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Eight Men Out: Black Sox and the 1919 World Series (The Black Sox & the 1919 World Series) [Paperback]

Eliot Asinof
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Eight Men out: the Black Sox and the 1919 World Series Eight Men out: the Black Sox and the 1919 World Series 4.0 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

Dec 1987 The Black Sox & the 1919 World Series
The headlines proclaimed the 1919 fix of the World Series and attempted cover-up as "the most gigantic sporting swindle in the history of America!" First published in 1963, Eight Men Out has become a timeless classic. Eliot Asinof has reconstructed the entire scene-by-scene story of the fantastic scandal in which eight Chicago White Sox players arranged with the nation's leading gamblers to throw the Series in Cincinnati. Mr. Asinof vividly describes the tense meetings, the hitches in the conniving, the actual plays in which the Series was thrown, the Grand Jury indictment, and the famous 1921 trial. Moving behind the scenes, he perceptively examines the motives and backgrounds of the players and the conditions that made the improbable fix all too possible. Here, too, is a graphic picture of the American underworld that managed the fix, the deeply shocked newspapermen who uncovered the story, and the war-exhausted nation that turned with relief and pride to the Series, only to be rocked by the scandal. Far more than a superbly told baseball story, this is a compelling slice of American history in the aftermath of World War I and at the cusp of the Roaring Twenties.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 8 pages
  • Publisher: Holt (Henry) & Co ,U.S.; Film Tie-in Ed edition (Dec 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805003460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805003468
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"The most thorough investigation of the Black Sox scandal on record ... A vividly, excitingly written book: "--"Chicago Tribune""Dramatic detail ... an admirable journalistic feat." --"The New York Times""As thrilling as a cops and robbers tome." --"The Boston Globe" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Eliot Asinof was born in the year of the ill-fated World Series fix. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1940, he played minor league baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He wrote numerous books and a variety of plays for television and motion pictures. He lived in Ancramdale, New York, in a house he built with his son. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Baseball History. Great Writing. 1 Sep 1998
By A Customer
I thought this was an excellent read that I found hard to put down. It is rightly ranked by Roger Kahn ("The Boys of Summer") as one of the best 10 baseball books of all time. No matter how much you know about baseball, this book gives a great background on what being a ball player was like during the first two decades of the century. While it is true it is hard to sympathize with today's athletes who seem to be loyal to the highest salary, this book makes it hard not to sympathize with players who were subject to the salaries imposed upon them and whose only recourse was to sit out. There was no free agency in those days and under the reserve clause a player was at the whim of the team's owner. If he didn't like his pay he could choose not to play for that team, but the owner would also make sure he couln't play for any team. While not condoning gambling by players or throwing games (especially in the World Series), it is hard not to understand the temptations faced by many players who were underpaid, near the end of their careers and with no other skills other than baseball. In those days before social security and major league pensions, a bribe of more than your annual salary and the chance to get even at the owner who, in your eyes, was exploiting you, must have been very tempting indeed.
The book certainly makes you feel sympathetic toward "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver. Like Pete Rose, these two players probably deserve some of the forgiveness that we're so proud of. Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame and Weaver's name should be cleared.
The writing is superb. It gives us a good feel for the intensity surrounding a World Series, the world of gamblers and the world of sportswriters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Novel about a Sour Series 31 July 1997
By A Customer
Although not a work of fiction, Asinof establishes the antagonist, or scapegoat, in the fixing of the 1919 World Series as the owner of the Chicago White Sox, Charles Comisky. He blames Comisky and the low wages he provided as the reason the eight sold out on one of the great ballclubs of all-time. Asinof also puts the blame on the gamblers who used the ballplayers as pawns to get rich. But, ultimately participation in the scheme was the final and fatal decision that was made by 8 of the Sox. Some parts of the book, such as the post-trial, are a bit dry, but overall this is an easy-to-read, informative novel. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about such White Sox greats as Buck Weaver and Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 World Series scandal in which they participated.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Peice of Work 31 Aug 2003
By A Customer
When you reach the end of this book you just can't help feeling sorry for the eight guys who compromised themselves so irrevocably when throwing the Wrold Series. I'm no baseball fan - not even American! - but the book seemed to have the right balance of sport and history to keep me interested. Well paced.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking and Relevant 9 July 2013
As a huge cricket fan I guess that at some time in my life it would be inevitable that I would fall in love with Baseball. I read WP Kinsella's Shoeless Joe and the lesser known, but far superior in my opinion, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy some time back but I could never really get into the game. This season though, the penny has dropped and not a night goes by when I'm not glued at some stage to the baseball on ESPN America. If this is middle-age, then, well, I love it.

So, to the book.

Eight Men Out tells the true story of eight players from the great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 who were thrown out of baseball forever - some of the players like Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver being at the peak of their talent - for allegedly conspiring to throw the World Series by taking bribes from gamblers. The America of the time, on the verge of prohibition, and baseball at the time , in the grip of millionaire mogul owners, is wonderfully described and gives a resonant backdrop to the lives and actions of the largely uneducated, naive ball players.

Asinof takes the reader through the conspiracy, describes beautifully the actual games in the World Series and reveals in a heart-breaking fashion how the players faced their eventual outcome. It is a cautionary tale of how it is so easy to make a rash decision without the full knowledge of consequences, how a machine - whether it be the underhand web spinning of lawyers or the high minded morals of the super rich can grind a man down and literally trample upon his field of dreams.

Sport even today is littered with stories of players and teams who have let their talent be used for the betterment of their bank role by finding themselves in league with professional gamblers and syndicates.
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