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A collection of essays about 1930-1940 Brooklyn
Laurence J. Bucaria
Genre: Contemporary

Registry #: shs002


An autobiographical account of a young boy growing up in Brooklyn during the thirties and his sudden awareness of the changing world around him. With the specter of World War II looming as the 1939 World's Fair was in preparation, the contrast of a world anticipating a bright future and one fearing the scourge of war becomes puzzling to a young boy. Episodes range from watching radio shows being broadcast live to glorious days at Ebetts Field, home of the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers where the first black Major League player made history.

Brooklyn Chronicles is also an attempt to dispel the notion that Brooklyn was strictly the territory of the Amboy Dukes and Pete Hammil. To the contrary, it was then known as the city of churches and drugs were purchased not on the street but in a drug store along with ice cream sodas and magazines. First generation Americans were emerging from their balkanized neighborhoods and striving to become good Americans while their children developed friendships with other nationalities and even religions. The Roman Catholic church, still a step away from ecumenism, kept stern watch over its flock lest it be consumed by Protestants and theAmeriker-Deutscher Volksbund praised the forthcoming Nazi regime. The Communist party outspoken yet subversive controlled the garment industry and touted the Soviet revolution through its newspaper, the Daily Worker. It was a time of change, of reform, of new ideas, of hope and ultimately of despair.

Many of the stories involve the young boy's Italian, immigrant father and his devotion to his family. Employed as a bank teller in New York's' predominantly Jewish lover East side, he spoke fluent Yiddish and exposed his two sons to the strange habit of shopping on Sunday, a day then normally reserved for recreating by the rest of the city. Accounts about the rapid changes in world events are sprinkled throughout like Pearl Harbor day and the boy's brother John as he enlisted in the U.S. Marines. Brooklyn Chronicles is a humorous and sometimes bittersweet recollection of a loving family trying to adjust to an insecure world and their effect on the world we live in today.


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