Russell Baker's memoir brings him a second Pulitzer Prize

Growing Up, by Russell Baker. New York: Congdon & Weed. 278 pp. $15. Readers of Russell Baker's ''Sunday Observer'' columns in the New York Times (which have won him a Pulitzer Prize) won't want to miss his wonderfully detailed and amusing account (which has just won him his second Pulitzer) of ''how it was to be young in the time before jet planes, superhighways, H-bombs, and the global village of television.''

The story begins as the middle-aged author watches his mother, now seriously ill, reliving her girlhood and young married life.

Then he ''goes back,'' both remembering and imagining, as he describes his parents' courtship and marriage in rural Virginia, his mother's struggles as a young widow raising her family during the depression, their agreeably absurd experiences among a gallery of squabbling relatives.

Through it all there's his mother's constant insistence that he ''make something of himself.''

This is a gem of a book.

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