Customer Reviews for

Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Weirdly Written

    I know, what type of title for a review is that, well it's the best I could do with what I read. I heard about this book on NPR and heard the author talk and was instantly interested. Unfortunately I was truly let down once I dug into the book. It is obvious that Mr. Thorn is an expert on the history of baseball, that he has more than done his homework, and that his hypothesis is quite well supported and even admired. However, his writing organization, voice and structure truly threw me. If you love baseball and want a look at the early game you will get through this book as I did, but if you are looking for a good story and narrative say like, D. Kearn Goodwin's Lincoln Team of Rivals, you will be let down as I was.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Entertaining

    I enjoyed this book. It went a little sideways in terms of spaldings cult dealings. Overall it was good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Blughh :P

    Don't read it. If this book had any physical taste to it it would
    have to be cardboard. The author here seems to put a lackluster
    vibe into telling us what could have been a very interseting true
    to life account. Sorry, Thorn. You've failed miserably.
    Sincerely,
    Christian Parker

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    About what I would have expected

    Knowing John Thorn's work mostly through the Ken Burns "Baseball" documentaries, and being aware that he is the official MLB historian now, I knew this book would be well-written. It was very interesting to discover others around the game in its formative years that give a person looking back more of an impression of how a game would've evolved, and couldn't just spring from the mind of one individual.

    Thorn does a good job of going into details about the Mills Commission, how it worked, as well as its intentions and motivations. I gained an appreciation of what they were trying to do (although I was non-plussed by the cult backstory surrounding A.G. Spalding). I believe the intentions of Mills in particular was mostly noble, but see how it could easily get off the track with primitive methods of research (namely that it was largely word-of-mouth).

    As always with these types of books, I came away wanting even more detail, especially about how certain types of on-field plays came into being, etc. Overall, other than the cult business Spalding was involved in (necessary to be aware of, but too much detail paid to it, in my opinion), this was just what I expected. Very much recommended for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the game we see in the 21st century.

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    what a book!

    history of baseball!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 1, 2011

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