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The Amazing Life of Moe Berg; Catcher, Scholar, Spy

The Amazing Life of Moe Berg; Catcher, Scholar, Spy

by Tricia Andryszewski

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Although few young people are likely to have heard of Berg, this 1920's and 30's baseball player was a fascinating and multidimensional man. Although never a superstar, he traveled with several all-star teams to baseball-obsessed Japan, where his ability to speak the language endeared him to the Japanese people. His baseball career ended with the outbreak of World War II. Partly because of his linguistic ability, Berg was recruited into a top-secret intelligence unit charged with disrupting Germany's efforts to make an atomic bomb and was involved in classic cloak-and-dagger stuff throughout the war. Andryszewski tells the story of this exceptionally bright and eccentric man in a straightforward manner. She lets Berg's life speak for itself, and intelligently separates fact from fiction. (No easy feat, given his ability to stretch the truth when recounting some of his tales.) Unfortunately, the last half of his life is given little attention and somehow seems incomplete. It seems that after the war, Berg mostly mooched off friends and relatives, reading a lot, but not doing much of anything else. This book may need some pushing, but readers who pick it up will be taken beyond the boundaries of the normal sports biography.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Ilene Cooper
Moe Berg may not be familiar to modern audiences, but they will be intrigued to learn about his life. The son of Jewish immigrants, Berg got himself to Princeton, but he never lost his love of baseball, and his career in the major leagues spanned 16 years. He was also a lawyer, a talented linguist, and a world traveler. Those skills brought him to the attention of the U.S. government, which decided Berg could help his country with some important missions during World War II. He spent the war culling information from European scientists about the nuclear bomb. Although his work as a spy was invaluable, Berg drifted after the war, never really holding a job or even having his own home again. The book is crisply written, and the subject will make an excellent alternative to the usual cast of characters on biography shelves. Despite problems she discusses in the introduction, Andryszewski does a good job of sourcing her material. Illustrated with black-and-white photos.

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Single Title Biography Ser.
Product dimensions:
6.34(w) x 9.31(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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