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Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
     

Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis

by David Pietrusza, Kenesaw Mountain Landis (As Told by), Dick Thornburgh (Foreword by)
 

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Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is most famous for his role as the first Commissioner ever to rule organized baseball. But before he came into his legendary position as baseball's final say, Landis already had built a reputation from his Chicago courtroom as the most popular and most controversial federal judge in World War I-era America. Judge and Jury is the first

Overview

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is most famous for his role as the first Commissioner ever to rule organized baseball. But before he came into his legendary position as baseball's final say, Landis already had built a reputation from his Chicago courtroom as the most popular and most controversial federal judge in World War I-era America. Judge and Jury is the first complete biography of the Squire, from the origins of his unusual name through his career as a federal judge and his clean-up after the infamous Black Sox scandal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This exhaustive study of baseball's first commissioner by the author of Minor Miracles includes details about its subject's life before baseball. Named for the Civil War battle in which his father was wounded and nicknamed "Squire," Landis grew up in a large family, two of whose members later served in the House of Representatives, while others became prominent journalists. 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 finethe 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. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Long-renowned as baseball's first real commissioner, Landis had earlier been the strong-minded judge who fined John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Co. $29 million. Pietrusza, past president of the Society for American Baseball Research, portrays a harsh if occasionally lenient baseball czar who banned the 1919 Black Sox, among others, for gambling but spared some players. Unlike Jerome Holtzman, who recently labeled Landis "a bigoted curmudgeon" in his The Commissioners (Total Sports, 1998), Pietrusza says that owners, not Landis, blocked the game's integration. This warm but fair biography belongs on most sports shelves.--Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Medical Lib., Tucson, AZ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781888698091
Publisher:
Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Pages:
581
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.79(d)

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