Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landisby David Pietrusza
Since his death in 1944, history has transformed Kenesaw Mountain Landis into a one-dimensional figure: the stem, scowling ruler of baseball who rescued the sport from the depths of the Black Sox scandal—banishing wrongdoers, scowling at owners, helping to block racial integration. JUDGE AND JURY: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis strips away… See more details below
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
Since his death in 1944, history has transformed Kenesaw Mountain Landis into a one-dimensional figure: the stem, scowling ruler of baseball who rescued the sport from the depths of the Black Sox scandal—banishing wrongdoers, scowling at owners, helping to block racial integration. JUDGE AND JURY: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis strips away the myths and facile explanations to reveal the real Landis—with all the subtleties and contradictions that made him not only czar of baseball, but also the most I famous, popular, and controversial federal judge in America.
Landis' historic $29 million fine on John D. Rockefeller's grasping of the Standard Oil trust was but the most sensational decision of a long and fiery career on the bench. Through his courtroom trooped such fascinating figures as "Big Bill" Haywood and his radical IWW, bootleggers, gamblers, and con men, religious cultists, and the arsenic-dispensing murderer Herman Billick. The Judge could be harsh-sentencing anti-war dissenters to the maximum penalties—or he could be unpredictably forgiving. Lenience to the downtrodden nearly led to his impeachment.
As the iron-fisted first commissioner of baseball from 1920 to 1944, Landis did whatever he deemed necessary to secure the best interests of baseball. His measures were harsh and often incon¬sistent to observers, but one of his least popular decisions—the banishment of third baseman Buck Weaver—may have been his most significant move in cleaning up and preserving the game.
Above all, Landis was a shrewd and crafty wielder of power. Coming from a talented family of politicians and journalists, he understood better than any of his contemporaries what was necessary to succeed in the modern world of media-created heroes.
From his memorable name to his unforgettable impact on baseball and the law, here the Landis legend is balanced by fact and finally preserved in extensive and intriguing detail for generations to come.
Says Publishers Weekly: This exhaustive study of baseball's first commissioner by the author of Minor Miracles includes details about its subject's life before baseball. . . . This scion of a rock-ribbed Midwestern Republican family served in Washington, D.C., in the administration of Democrat Grover Cleveland. But back in his adopted city of Chicago in 1905, Landis was appointed a federal district court judge by Teddy Roosevelt. Deeply involved in the progressive, trust-busting wing of the GOP, he came to national attention when he took on Standard Oil and its powerful head, John D. Rockefeller Sr. Though the multimillionaire tried to avoid a subpoena, Landis made him testify and assessed Standard Oil a $29-million fineAthe largest in U.S. history (though it was later reduced). During WWI he was an unabashed jingoist, convinced that all socialists and labor leaders who opposed the war were traitors; unfortunately for them, many were tried in Landis's court and drew inordinately long sentences. The so-called Black Sox scandal in the World Series of 1919, fixed by gamblers, led the owners to hire Landis as an almost omnipotent commissioner, a job he held until his death 24 years later. He did indeed restore the reputation for honesty of the national pastime, though he opposed night games and the farm system in vain. In this fascinating, diligently researched work, Pietrusza tackles a complex, important man and makes him his own."
Says Ralph Kiner: "[Judge and Jury] is outstanding. I have learned more about the history of baseball, true history, than from anything I have ever read or heard about. [It's] research and documentation clarifies so many of the personalities and events that took place before 'my time' in the game. Jacques Barzun's quote: 'Whoever would know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball' should be supplanted by [this] biography of Landis."
Says Fay Vincent: "Judge and Jury is first rate."
Says ESPN's Rob Neyer: "[I] was stunned at the amount of detail, accuracy, original research, and skilled interpretation of the facts."
Says Robert Creamer: "As a good biographer should, David Pietrusza has gone beyond the one-dimensional public image of Kenesaw M. Landis that too many people today accept as the graven truth. Landis, a nationally known Federal judge who became the first, all-powerful Commissioner of Baseball, was a complex man who had to deal with complex problems. In this meticulously researched book, Pietrusza with admirable objectivity depicts both the faults and virtues of one of the most important and most colorful public figures of the 20th Century."
Says Jerome Holtzman: "Finally, an objective biography of Baseball's first Commissioner. Beautifully done."
Says Publishers Weekly: "In this fascinating,diligently researched work,Pietrusza tackles a complex, important man and makes him his own."
- David Pietrusza
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 604 KB
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >