Pete Rose: An American Dilemma

Pete Rose: An American Dilemma

by Kostya Kennedy
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Pete Rose: An American Dilemma by Kostya Kennedy

"Kennedy's book on the tarnished and enigmatic Rose is exceptional. Like the best writing about sport—Liebling, Angell—it qualifies as stirring literature. I'd read Kennedy no matter what he writes about." —Richard Ford

Pete Rose played baseball with a singular and headfirst abandon that endeared him to fans and peers, even as it riled others—a figure at once magnetic, beloved and polarizing. Rose has more base hits than anyone in history, yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. Twenty-five years ago he was banished from baseball for gambling, then ruled ineligible for Cooperstown; today, the question "Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame?" has evolved into perhaps the most provocative in sports, a layered, slippery and ever-relevant moral conundrum.

How do we evaluate the Hit King now, at a time when steroid cheats appear on the Hall of Fame ballot even as Rose is denied? What do we make of this happily unrepentant gambler, this shameless but beguiling showman whose postbaseball journey has led him to a curious reality show and to the streets of Cooperstown to hawk his signature, his story, himself?

Best-selling author Kostya Kennedy delivers an evocative answer in his fascinating re-examination of Pete Rose's life; from his cocky and charismatic early years through his storied playing career to his bitter war against baseball's hierarchy to the man we find today—still incorrigible, still adored by many. Where has his improbable saga landed him in the redefined, post-steroid world? Do we feel any differently about Pete Rose today? Should we?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618939548
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment
Publication date: 03/11/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 165,979
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Kostya Kennedy is an assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated and the New York Times bestselling author of 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, winner of the 2011 Casey Award and runner-up for the 2012 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing. He lives with his wife and children in Westchester County, N.Y. To learn more, visit

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Pete Rose: An American Dilemma 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Pete Rose controversy has been on my agenda since the first drug wave went through the major baseball. If anyone who feels they are an "expert" in the game would take a moment and think. How is gambling as severe as consuming, purchasing, selling, distrubing drugs to enhance ones performance while destroying over the course of time one's body? All for the sake of a temporary job and a statistic that will eventually be broken? Let's be real here everyone. A Rod is just getting banded for one season and look at all that he did and didn't do. How does Pete Rose's situation worse than that? Mr. Kennedy takes a look at the entire Pete Rose the baseball player. His talent is real, not drug enhanced, but personally given and developed. His mistake was self developed and self realized. Mr Kennedy looks behind the scenes to see what makes Pete Rose, Pete Rose. Perhaps if all of the hierarchy of baseball would take time and red this book with an open mind they will see he has long paid his duty to the game and the fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
senated More than 1 year ago
Interesting account of a player, who if I was choosing my all time team, he would certainly be in the top five.  So why isn't he in the Hall of Fame. It's because his IQ must be about one fifth of his lifetime batting average.  Pete say you are sorry, quit gambling, and you may get in before you are dead.
edwinhope More than 1 year ago
Whether Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame or not has to do with your idea of whether the Hall commemorates achievement or character/achievement. This book sup pies the reader with abundant evidence that if the operative criterion is the latter, Rose should be banned. But then probably so should a number of others who are now safely ensconced in the HOF. The book is uneven in its apparent bias on any given page, but whether you are a baseball fan or just fascinated by the human condition, it is well worth your reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Rating:   5 of 5 stars (outstanding) Review: Pete Rose has been one of the most polarizing figures in baseball for the last 25 years.  In that time, he signed an agreement that permanently banned him from associating with Major League Baseball, has admitted in a tell-all book that he bet on baseball after denying so for over 15 years, spent time in prison for tax evasion, hawked as much memorabilia and as many autographs as he could and yet still have a lot of support to win reinstatement and enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame.   All of these topics and more are covered in Kostya Kennedy’s outstanding book on Rose. This isn’t a typical biography in which the story of the subject is told from birth to present day.  Oh, sure, there are pages about Rose’s youth, his relationship with his father and his climb from the minor leagues to the Cincinnati Reds.  However, the focus of the book is on Rose and the manner in which he handles himself with the ban from baseball.   There are several chapters interspersed throughout the book on his presence in Cooperstown, New York during the weekend in 2012 when two players were inducted into the Hall of Fame.  These stories of Rose and his presence in the hamlet selling anything he can while at the same time being banned from enshrinement in the museum less than a mile away on Main Street smacks of part irony, part melancholy.  Kennedy makes the reader feel like he or she is experiencing induction weekend in Cooperstown during these chapters.  When Barry Larkin, one of the players inducted that year, mentions Rose during his acceptance speech, the reader cannot help but feel Rose is there, thanks to the prose of Kennedy. Other topics which are captured and vividly described by Kennedy are Rose’s relationship with his oldest son, Pete Jr.  Here another emotional event is illustrated well when Pete Jr. makes his major league debut with the Reds in 1997, but cannot enjoy the moment with his father in the clubhouse because of the ban.   However, my favorite chapter in the book was chapter 17, simply titled “Gate Keepers.”  The first paragraph in this chapter is all you need to know in order to understand the title.  It ends with the phrase “Keep Pete Rose out of the Baseball Hall of Fame.”   This was the meeting in 1991 when a special committee met and drafted the rule that became known as the Pete Rose rule – simply that a person on baseball’s ineligible list shall not be eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Kennedy can barely hide the contempt for this rule, calling it “the greatest disservice to be inflicted upon the Hall of Fame induction process…”  and further stating that nothing else “has so deeply stained the procedure, nor delivered such a blow to the integrity of the process as a whole.”   This shows that not only has Kennedy done his research, but that he has a deep passion for the topic.  His writing is a reflection of that passion.  No matter how the reader feels about Rose and whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame, this outstanding book should be read by every baseball fan. The stories are rich, the research through, the interviews with other players and Rose’s family members riveting and the entire book is a fine work by Kennedy.  Did I skim? No.   Pace of the book:   Excellent.  Kennedy’s writing keeps the reader engrossed and the pages turning, whether the topic is Rose hustling to third base on a hit, the gambling investigation, Pete Jr. or the latest sale of Rose merchandise in Cooperstown.  Do I recommend?   This is a must read book for any baseball fan.  It doesn’t matter whether you like Rose or not, nor does it matter how the reader feels about whether or not Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, this book will keep the reader riveted. Book Format Read: e-book (Nook)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame, it's not really a Hall of Fame then. D.D.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
don't waste your time and money on thid book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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