A People's History of Baseball by Mitchell Nathanson

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Baseball is much more than the national pastime. It has become an emblem of America itself. Stories abound that illustrate baseball's significance in eradicating racial barriers, bringing neighborhoods together, and building civic pride._x000B__x000B_In A People's History of Baseball, Mitchell Nathanson probes the less well-known but no less meaningful other side of baseball: episodes not involving equality, patriotism, heroism, and virtuous capitalism, but power--how it is obtained, and how it perpetuates itself. Exploring the founding of the National League, Nathanson focuses on the newer Americans who sought club ownership to promote their own social status in the increasingly closed caste of late nineteenth-century America. His perspective on the rise and public rebuke of the Players Association shows that these events reflect both the collective spirit of working and middle-class America in the mid-twentieth century as well as the countervailing forces that sought to beat back this emerging movement that threatened the status quo. Even his take on baseball's racial integration that began with Branch Rickeys "Great Experiment" reveals the debilitating effects of the harsh double standard that resulted, requiring a black player to have unimpeachable character merely to take the field in a Major League game, a standard no white player was required to meet._x000B__x000B_Told with passion and occasional outrage, A People's History of Baseball challenges the perspective of the well-known, deeply entrenched, hyper-patriotic stories of baseball and offers an incisive alternative history of America's much-loved national pastime.

About Mitchell Nathanson

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Mitchell Nathanson is a professor of legal writing at the Villanova University School of Law. He is the author of, among other works, A People's History of Baseball, and The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How A Baseball Team's Collapse Sank A City's Spirit.
Published February 29, 2012 by University of Illinois Press. 298 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A People's History of Baseball

New York Journal of Books

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It’s the assumption that MLB is the only B worth considering that makes him omit a discussion of what baseball men have done to baseball playing women since at least the 1860s, when records show that girls and young women were already playing the National Game.

Feb 23 2012 | Read Full Review of A People's History of Baseball

New York Journal of Books

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“. . . brings some balance into the picture, and fans would do well to add it to their understanding of their National Game.”

Feb 23 2012 | Read Full Review of A People's History of Baseball

The Hardball Times

Those with a broad knowledge of our country's social history will appreciate the links the author makes from that history to the game of baseball, and baseball fans in general should enjoy it, as well.

Apr 04 2012 | Read Full Review of A People's History of Baseball

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