- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & Noble
There is something sacred about baseball. Of course, other sports have histories and Hall of Fames, but there is a mythic quality about our National Pastime that gives diamond history a special aura and makes Cooperstown a hallowed shrine. Of course, religions beget schisms, so it's only logical that fierce debates would eventually rage over the origins of baseball and its real birthplace. Over the years, there have been several good books on the subject, but John Thorn's new one is the best yet. In central ways, Baseball in the Garden of Eden isn't really a history of the subject; it's a meta-history. Thorn delves into the secret or unconscious motivations behind claims about the game's true beginnings, exposing the hidden agendas of several prominent figures. Obviously though, the author is far too infatuated with the early history of baseball to focus exclusively on this primal question. In fact, his insightful recapitulation of the sport's evolution during its early years qualifies as first-rate social history. Even crossover readers will be fascinated by his discussion of gambling, greed, class warfare, and racism in baseball's formative decades.
—R.J. Wilson, Bookseller, #1002, New York NY