Summer of '49

( 19 )

Overview

With incredible skill, passion, and insight, Pulitzer Prize–winningauthor David Halberstam returns us to a glorious time when the dreams of a now almost forgotten America rested on the crack of a bat.

The year was 1949, and a war-weary nation turned from the battlefields to the ball fields in search of new heroes. It was a summer that marked the beginning of a sports rivalry unequaled in the annals of athletic competition. The awesome New York Yankees and the indomitable ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$11.74
BN.com price
(Save 21%)$14.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (63) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $6.00   
  • Used (54) from $1.99   
Summer of '49

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.49
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$9.99 List Price

Overview

With incredible skill, passion, and insight, Pulitzer Prize–winningauthor David Halberstam returns us to a glorious time when the dreams of a now almost forgotten America rested on the crack of a bat.

The year was 1949, and a war-weary nation turned from the battlefields to the ball fields in search of new heroes. It was a summer that marked the beginning of a sports rivalry unequaled in the annals of athletic competition. The awesome New York Yankees and the indomitable Boston Red Sox were fighting for supremacy of baseball's American League, and an aging Joe DiMaggio and a brash, headstrong hitting phenomenon named Ted Williams led their respective teams in a classic pennant duel of almost mythic proportions—one that would be decided in an explosive head-to-head confrontation on the last day of the season.

A magnificent journey through the 1949 pennant race in which the Red Sox and the Yankees battled down to a one-game season.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book is ostensibly about the pennant race between the Yankees and Red Sox that year and the ``rivalry'' between Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. But, as he did in Breaks of the Game (LJ 11/15/81) and The Amateurs (LJ 7/85), Halberstam focuses on a season and studies an era. Baseball came of age in the summer of 1949. Postwar America looked to baseball for a sense of normalcy in its life; television began to have an impact on the sport; Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Summer of '49 is more than a collection of anecdotes. It is a study of all the elements and personalities that influenced baseball that year and beyond. Halberstam brings them together in such an enjoyable, interesting, and informative manner that a reader needn't be a baseball fan to appreciate the book.-- Martin J. Hudacs, Towanda H.S., Pa.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060884260
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/9/2006
  • Series: P. S. Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 197,119
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

David Halberstam was one of America's most distinguished journalists and historians. He covered the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement and reported for the New York Times on the war in Vietnam. The author of fifteen bestsellers, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his Vietnam reporting. He was killed in a car accident on April 23, 2007, while on his way to an interview for what was to be his next book.

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.
Read More Show Less
    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

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In the years immediately following World War II, professional baseball mesmerized the American people as it never had before and never would again. Baseball, more than almost anything else, seemed to symbolize normalcy and a return to life in America as it had been before Pearl Harbor. The nation clearly hungered for that. When Bob Feller returned from the navy to pitch in late August 1945, a Cleveland paper headlined the event: THIS IS WHAT WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR.

All the prewar stars were returning to action--DiMaggio, Williams, Feller, and Stan Musial--and their very names seemed to indicate that America could pick up right where it had left off. They were replacing wartime players of lesser quality. Indeed, a player named George (Cat) Metkovich spoke for many of the wartime players when he told his Boston teammates at the end of the 1945 season, "Well, boys, better take a good took around you, because most of us won't be here next year."

The crowds were extraordinary-large, enthusiastic, and, compared with those that were soon to follow, well behaved. In the prewar years the Yankees, whose teams had included Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio, claimed that they drew I million fans at home each season. In fact, they had not drawn that well. The real home attendance was more likely to have been around 800,000. After the war the crowds literally doubled. In 1941, the last year of prewar baseball, the National League drew 4.7 million fans; by 1947 the figure had grown to 10.4 million. In the postwar years the Yankees alone drew more than 2 million fans per season at home.

Nor was it just numbers. There was a special intensity to the crowdsin those days. When the Red Sox played the Yankees in the Stadium, they traveled to New York by train, passing through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Everyone seemed to know the schedule of their train, and as it passed through endless small towns along the route, there would be large crowds gathered at the stations to cheer the players, many of the people holding up signs exhorting their heroes to destroy the hated Yankees. The conductor would deliberately slow the train down and many of the players, on their way to do battle with the sworn enemy, would come out on the observation decks to wave to the crowds.

Near the end of the 1946 season, a young Red Sox pitcher named Dave Ferriss went into Yankee Stadium to pitch and was stunned by the size of the crowd: 63,000 people, according to the newspapers, even though at the time the Red Sox held a sizable lead over the Yankees. Ferriss had only recently left a tiny town in the Mississippi Delta. That day he was so awed by the noise and tumult that in the middle of the game he decided to commit the scene to memory and take it with him for the rest of his life. He stepped off the mound, turned slowly to the stands, and inhaled the crowd. Ferriss thought to himself. How magnificent it all is. This is the Red Sox and this is the Yankees. I am twenty-four, and I am pitching in Yankee Stadium, and every seat is taken.

With the exception of the rare heavyweight fight or college football game that attracted national attention, baseball dominated American sports entertainment. Professional football, soon to become a major sport because its faster action so well suited the television camera, was still a minorleague ticket; golf and tennis were for the few who played those sports.

Rich businessmen, thinking about becoming owners of sports teams, did not yet talk about the entertainment dollar, for America was a Calvinistic nation, not much given to entertaining itself. In the world of baseball, the sport itself was vastly more important than such ancillary commercial sources of revenue as broadcasting, endorsements, concessions, and parking.

There were only sixteen teams in the big leagues, and in an America defined by the railroad instead of the airplane, St. Louis was a far-west team and Washington a Southern one. California might as well have been in another country. The pace of life in America had not yet accelerated as it was soon to do from the combination of endless technological breakthroughs and undreamed--of affluence in ordinary homes. The use of drugs seemed very distant. The prevailing addiction of more than a few players (and managers, coaches, sportswriters, and indeed owners) was alcohol, apparently a more acceptable and less jarring form of selfdestruction. It was, thought Curt Gowdy, a young sportscaster who had just joined the Yankees, the last moment of innocence in American life.

Baseball was rooted not just in the past but in the culture of the country; it was celebrated in the nation's literature and songs. When a poor American boy dreamed of escaping his grim life, his fantasy probably involved becoming a professional baseball player. It was not so much the national sport as the binding national myth.

It was also the embodiment of the melting-pot theory, or at least the white melting pot theory, of America. One of its preeminent players, Joe DiMaggio, was the son of a humble immigrant fisherman, and the fact that three of the fisherman's sons had made the major leagues proved to many the openness and fairness of American society. America cheered the DiMaggio family, and by so doing, proudly cheered itself When DiMaggio played in his first World Series, his mother traveled by train to watch him play. She was a modest woman, but open and candid, and she became something of a celebrity herself by telling reporters (in Italian) that the trip was hard for her because there was so little to do in New York--she wished there was some cleaning, or at least some dishes to wash and dry.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2012

    I enjoyed this book; but, the title is misleading. I think that

    I enjoyed this book; but, the title is misleading. I think that it should be called The Players of the Sjummer of 49 because it consists of thumbnail sketches of some of these people; rather than a day by day chronicle of the race for the American League Pennant in 1949.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2002

    Poetic baseball history

    Mr. Halberstam has brought that amazing summer of 1949 to vivid, three- dimensional life, with an account of the Yankee-Red Sox pennant race. Mind you, this is fifteen years before I was even born, and I was still enthralled, as will any baseball fan. Even people who only slightly like baseball. Maybe even people who don't give a hoot. The writing is that good. DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and the various players emerge as skillfully drawn portraits. The cities themselves become actual characters. The sign of a good historical book, I believe, is how it feeds a desire to learn more about its' topic. This book goes one more, as I have gone out and found titles by the author as well. As reknowned as David Halberstam is, I'm embarrassed to say this is my first experience with him. I now have two more of his volumes...one on baseball, the other on war...sitting on my shelf ready to go. That should be considered the highest praise from a bibliophile.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ok, Certainly Not Great

    Always wanted to read it because it had received such good reviews....hate to say, just not at all as good as I'd expected. Nice retelling of the season, the teams, the players and even the media - just seemed to plod along a little. Good, not great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Disappointing

    Maybe I just wasn't in a good mood reading this for four days, or I've come to expect to much in a baseball book from past readings I have had (i.e., Game Six, The Bad Guys Won, etc). Either way, this just wasn't good and left me wondering where the author was going with all of this. If this was one of the most intense pennant races in history, Halberstam missed capturing it in the book. To much player profile and little side notes all over the place kept me thinking "how much more of this do I have to endure". Get some of the recommended readings or take a date to a movie instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2014

    I skimmed through the boring parts

    It’s baseball season. David Halberstam is one of my favorite non-fiction authors. Putting those two facts together, I decided to read Summer of ’49, which is about the pennant race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

    Both had great seasons in 1949. Both had aging superstar sluggers, Ted Williams for Boston and Joe Dimaggio for New York. Both teams had crusty managers, Casey Stengel for the Yankees, Joe McCarthy for the Red Sox.

    Although I enjoyed reading about the individual players, their superstitions, their peccadilloes, their lifestyles, their peculiar habits -- I found the play by plays of the games booooring. I mean, who knew that conventional wisdom in those days was that hydrating when temps soared during a long doubleheader was bad for a player? Or that needing a sugar fix during a game was un-manly?

    I skimmed through the boring parts and devoured all the little factoids that David Halberstem dredged up. An OK book I’m glad I read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Put me in coach

    Loved this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2009

    Makes you wish the Great American sport of Baseball was still that way!

    This is a must-read for not only baseball fans but every American. Those who remember will love it and those that are too young will wish they could remember it. It's a trip back in time when your Team was "your" team!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2004

    DiMaggio as a Lefty !

    I enjoyed the colorful anecdotes that brought back the era for me, I was an avid baseball fan at the time. But the cover depicts Dimaggio as a lefty hitter and Tebbetts as a lefthanded cather (?)!It's a mirror image copy of the Dinnerstein painting causing a little loss of credibility and questions the authenticity of the accounts and incidents reported!! A shame that such a blatant mistake escaped editors and publishers!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2001

    Amazilous

    Read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)