to his early education at Boston Latin School. One might find a delicious irony in a traditional pedagogy providing the tools for a fierce critic of the status quo.

If so, one gets little sense of anything that Hentoff took away from Boston Latin in t
...more
Mark Goddard
Jan 22, 2017 Mark Goddard rated it it was amazing
Nat Hentoff writes about growing up in Boston in the 40's & 50's. Antisemitism and Racism rages in the clubs and back alleys of the Back Bay. Entertaining stories about Mayor Curley, Lady Day and Lester Young. Fascinating book, Highly recommended
Melissa
Melissa rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2016
John  Ervin
John Ervin rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2009
Bruce
Bruce rated it really liked it
Oct 12, 2007
Cedric
Cedric rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2014
Nonfiction.berg
Nonfiction.berg rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2011
Dan Kan
Dan Kan rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2008
Scputval
Scputval rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2013
DJ Yossarian
DJ Yossarian rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2013
P.A.
P.A. rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2014
Paul
Paul rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2008
Ellen
Ellen rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2013
Aly
Aly rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2009
Robert
Robert rated it really liked it
May 11, 2011
Mike Lynch
Mike Lynch rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2010
Frank
Frank rated it it was ok
Jun 20, 2016
Sarah Merrow
Sarah Merrow rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2015
Matt ONeil
Matt ONeil rated it really liked it
Sep 15, 2011
Linda Scussel
Linda Scussel rated it it was ok
Jan 21, 2017
susan ralston
susan ralston rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2015
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
61442
Nathan Irving "Nat" Hentoff was a historian, novelist, music critic, and syndicated columnist. As a civil libertarian and free-speech activist, he has been described by the Cato Institute—where he has been a senior fellow since 2009—as "one of the foremost authorities on the First Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution. He was a staff writer for The New Yorker for over 25 years, and was formerly a co ...more
More about Nat Hentoff...

Share This Book