Acclaim for Trying to Be Cool

"Trying to be Cool is very much of and about its time. It’s a smart, lucid, insightful tour of a world that is both long gone and inescapably still with us, an immersion in the early days of our media-saturated, electrified, youth-obsessed culture, a fresh, raw retelling of its creation myth from someone who was there, on the dance floor, losing himself in the beat."

Peter Birkenhead
Los Angeles Review of Books

"A lovely and passionate evocation of a time and place and the evanescent self we all inhabit."

T.C. Boyle

"Leo Braudy is not just trying to be cool, he actually is cool. Touching and hilarious."

Robert Ward

"Trying To Be Cool is a memoir with all the yearning and poignant ache of a 1950s rock song. The energy and elation of innocence and youth reverberate throughout this coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of cold war Philadelphia. I especially loved Braudy’s treatment of the musical scene, the dance crazes, and movies that captured the wild exuberance of the times. What really makes this memoir such a cool book is the fearless honesty and the wide-ranging cultural intelligence running beneath every word."

Judith Freeman

"I love this book. The irony of Trying To Be Cool is that the book is so damn cool. It’s Rock Around the Clock for smart people. Leo Braudy captures an American moment. This book distills and extrapolates at once. Braudy can play lead and rhythm at the same time."

Percival Everett

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