Get a free audiobook

Growing Up

Written by: Russell Baker
Narrated by: Corey M. Snow
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

In this heartfelt memoir by the Masterpiece Theatre host, Pulitzer Prize winner, and groundbreaking New York Times columnist, Russell Baker traces his youth in the mountains of rural Virginia. When Baker was only five, his father died. His mother, strong-willed and matriarchal, never looked back. After all, she had three children to raise.

These were Depression years, and Mrs. Baker moved her fledgling family to Baltimore. Baker's mother was determined her children would succeed, and we know her regimen worked for Russell. He did everything from delivering papers to hustling subscriptions for the Saturday Evening Post. As is often the case, early hardships made the man.

©1982 Russell Baker (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Parsells
  • 2019-01-17

Authentic and Heart Warming

Russell Baker’s Growing Up provides a charming and thoughtful story of his life up until marriage. It gives a powerful view of what it was like growing up during the depression and World War II. I was surprised at the end that I found myself in tears at the beauty and simplicity of this epic work, it is so human. It deserved the Pulitzer Prize.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robin Metz
  • 2019-05-23

One of my favorites!

I’ve read this book two or three times since the publication. Each time I found something new to relate to even though I’m female and was born at the end of 1959, quite different from Russell Baker.
Today I finished listening to the recorded version and again I found his take on life engaging and relatable. Do yourself a favor and spend some time with Growing Up.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jill_D
  • 2019-10-20

charming book!

This was a sweet glimpse into a writer's formative years, and into our country's rich history. Every family has its own version of this story, and this was expertly told.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2019-09-08

Nostalgia Done Well

Like the man , this book is pleasantly thoughtful, lightly humorous, modest and yet penetrating in the candor of its self-reflections. Its greatest strength however is the way Baker evokes the common practices and beliefs of average, middle-brow, and sorely threatened Americans who had to guide themselves into various safe harbors as the Great Depression built its network of misery throughout the country. One extended, wrenching part of the book is Baker's use of courtship letters written by an amiable salesman to Baker's widowed mother. Even though the mother's part of the correspondence is missing, the story of these two, ultimately disappointed strivers cuts to the heart of the hardships endured by millions.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rj
  • 2019-02-07

Delightfully honest, tender & funny!

The American dream of a poor white country boy to "make something of yourself. "

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LDO Trained
  • 2018-07-09

Wonderful biography of a great newspaperman

A great story that portrays life for so many of my parents generation. A reminder of wonderful can be even with its trials and tribulations. Not surprising it won a Pulitzer prize!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Redbird57
  • 2018-06-15

It's good, very good, but...

I love to hear the stories of "everyday people." There are usually so many nuggets of truth and wisdom to be gleaned.

However, I found this story, not to be an "uninteresting" story, but extremely ordinary, without much suspense or humor. I may have laughed once the entire book.

Primarily, I read the book because the author's memoir fell almost exactly into the time period in which my father was a child. I wanted to better understand the world of my father's youth and perhaps this book helped a little. But, I had already learned from my father that times were hard in the 1930's. This memoir did little to tell me anything that I did not already know.

It was a different, and tougher world. The "poverty-stricken" of today would have been considered most blessed during the Great Depression. But, I knew that, too.

I am grateful to Mr. Baker to leave us this account of that most harsh era of modern American history. It is insightful. However, I must honestly say that, unlike Angela's Ashes, I find nothing particularly compelling about the story... It simply is what it is...a story of an ordinary, depression era family. Although fiction, it would not even approach the same class as Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. It's hard to see how this engaging little memoir won a Pulitzer.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-12-09

bad book

had to read it for English class and I hated everything about the story. also the story jump though time this no explanation.