Book Review-Five Freshmen-A Story of the Sixties-Steven S. Kussin | Miki's Hope

Book Review-Five Freshmen-A Story of the Sixties-Steven S. Kussin

Tuesday, August 1, 2017



Although I was two years younger then the students in this book--and I did not attend Cornell this book brought back some very old memories--some good some not so good. I was 18 in 1968 and was just starting college-but in a little college in Wisconsin way up near the Canadian border. Culture shock for this New Yorker. I did grow up in a small town and truthfully we were still pretty sheltered there. At this college the girls dorm was at one end of the campus--the boys at the other. We (the girls had a 10 o'clock curfew during the week-midnight on the weekends--and a housemother to enforce the rules!! As one of my cousins said the other day --Wow--2 years made a lot of difference--in her college there were co-ed dorms but then girls on one floor, boys on another floor. Well this novel will take you through those 2 tumultuous years which essentially changed life as most of us back then knew it. Many like me and the main character were never quite sure where we stood. Too much too fast was going on--the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement and Women's Liberation.


About the Book: (from Amazon)

In the fall of 1999, I bring my son to enter the new freshman class at Cornell University— just the way my parents had delivered me to that strikingly beautiful campus some 34 years earlier. It is the beginning of September, a quintessential early autumn day, also the first day of orientation. As the band and glee club deliver a stirring rendition of Cornell’s famous alma mater, “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters,” I start to drift back to the time when I was an entering freshman more than three decades earlier— on the eve of a campus revolution.

Five Freshmen: a Story of the Sixties— chronicles the lives of five of us from totally different backgrounds who set out together in what turns out to be the most turbulent period in American college history. As entering freshmen, our biggest worry is following the proctor’s edict to have “three feet on the floor” at all times when entertaining co-eds.

How times had changed! By senior year, our very lives are on the line and we couldn’t care less about those rules. From fraternity house hi-jinx to draft card burnings and building takeovers, the juxtaposition of a fun-filled campus existence, coupled with life and death issues, is startling.

What happens to each of the five of us over the next four years is a riveting tale of comedy, drama, friendships, romances, relationships, reminiscing— and reflects the sights, sounds, history, and music of this incredible decade.

Through an odd twist of events, the members of our “fearsome fivesome” gain front row seats to a revolution in the making— and then each in his own way becomes entangled in it. We enter one Cornell in 1965 and leave a very different university in 1969.
What happens to us individually and collectively over those four years is a fascinating story and reflects an amazing period in American history when the War in Vietnam, Civil Rights, and Women’s Lib cause the country to take a 180-degree turn in direction.

All of this-- is set against the background of the sizzling sixties and the backdrop of the majestic Cornell campus.

Read a Chapter or Two Here

Purchase the Book Here


About the Author: (from CBS Personality NY)


After graduating from Cornell, I went right to work as a desk assistant at CBS Radio Network News. Times were turbulent: Vietnam, Civil Rights, Women’s Lib– and it was an exciting time to be in the news business. I decided to get my master’s degree in Speech and Broadcasting and eventually a PhD in what’s now called Educational Leadership– teaching high school English by day and going to class at night. I loved the classroom and decided to remain in education, ultimately becoming a principal, a position I held for 21 years. My career was extremely rewarding, but I always wondered what would have happened if I had remained at CBS.

Fate works in strange ways. At a media conference, I “bumped” into Tim Scheld, News and Programming Director at WCBS. One word changed my life: education. Tim asked me if I could sustain a daily report on that subject. The rest is history! My life had come full circle, and I was thrilled to be back at CBS. On February 7, 2011 I went on the air for the first time. I’ve always been a news junkie and listened to the station night and day; now I had the opportunity to be part of the station’s terrific team. The icing on the cake is that the anchors, other reporters, and newsroom staff have been most welcoming. The camaraderie which listeners may sense is very real.

I’m the luckiest guy in the world. My reports air three times a day, five times a week. In addition, I’m on call to respond to education stories as they happen. I get to talk to millions of people each day about a subject for which I have such a passion.

In addition to being the education reporter 880, I write a weekly newspaper about education for the Herald chain of community newspapers, teach at Hofstra University in the Department of Radio-Television-Film, and serve as a workshop presenter in the School of Education. I continue to work as a consultant to school systems. My textbook on school scheduling was published several years ago. I just completed a novel and am currently working on turning it into a screenplay. Any agents out there?!

I’ve also had training in suicide prevention for educators and volunteer as a workshop presenter for community groups on this subject. In addition, I speak to high school students about cancer prevention through early detection on behalf of Hadassah.

My wife Sharyn, a foreign language teacher, and I are the parents of three sons (Todd, Eric, and Lonnie), all Cornell graduates, one daughter-in-law (Alyssa), one soon-to-be daughter-in-law (Laura), and grandparents of two granddaughters (Rebecca and Kaylee). We live on Long Island’s south shore with our yellow lab, Kirby and two rescue cats, Ollie and Pixie.


Goodreads








I received a paperback edition of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.

3 comments :

Gladys Parker said...

This book sounds so exciting to me! I love to read pre now stuff, especially about historical events and times. So much changes yet so much remains the same. I am putting this one high on my list. Thanks for sharing about it.

Jamie Tomkins said...

Sounds like an interesting book that many would really feel at home with.

Anne said...

I had read it and I only want to say it is worth to read!

 
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