October 1964

( 13 )

Overview

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
THE BEST SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR
"October 1964 should be a hit with old-time baseball fans, who'll relish the opportunity to relive that year's to-die-for World Series, when the dynastic but aging New York Yankees squared off against the upstart St. Louis Cardinals. It should be a hit with younger students of the game, who'll eat up the vivid portrayals of legends like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the Yankees ...
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October 1964

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Overview

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
THE BEST SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR
"October 1964 should be a hit with old-time baseball fans, who'll relish the opportunity to relive that year's to-die-for World Series, when the dynastic but aging New York Yankees squared off against the upstart St. Louis Cardinals. It should be a hit with younger students of the game, who'll eat up the vivid portrayals of legends like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the Yankees and Bob Gibson and Lou Brock of the Cardinals. Most of all, however, David Halberstam's new book should be a hit with anyone interested in understanding the important interplay between sports and society."
--The Boston Globe
"Compelling...1964 is a chronicle of the end of a great dynasty and of a game, like the country, on the cusp of enormous change."
--Newsweek
"Halberstam's latest gives us the feeling of actually being there--in another time, in the locker rooms and in the minds of baseball legends. His time and effort researching the book result in a fluency with his topic and a fluidity of writing that make the reading almost effortless....Absorbing."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Wonderful...Memorable...Halberstam describes the final game of the 1964 series accurately and so dramatically, I almost thought I had forgotten the ending."
--The Washington Post Book World
"Superb reporting...Incisive analysis...You know from the start that Halberstam is going to focus on a large human canvas...One of the many joys of this book is the humanity with which Halberstam explores the characters as well as the talents of the players, coaches and managers. These are not demigods of summer but flawed, believable human beings who on occasion can rise to peaks of heroism."
--Chicago Sun-Times

Following his #1 baseball bestseller Summer of '49, David Halberstam gives us the Yankees-Cardinals World Series that concluded the '64 season -- a transformational American moment, both inside and outside the ballpark. A book of deep insight and importance, October 1964 is also, like Halberstam's previous baseball work, a great read.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This follow-up to the best-selling Summer of '49 assesses the Yankee-Cardinal World Series of 1964.
Library Journal
This follow-up to the best-selling Summer of '49 assesses the Yankee-Cardinal World Series of 1964.
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, MLS, Brookdale Community College Adjunct Faculty, Lincroft, New Jersey
Wes Lukowsky
Pulitzer Prize-winner Halberstam has always had a fondness for sports, and occasionally he turns away from his more "serious" historical pursuits to explore a particularly resonant moment in sporting time. Here it's the 1964 major-league baseball season, especially the World Series, which pitted the New York Yankees against the St. Louis Cardinals. Halberstam likes to place his sports reporting within a significant social context, and this time he isolates 1964 -- the last pennant for the Yankee dynasty that stretched back to Babe Ruth and the late 1920s -- as signifying the end of an era dominated by mostly white, power-hitting baseball. The Cardinals, with their three black starters in the field and All-Star pitcher Bob Gibson, were ushering in a new era of speed and black stars. Halberstam wants to hang his hat on the theory that baseball changed dramatically in 1964, and though he seems to be stretching a bit, let's give it to him. What really matters to most readers, after all, isn't the historical premise but the particulars: Halberstam's unerring eye for detail, his sense of team dynamics, and his sensitive, thoughtful profiles of the players and managers -- including Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, and Elston Howard on the Yanks and Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Bill White, and Lou Brock on the Cards. Halberstam profiles each at length, how their past shaped their present and future, and he does the same with the teams. By any standard, this is a thoughtful, entertaining, and illuminating examination of two intriguing teams from baseball's golden era. Expect high demand among boomer-age fans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449983676
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/3/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 164,172
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

David Halberstam
David Halberstam
One of the most popular and imitated nonfiction writers around, David Halberstam wrote books that fused narrative storytelling with investigative reporting. The result: stories that hummed with energy and authority and reads as well as -- if not better than -- some novels.

Biography

A journalist, historian, and biographer, David Halberstam brought his idiosyncratic and stylistic approach to heavy subjects: the Vietnam War (in 1972's The Best and the Brightest); the shaping of American politics (in 1979's The Powers That Be); the American economy's relationship with the automobile industry (in 1986's The Reckoning); and the civil rights movement (in 1998's Freedom Riders).

His books were loaded with anecdotes, metaphors, suspense, and a narrative tone most writers reserve for fiction. The resulting books -- many of them huge bestsellers -- gave Halberstam heavyweight status (he won the Pulitzer for international reporting in 1964) and established him as an important commentator on American politics and power.

Halberstam was also known for his sports books. In The Breaks of the Game, which a critic for The New York Times called "one of the best books I've ever read about American sports," he took on professional basketball.

In The Amateurs, he examined the world of sculling; in Summer of '49 and October 1964, he focused on two pivotal baseball events: the Boston Red Sox's exasperating near victory over the New York Yankees for the 1949 pennant, and the 1964 season, when the Yankees lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1999's Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made, Halberstam documented the making of a legend.

Always happy to extend his reach well beyond the subject at hand, Halberstam packed his books with social commentary as well as sports detail.

His writing routine was as strenuous and disciplined as that of any of the athletes he wrote about. To sustain his steady output of extensively researched, almost-always-massive books, he allows no unscheduled interruptions: "Most of us who have survived here [New York] after a number of years have ironclad work rules. Nothing interrupts us. Nothing," he once wrote in The New York Times. "We surface only at certain hours of the day."

Good To Know

David Halberstam's first job was as a reporter for a small-town Mississippi newspaper.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 10, 1934
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      April 23, 2007
    2. Place of Death:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., Harvard, 1955

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2000

    Not Just For Yankees Fans

    Fantastic insight into a long-gone era in baseball and many of its personalities. Mandatory reading for all NY Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals fans, strongly recommended for all other baseball fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    very very entertaining read

    could not put the book down. enjoyed every word. any baseball fan would totally enjoy this book.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    October 1964

    The transformation of baseball happened during the 1964 baseball season as the old guard, the New York Yankees, turned over the reign of MLB to the St. Louis Cardinals. The old, racist attitude, was losing out to the more proactive Cardinals and the National League. The Senior League lead the way into the new era of MLB. Wonderfully written, well researched and a must read for any baseball fan. Especially important that it is read by those who have no idea about the transformation of baseball from the Negro Leagues/White Leagues to what they see on the field today. Both African Americans and Caucasian baseball fans alike will find this a must read book. It also hints on the introduction of Hispanics to baseball as well.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Book

    This book was great. It was probably the second or third best sports book I have ever read. Halberstam is a great writer. I would recommend this book to all baseball fans and essential for Yankee and Cardinal fans. Great insights into a bygone era of baseball. It was very entertaining.

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  • Posted June 12, 2009

    Not just for sports fans!

    THis is a highly readable classic for fans of Americana. Revolving around the clash of baseball's two teams with the most World Series wins between them, it is heartfelt study of the changing times of America in the 1960s as personified on the sports field. The old and the stodgy as represented by the American League and the Yankees, against the new and brash as represented by the Cardinals. I guess we can all be glad at how the Series turned out:)

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    Posted October 8, 2009

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