The Eastern Stars by Mark Kurlansky
How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 10 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The intriguing, inspiring history of one small, impoverished area in the Dominican Republic that has produced a staggering number of Major League Baseball talent, from an award-winning, bestselling author.

In the town of San Pedro in the Dominican Republic, baseball is not just a way of life. It's the way of life. By the year 2008, seventy-nine boys and men from San Pedro have gone on to play in the Major Leagues-that means one in six Dominican Republicans who have played in the Majors have come from one tiny, impoverished region. Manny Alexander, Sammy Sosa, Tony Fernandez, and legions of other San Pedro players who came up in the sugar mill teams flocked to the United States, looking for opportunity, wealth, and a better life.

Because of the sugar industry, and the influxes of migrant workers from across the Caribbean to work in the cane fields and factories, San Pedro is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the Dominican Republic. A multitude of languages are spoken there, and a variety of skin colors populate the community; but the one constant is sugar and baseball. The history of players from San Pedro is also a chronicle of racism in baseball, changing social mores in sports and in the Dominican Republic, and the personal stories of the many men who sought freedom from poverty through playing ball. The story of baseball in San Pedro is also that of the Caribbean in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and on a broader level opens a window into our country's history.

As with Kurlansky's Cod and Salt, this small story, rich with anecdote and detail, becomes much larger than ever imagined. Kurlansky reveals two countries' love affair with a sport and the remarkable journey of San Pedro and its baseball players. In his distinctive style, he follows common threads and discovers wider meanings about place, identity, and, above all, baseball.

Watch a Video

 

About Mark Kurlansky

See more books from this Author
Mark Kurlansky is an award-winning and bestselling author. His most recent book is 1968: The Year That Rocked the World.
 
Published April 12, 2010 by Riverhead Books. 290 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Eastern Stars

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The bittersweet tale of San Pedro de Macorís, the struggling Dominican town that has sent 79 players to the Major Leagues since the early 1960s.

Sep 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

The story of how a relatively small town in the Dominican Republic has become a factory for baseball talent.

Jul 02 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

On one day in April 1986, nine baseball players from the Dominican Republic started at shortstop in the major leagues.

Apr 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

When you think of baseball, you might think of Cooperstown, N.Y. But it's San Pedro de Macoris, in the Dominican Republic, that's known as "the town where shortstops come from." As of 2008, 79 boys and men from San Pedro had gone to the play in the Major Leagues — including Sammy Sosa, Robinson C...

Apr 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

Journalist Mark Kurlansky is drawn to singular subjects — cod, salt and oysters, to name a few. In The Eastern Stars, he takes a look at the history of baseball and sugar in the small town of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic.

Apr 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

In The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed The Dominican Town Of San Pedro De Macoris, a travelogue with a twist, Kurlansky expertly balances Caribbean history against the wholesale hope of would-be major-leaguers and the impoverished neighborhoods where they live.

Apr 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

Los Angeles Times

See more reviews from this publication

The topic of how so many baseball players come from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, is fascinating, but Kurlansky doesn't get it right.

Jun 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

Christian Science Monitor

Why does San Pedro de Macoris – a small town in the Dominican Republic – produce so many Major League Baseball players?.

Apr 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

USA Today

The Dominican Republic is so poor that when kids begin to play baseball, they often make their own equipment.

| Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

Bookmarks Magazine

Based on solid research and framed in simple, forthright prose, his reflections on history, culture, religion, and racial relations--oh, and baseball--charmed critics who didn’t necessarily have their hearts set on a baseball book.

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Eastern Stars: How Baseba...

Reader Rating for The Eastern Stars
50%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 41 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×