Cooperstown Confidential by Zev Chafets
Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame

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If baseball is America's national religion, then the Hall of Fame is its High Church. Being named among its 286 inductees makes you the closest thing our country has to an undisputed hero - even a secular saint. But the men in the Hall of Fame are no angels. Among their number are gamblers, drunks, race-baiters, at least one murderer, and perhaps the greatest collection of bona fide characters ever to be dignified by an honor of any kind. This is the book the Hall of Fame deserves. Along with the story of the institution comes a smart, irreverent discussion of some of the great barstool questions of all time (Why did Jim Bunning make the Hall but not Mickey Lolich? How much is it worth to a player's autograph-signing career to get in? Did Ty Cobb really kill somebody?) and a fresh look at some of the Hall's most and least admirable characters. Taken in all, it amounts to a shadow history of America's Game, shown through the prism of its most sacred spot. Written with a deep love of the game and a hardened skeptic's eye, this is a book to incite both passionate conversation and a fresh appreciation of baseball as a mirror and catalyst for our nation's culture.

About Zev Chafets

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ZEV CHAFETS is the author of eleven books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary. He is a former columnist for the New York Daily News, and his work appears frequently in newspapers around the world, including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He lives in New York City.
Published July 1, 2009 by Bloomsbury USA. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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As Chafets notes, the Hall comprises myriad drunks, adulterers, racists, gamblers, cheaters and liars—but occasionally the writers invoke Rule 5 to prevent the inclusion of someone with a personality too crusty, a history too tainted or a skin too dark.

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The New York Times

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In his new book, Zev Chafets suggests that the Baseball Hall of Fame is built on a foundation of deceit.

Jul 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Cooperstown Confidential: Her...

Bookmarks Magazine

As Zev Chafets points out, it’s no coincidence that the first black Hall of Famer, Jackie Robinson, was inducted in 1962, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Jun 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Cooperstown Confidential: Her...

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