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Posted February 20, 2010
This autobiography by Louis Armstrong covers his young years, growing up in New Orleans, until the age of about 20 when he left for Chicago. Armstrong was an educated and literate man, who toured with a typewriter and wrote letters, notes, etc., all his adult life. This autobiography is his writing; it is not ghost written. What comes across is a sweet and generous personality. Although he makes critical remarks about certain characters, his comments about family and fellow musicians are unfailingly kindly, positive, and generous. His upbringing was in neighborhoods that were rough, to say the least, surrounded as he was by bars, brothels, prostitutes, pimps, thugs, gamblers, etc. Probably his mother and certainly his first wife had worked as prostitutes. His talent and his optimistic personality saw him through all of this chaos. He recognizes racism but is not embittered by it. Armstrong was a rather remarkable man. (BTW, references to age are a little "off" since Armstrong always believed he was born on July 4, 1900, whereas modern research pegs his birth at a year or more later.) This was a quite enjoyable read, and an insight into a joyous personality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 22, 2009
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