The companion volume to Ken Burns’s magnificent PBS television series—updated and expanded to coincide with the broadcast of a new, two-part Tenth Inning, directed with Lynn Novick.
The authors of the acclaimed and best-selling The Civil War, Jazz, and The War turn to another uniquely American phenomenon: baseball. In words and pictures they provide a stunningly rich evocation of our beloved national pastime, a game woven inextricably into the fabric of our lives and our national memory.
Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns’s moving and fascinating history of the game goes beyond stolen bases, double plays, and home runs to demonstrate how baseball has been influenced by, and has in turn influenced, American life: politics, race, labor, big business, advertising, social custom, literature, art, and morality. The book covers every milestone of the game: from the rules drawn up in 1845 by Alexander Cartwright to the American League’s introduction of the designated hitter in 1973; from the founding of the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players in 1885 to the eight-month players’ strike of 1994; from the 1924 Negro World Series (Kansas City Monarchs vs. Philadelphia Hilldales) to Jack Roosevelt Robinson’s major-league debut in 1947; from the first curve ball in 1867 (pitched by Candy Cummings of the Brooklyn Excelsiors) to Nolan Ryan’s seventh and last no-hitter in 1991. This new edition brings the authors’ monumental work into the twenty-first century: steroids, home-run records, the rise of Latino players, the long-awaited Red Sox World Series victory, and so much more.
Nine essays by notable baseball enthusiasts, exploring their individual preoccupations with the game, complement this sweeping narrative. And a wealth of pictures document baseball’s evolution since the mid-nineteenth century and bring to life its most memorable figures. Monumental, affecting, informative, entertaining, and sumptuously illustrated—Baseball is a book that speaks to all Americans.
With a narrative by Geoffrey C. Ward, a preface to the new edition by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, a new chapter by Kevin Baker, and an introduction by Roger Angell
Essays by Thomas Boswell • Robert W. Creamer • Gerald Early • Doris Kearns Goodwin • Bill James • David Lamb • Daniel Okrent • John Thorn • George F. Will
And featuring an interview with Buck O’Neil
Baseball is indeed a mirror of American life, and Ward and Burns show how well America's story is told through baseball. Their book is the companion to a nine-part PBS television documentary scheduled to begin on September 18. In format and approach it resembles the authors' previous best seller, The Civil War (LJ 9/1/90). Each chapter, or "inning," proceeds chronologically with a dominant theme and dramatis personae. The profusion of striking illustrations add an extra dimension to each chapter. Another nice feature is the interlaced essays by such fine writers as Roger Angell, Robert Creamer, and Thomas Boswell on the hold that baseball has on ordinary people. The narrative gains force and momentum in sections examining the injustice of segregation and the forgotten heroes of the Negro leagues. Because the book is based on a documentary filmscript, the narrative sometimes seems a bit episodic, jumping from scene to scene and story to story. Overall, however, this rich and suggestive history is one of the finest books produced on baseball. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/94.]-Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., Ill.