The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World

The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World

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by Roger Kahn
     
 

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The Era, Roger Kahn's most important book since The Boys of Summer, chronicles the golden age of modern baseball by following the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers from 1947 - the year of racial integration - through 1957, when the Giants and the Dodgers moved to California. During these eleven seasons the three teams dominated the game. Those years, when baseball…  See more details below

Overview

The Era, Roger Kahn's most important book since The Boys of Summer, chronicles the golden age of modern baseball by following the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers from 1947 - the year of racial integration - through 1957, when the Giants and the Dodgers moved to California. During these eleven seasons the three teams dominated the game. Those years, when baseball was America's unrivaled national sport, saw the integration of the major leagues, the dominance of the Yankees, the arrival of television on the sports scene, and the ascendancy of the United States as a world power. Roger Kahn's keen eye and sharp pen bring it all to life again. The Era starts with Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Dodgers, the first black man ever to play major league baseball. Joe DiMaggio is brooding after an off season. The Giants languish under the bland leadership of genial Mel Ott. The decade that follows witnesses some of the most extraordinary events in the history of sport: the brilliant success of Robinson, followed by the signing of Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe; the controversial retirement of the Yankee Clipper; the bursts to stardom of Yogi Berra, Bobby Thomson, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, and Willie Mays; Leo Durocher's move from Brooklyn to New York and his building of "my kind of team"; and the wizardly managing of the man Kahn calls Field Marshal Casey von Stengel. The Yankees play in nine out of eleven World Series. The great career of Branch Rickey rises, peaks, and winds down. A little-known collection lawyer named Walter O'Malley obtains control of the Brooklyn Dodgers. As the Era concludes, O'Malley uproots the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and the physiognomy of baseball is changed forever. Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer is one of the all-time classics of baseball storytelling. Now Kahn turns his attention to the greatest age of baseball. He brings to the task an unrivaled eye for the sport and a lifetime of writing about the game. The re

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kahn again returns to an era he categorically states is ``the greatest'' in baseball history. Central to his description are the three New York clubs and the spirited rivalries they produced. As in The Boys of Summer ( LJ 2/15/72) and Games We Used To Play ( LJ 12/91), he engagingly captures the flavor of the times by bringing to the fore the defining traits and relationships that added human dimension to the sport. His unique style is particularly evident in accounts of Jackie Robinson's entry into the major leagues, the events surrounding the shooting of Eddie Waitkus by an obsessed fan, and the migration of the Dodgers and Giants to California. On the whole, this is another fresh perspective on the game's golden age. For sports collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.-- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Bill Ott
Roger Kahn writing on the great New York baseball teams of the 1940s and 1950s: it would be easy to dismiss such a book as a rehash of Kahn's classic "Boys of Summer" (1972). Easy but wrong. Kahn brings to the familiar story of the Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers not only an eyewitness perspective--he was a New York beat reporter during the period for both the Yanks and Dodgers--but also a willingness to dig beneath the surface, look beyond the legends. We see, for example, a Joe DiMaggio in the twilight of his career very different from his idealized image: feuding with Casey Stengel, cavorting with showgirls, and being accused by Mickey Mantle of indirectly causing the 1951 knee injury that hampered the Mick throughout his career. (Joltin' Joe does have the best line in the book: when asked by a "New York Times" reporter to describe the experience of taking a shower with Marilyn Monroe, Joe says simply, "Louie, you shoulda been there.") If Kahn's game-by-game accounts of the World Series from 1947 through 1957 drag a little--this is very familiar territory, after all--he more than makes up for it with fresh takes on the era's key figures: Jackie Robinson, of course, and the decade's holy trinity, Mays, Mantle, and Snider; managers Durocher and Stengel; and the front-office wheeler dealers, good guys Branch Rickey and Larry MacPhail and villains Horace Stoneham and Walter O'Malley, who engineered the defection in 1958 of the Giants and Dodgers to California. The best stories always bear retelling, and Kahn is the right man to retell the story of baseball's greatest decade. DiMaggio had it right: you shoulda been there.
The New York Review of Books
"Kahn is the best baseball writer in the business."—The New York Review of Books
Chicago Tribune
"Kahn weaves such personal information into his rich descriptions of thrilling regular-season, playoff and World Series games. And in doing so he endows the players, managers and owners with more dynamic dimensions than any baseball writer of his generation. The men in The Era are ballplayers, not deities; and it takes the unerring strength of a straight shooter like Kahn to remind nostalgic baseball fans of that simple fact."—Chicago Tribune
Sacramento Bee
"The Era, 1947--1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World by Roger Kahn, the celebrated author of The Boys of Summer returns to New York City's golden age of baseball for a nostalgic look. . . . at a time when the Yankees were wining virtually every American League pennant and invariably faced one of their inner-city rivals in the World Series."—Sacramento Bee

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395561553
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/01/1993
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.26(d)

Meet the Author

Prize-winning author, Roger Kahn has written many baseball books, including the classic The Boys of Summer. His Good Enough to Dream, A Season in the Sun, and Memories of Summer are available in Bison Books editions. He is a visiting lecturer on creative writing at SUNY New Paltz.

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The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
ChipArm More than 1 year ago
Not a bad book, but I expect more from an author who wrote one of the top 10 US books, any genre, in my opinion, in the Boys of Summer.