BN.com Gift Guide

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack: A Boyhood Year During World War II

Overview

The year is 1942, and while America is reeling from the first blows of WWII, Osgood is just a nine-year-old boy living in Baltimore. As the war rages somewhere far beyond the boundaries of his hometown, he spends his days delivering newspapers, riding the trolley to the local amusement park, going to Orioles' baseball games, and goofing around with his younger sister.

With a sharp eye for details, Osgood captures the texture of life in a very different era, a time before the ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (53) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $4.00   
  • Used (42) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

The year is 1942, and while America is reeling from the first blows of WWII, Osgood is just a nine-year-old boy living in Baltimore. As the war rages somewhere far beyond the boundaries of his hometown, he spends his days delivering newspapers, riding the trolley to the local amusement park, going to Orioles' baseball games, and goofing around with his younger sister.

With a sharp eye for details, Osgood captures the texture of life in a very different era, a time before the polio vaccine and the atomic bomb. In his neighborhood of Liberty Heights, gaslights still glowed on every corner, milkmen delivered bottles of milk, and a loaf of bread cost nine cents.

Osgood reminisces about his first fist-fight with a kid from the neighborhood, his childhood crush on a girl named Sue, and his relationship with his father, a traveling salesman. He also talks about his early love for radio and how he used to huddle under the covers after his parents had turned off the lights, listening to Superman, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, and, of course, to baseball games.

Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack is a gloriously funny and nostalgic slice of American life and a moving look at World War II from the perspective of a child far away from the fighting, but very conscious of the reverberations.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Osgood's memoir of growing up in Baltimore's Liberty Heights neighborhood circa 1942 echoes with the same measured cadence and disarmingly simple structure that the anchor uses in his CBS radio and TV broadcasts. The Emmy Award-winning broadcaster pulls readers into a seductive world, as he relates his obsession with baseball, his love of radio programs (which had a "profound influence" on him) and his experiences with other slices of Americana. Yet the war news affected Osgood, too, if in a minor way: he built a stink bomb with a friend ("weapons of mass disgust to waft at the enemy"), pinned a tiny Japanese flag over Manila on the map mounted on his bedroom wall and wondered "just how much of Africa needed liberating." His reminiscences are a basic nostalgic archetype, where plucky kids, strong families and sunny optimism are the order of the day, compared with Osgood's version of today's world, where ill-educated and pessimistic masses throng America's streets. The author talks about how, as a child aged eight to 12, he simply wanted to make people happy, imagining that if he were a child today, he'd be sent to a psychiatrist for such behavior. The golden-hued streets of Osgood's Liberty Heights are a bona fide paradise, drenched with more nostalgia than even Barry Levinson could offer, without a shred of acknowledgment of memory's distortion of events over time. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Bill Adler. (May) Forecast: Father's Day promos, an author tour and inevitable plugs on the radio will boost sales to baby boomers and their parents. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
"One of the greatest talents in broadcasting today...His pieces on CBS radio and television are delightfully sage, compassionate, and witty." (Jim Lehrer)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401300234
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/12/2004
  • Pages: 170
  • Sales rank: 1,094,936
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Osgood , who has been dubbed CBS News' "poet-in-residence," writes and anchors "The Osgood Files" four times daily on the CBS Radio Network and anchors "CBS Sunday Morning" every week. He is the winner of three Emmys and three Peabody Awards; Washington Journalism Review named him the "Best in the Business" five years running; and in 1990 he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jean. They have five children.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

"As a nine year-old patriot on the home front, I helped to collect scrap rubber, scrap metal, tinfoil, old newspapers, and even cans of fat for the war effort. Some of the tinfoil came from my father's packs of cigarettes, some of it came from my packs of gum, and some of the rubber came from rubber bands that I took home from school. Stealing them wasn't a sin because I kept hearing that God was on our side. Praise the Lord and pass the school supplies.

That year, 1942, was the best of times for a Baltimore boy who always seemed to be feeling good and the worst of times for a nation reeling from the first blows of World War Two."

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prelude: Norman Rockwell's Boy 1
1 Home Front, Sweet Home Front 13
2 I'll Be Seeing You 21
3 The Endless Play Date 39
4 Not Quite Huck Finn 57
5 There's No Place Like a Station House 69
6 Doo-Dah 85
7 Reading, Writing, and Is Maine in Spain? 105
8 Above the Orioles, My Bluebird 117
9 Yankee Doodle Dandy 131
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)