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Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era Paperback – 23 Apr 2004

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4.1 out of 5 stars 14 reviews from us-flag |

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Product Description


Like a quickly paced, mid-season game on a sunny summer afternoon, Charles C. Alexander's book provides another comfortable examination of the national pastime... he demonstrates a thorough command of the narrative nature of the game itself and a solid ability to find meaning in the play of men. American Historical Review Alexander follows his excellent biographies... with this engrossing look at baseball in the Depression Era. His running narrative of seasons and games is a welcome adjunct to his explorations of more serious themes. Dallas Morning News Alexander writes for baseball junkies, peppering his prose with baseball slang and laboring through game-by-game series recaps. San Francisco Chronicle The beautiful dustjacket alone is almost worth the purchase price. ESPN Magazine Some fine scholarship. Natural History A good overview. Library Journal A worthwhile slice of baseball history for devoted fans. Booklist [I]t is Alexander's descriptions of day-to-day living for the average ballplayer that are most fascinating--where they lived, how they earned extra money, their traveling and lodging conditions. USA Today Baseball Weekly Flat-out entertaining, sometimes-touching baseball anecdotes. -- Mark Luce Chicago Tribune Baseball history does not get much better than this study of the Depression years... Everything is here: the heroes, the statistics, the personalities... a model of scholarship. Choice A worthy addition to the sports history canon, providing a valuable secondary source for anyone with an interest in the game's evolution. -- West Singletary History Written in a lively, traditional narrative style rich in colorful illustrative anecdotes... enjoyable and informative. Journal of American History [It chronicles] important periods in the history of baseball, and [It] will thoroughly engage that sport's aficionados. -- Jack E. Davis American Studies

About the Author

Charles C. Alexander is Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio University. He is the author of the biographies Ty Cobb, John McGraw, and Rogers Hornsby, and of Our Game: An American Baseball History. He lives in Athens, Ohio.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good 1930's History of Baseball 23 Mar. 2016
By CatMan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good overview of 1930's baseball from the playing field to the business side of it. Alexander goes through each season from 1930 to 1941 when America entered WWII. He goes over the highlights of each season on the field and then the how they fared from the business side of it each season. With times being so hard in some of those years it was great resolve that MLB survived these lean economic times. Alexander also goes over the minor leagues and how they survived or did not survive during these lean times. He also has a chapter on the Negro Leagues during this time. Some the years seemed a bit repetitive in how they were presented and I would have like to have more stories about the players and what they did to survive during this time. But all in all a good factual history of the times and well worth it if you like baseball history.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Baseball History 24 Feb. 2003
By Bill Emblom - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It goes without saying that baseball's history dwarfs that of any other sport, and Charles Alexander has done an excellent job of covering the period of baseball during the 1930's and up to the beginning of the U.S.'s entry into World War II. It's true that this time period has been covered in other books, but it still is a very worthwhile read for anyone interested in baseball history regardless of whether you have read about this era or not. The advent of night baseball and the birth of baseball's Hall of Fame took place in the 1930's. Many of the game's players were suited for work in baseball and nothing else. As pitcher Waite Hoyt stated, "The trouble with baseball as a life's work is that it takes the player's best years and trains him for nothing else." It is also the story of the racism that prevailed, not only in the major leagues, but in the country as well. Many of the greatest players such as Satchel Paige, James "Cool Papa" Bell, and Josh Gibson toiled in the Negro Leagues because they were denied entry into the lilly white major leagues by a "gentlemen's agreement" that owners denied even existed. Baseball struggled during the lean years of the 1930s, but many great players took part in the game and played for salaries that were better than workers in other paying jobs were receiving even though the reserve clause tied players to the club that signed them. The author hints that baseball during the '30s may have been better than any other time period, and many players feel the same. I guess players from any era feel their era was the best, but I would have to say the era following World War II may have been even better. I don't see how baseball could have been best during the 1930s when a large portion of the population was denied entry into the so-called national pastime. What I especially liked about the book was the author didn't bore the reader with an endless account of games and how runs were scored. I haven't liked all of Charles Alexander's books (in my opinion his book on Rogers Hornsby came up short), but this is a book you will enjoy if you enjoy baseball and its history.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful Perspective On A Pivotal Era 26 Jun. 2003
By W. C HALL - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What made the 1930's such an important era for professional baseball? How did the game evolve as both a sport and a business? How did the developments of this era influence the shape of the game in the decades that followed? These are some of the themes explored by historian and baseball fan Charles Alexander in "Breaking The Slump."
Alexander's greatest gift seems to be for biography; his lives of John McGraw and Ty Cobb are true standouts in baseball literature. In trying to cover the sweep of an entire decade in this volume, he sometimes loses sight of his larger perspectives, but on balance, this is a very worthwhile effort. Alexander's prose is clear, it flows well, and he does have a knack for digging out forgotten nuggets of the game's history.
If you want to know more about the heyday of Hank Greenberg, Jimmie Foxx, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott and Dizzy Dean, this is a worthwhile, mostly satisfying book.--William C. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for anyone wanting to know more about baseball ... 15 July 2016
By Steven Leenerts - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book for anyone wanting to know more about baseball in the 1930's. A little dry on places but overall very excellent.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 14 July 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting & fascinating historical perspective.
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