Review of Russell Baker's Growing Up Essay

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Review of Russell Baker's Growing Up
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Autobiographical works tell a story of their authors by compiling antic dotes and accolades. Most autobiographies are that of famous authors or other celebrities and provide a synopsis of life according to them. Russell Baker's autobiography, Growing Up, achieves all these things as well, but, it does more than just tell of his life. As American citizens, history is a big part of our identity not only as Americans, but as individuals. Russell Baker lived through a depression, a world war, Utopia, a sexual revolution, and a lost cause conflict, among other things. If one were to study either the Great Depression or the Second World War,
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He tells of a time when his stern and proud mother gave in to relief. This was what the program of government hand outs of food was known as. Relief was seen as a shameful thing to rely on and tells of this relief candidly as well as matter-of-factly,

"Pulling the wagon back toward Lombard Street, with Doris following behind to keep the edible proof of our disgrace from falling off, I knew my mother was far worse of than I'd suspected. She'd never accept such shame otherwise. I studied her as she walked along beside me, head high as always, not a bit bowed in disgrace, moving at her usual quick, hurry-up pace. If she'd given up on life, she didn't show it, but on the other hand she was unhappy about something. I dared to mention the dreaded words only once on that trip home." (Baker, 1982, 158).

Later in the same chapter, Baker discusses the suit that was financed for his entrance into manhood due to the miniscule budget his family existed under, as well as a bike that was bought for him that Christmas and what a sacrifice it was for his mother to afford it. Describing his family's trials during this time serves as a microcosm to most families in that time frame.

Baker's newspaper delivery/sales job served as an excellent example of what a war-time economy did to our nation. Deliberate or not, this

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