Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseballby Stephen Jay Gould
"Scientific analysis intersects with flat-out fandom. [Gould] could write, he was funny, and he loved, loved baseball."—BooklistScience meets sport in this vibrant collection of baseball essays by the late evolutionary biologist.Among Stephen Jay Gould's many gifts was his ability to write eloquently about baseball, his great passion. Through/p>/em>
"Scientific analysis intersects with flat-out fandom. [Gould] could write, he was funny, and he loved, loved baseball."—BooklistScience meets sport in this vibrant collection of baseball essays by the late evolutionary biologist.Among Stephen Jay Gould's many gifts was his ability to write eloquently about baseball, his great passion. Through the years, the renowned paleontologist published numerous essays on the sport; these have now been collected in a volume alive with the candor and insight that characterized all of Gould's writing. Here are his thoughts on the complexities of childhood streetball and the joys of opening day; tributes to Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and lesser-knowns such as deaf-mute centerfielder "Dummy" Hoy; and a frank admission of the contradictions inherent in being a lifelong Yankees fan with Red Sox season tickets. Gould also deftly applies the tools of evolutionary theory to the demise of the .400 hitter, the Abner Doubleday creation myth, and the improbability of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak.
This book is a delight, an essential addition to Gould's remarkable legacy, and a fitting tribute to his love for the game.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.
David Halberstam (1934-2007) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author known for his early work on the Vietnam War, his work on politics, history, the Civil Rights Movement, business, media, American culture, and his later sports journalism.
- Date of Birth:
- September 10, 1941
- Date of Death:
- May 20, 2002
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- Place of Death:
- Boston, Massachusetts
- B.S., Antioch College, 1963; Ph.D., Columbia University, 1967
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This collection was put together as Gould was dying. He was able to 'complete' it, but it lacks the polish of other Gould collections. His usual form was to organize edit the essays so that, although written at different times, they appeared to flow seamlessly together and support an overall theme. Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville appears much more to be a grab-bag collection of his baseball writings, and reveals that Gould probably never had time to complete the 'finishing process' that marks his other collections. I would still recommend this one to any fan of sports or sports writing. Two essays in particular 'Why No One Hits .400 Anymore' and 'The Streak of Streaks' should be read by just about anyone, but especially sports fans. Gould's collection reveals the passion, interest, and love of a true fan. I have missed Gould's insights in areas other than baseball. This book causes me to yearn for his reaction to two of the main developments in baseball since his death: the steroid scandal and the Red Sox victory in the World Series.