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From the author of the best-selling <i>The Catcher Was a Spy, </i>his most original work yet: a memoir of two cities (New Haven and New York), a family (troubled), a time (the 1970s), a boy who never quite fits in anywhere--and how baseball helps him find his place in America.<br><br><i>The Crowd Sounds Happy</i> is the story of a spirited boy's coming-of-age in a doomed hometown, with a missing father, a single mother, and the professional ballplayers who gradually become the men in his life as he listens to them every night on the bedside radio. This is a childhood shaped by remarkable characters, foremost Nicholas Dawidoff's mother, a stoical, overwhelmed, enterprising woman committed to securing a more promising future for her children. It also tells, with the same arresting candor of Dawidoff's celebrated <i>New Yorker</i> magazine memoir of his father, what it's like to grow up with a disturbed, dangerous parent. Here are the events and places that come to define a young boy's outlook: a local playground, a kidnapping and a murder, rock 'n' roll, the steamy awkwardness of adolescence and first love, and the private world of baseball--the inner game as it has never been described before.<br><br><i>The Crowd Sounds Happy</i> is a beautifully written, moving piece of personal history that transforms ordinary moments into literature.