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Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History (Anglais) Broché – 19 février 2008


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Crazy ’08 is simply a delight, required reading for all fans of baseball in Chicago. (--Chicago Tribune)

“If you are any kind of fan, you ought to relish and revel in this wonderful book” (--Washington Times)

A penetrating look at the dead-ball era, when the game truly was the national pastime. A- (--Entertainment Weekly)

“picturesque details are what make...Crazy ‘08 such a fun and revealing journey through the early days of baseball.” (--Sports Illustrated)

“Entertaining and meticulously researched.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Beguiling” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“[A] rollicking tour... will fascinate students of baseball... cause today’s Cub fans to experience an unaccustomed feeling---pride...” (New York Times Book Review)

“[W]orthy to stand alongside The Glory of Their Times..., out in front.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

Présentation de l'éditeur

From the perspective of 2007, the unintentional irony of Chance's boast is manifest—these days, the question is when will the Cubs ever win a game they have to have. In October 1908, though, no one would have laughed: The Cubs were, without doubt, baseball's greatest team—the first dynasty of the 20th century.

Crazy '08 recounts the 1908 season—the year when Peerless Leader Frank Chance's men went toe to toe to toe with John McGraw and Christy Mathewson's New York Giants and Honus Wagner's Pittsburgh Pirates in the greatest pennant race the National League has ever seen. The American League has its own three-cornered pennant fight, and players like Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and the egregiously crooked Hal Chase ensured that the junior circuit had its moments. But it was the National League's—and the Cubs'—year.

Crazy '08, however, is not just the exciting story of a great season. It is also about the forces that created modern baseball, and the America that produced it. In 1908, crooked pols run Chicago's First Ward, and gambling magnates control the Yankees. Fans regularly invade the field to do handstands or argue with the umps; others shoot guns from rickety grandstands prone to burning. There are anarchists on the loose and racial killings in the town that made Lincoln. On the flimsiest of pretexts, General Abner Doubleday becomes a symbol of Americanism, and baseball's own anthem, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," is a hit.

Picaresque and dramatic, 1908 is a season in which so many weird and wonderful things happen that it is somehow unsurprising that a hairpiece, a swarm of gnats, a sudden bout of lumbago, and a disaster down in the mines all play a role in its outcome. And sometimes the events are not so wonderful at all. There are several deaths by baseball, and the shadow of corruption creeps closer to the heart of baseball—the honesty of the game itself. Simply put, 1908 is the year that baseball grew up.

Oh, and it was the last time the Cubs won the World Series.

Destined to be as memorable as the season it documents, Crazy '08 sets a new standard for what a book about baseball can be.



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17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A detailed look at one baseball season 5 octobre 2007
Par Steven A. Peterson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Cait Murphy observes that 1908 is an important season in the history of baseball in America. She closes the book with the statement (page 288): "In the sweep of baseball's history, 1908 is not the end of an era, nor the beginning of one. It is, however, the end of the beginning." She starts the work by answering why she explores 1908 (page xiii): "The best season in baseball history id 1908. Besides two agonizing pennant races, it features history's finest pitching duel, hurled in the white heat of an October stretch drive, and the most controversial game ever played." I'm not sure that I buy 1908 as the apogee of baseball; however, Murphy does make a nice case.

The book begins with some context, looking at the earlier years of the National League and American League just after the turn of the century. She also looks at the evolution of gloves and bats and the other artifacts of the game. There are glimpses of stadia of the time.

Also nicely done are the character sketches of some key figures from 1908--from Manager John McGraw of the Giants to John Evers and Frank ("Husk" or "The Peerless Leader") Chance of the Cubs to Honus Wagner and so on. The book takes a chronological look at the season thereafter, from opening day through the great replay of the tie game (when Fred Merkle didn't touch second base, leading to a tie score) to a brief afterword on the World Series (not much time spent on it, since it was a blowout, with the Cubs winning their last World Series over the Detroit Tigers).

Some interesting tidbits are scattered throughout: the seemingly large number of players who committed suicide (pages 66-67), the amazing variety of interests of Cubs' players on one train trip (if accurately portrayed by a reporter)--"Doc" Marshall reading a book on dentistry, Johnny Evers reading a biography of Savonarola, two players discussed how to raise alfalfa, Ed Reulbach reading a chemistry book, five playing poker, and so on.

There is the portrayal of some of the great moments of the season, for instance, Young Fred Merkle not touching second base after an apparent game-winning hit against the detested Cubs (pages 189-191).

There are also several "time-out" inserts that provide interesting side-bar discussions. One of these looks at Chicago and its bawdy politics of the early 1900s; another examines the howler that Abner Doubleday invented the game of baseball. An Epilogue briefly describes what happened to key players after the 1908 season, including Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown (there is a picture of his misshapen hand in the volume, suggesting how he might have created interesting movement on his pitches), Frank Chance, Hal Chase, Fred Merkle, "Cy" Young, and so on.

All in all, a nice detailed view of a fascinating season in baseball history.
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Splendid 7 avril 2007
Par Robert W. Kellemen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Cait Murphy has composed a splendidly written chronicle of a year in the life of baseball. "Crazy `08" builds fast with a sweeping history of the years preceding '08. It then ties together story after fascinating story, breathing life into the dead ball era. This is not simply a baseball book, it is a book about life, competition, egos, culture, and a nation. The portraits are not always pretty, because baseball (and life) are not always attractive. However Murphy's paintings of these pictures are striking and eye-catching.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Soul Physicians, and Spiritual Friends (and an avid Cubs' fan!).
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This Book Is Like A Time Machine 15 mai 2007
Par Bill Emblom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I have read other books reviewing the 1908 baseball season such as "The Unforgettable Season", but Cait Murphy's effort is the best by far. She has done a masterful job in bringing the significant individuals back to life from this time period. In addition, her description of the fans (bugs or cranks), and their loyalty to their home team is outstanding. This book made me feel as though I was right there taking part in what the game of baseball was like in 1908. It is really a "You Are There" description. Her humorous method of writing throughout the book is precious with laughs on many pages. The book focuses mainly on three National League teams (Giants, Cubs, and Pirates) that are fighting for the pennant while one chapter is devoted to the three American League teams (Tigers, White Sox, and Indians) battling for the A. L. flag. The text, itself, is 298 pages long and is very hard to put down. I have read hundreds of baseball books, and this is one of the very best. If you want a taste of what the game of baseball and its fans were like 100 years ago this is a wonderful book for you to read. Also, if you have a youngster around 10 years old who enjoys reading about the game's history I would highly recommend this book. I know I am ordering extra copies for just that purpose. In addition, present major league players would do well to introduce themselves to what the game was like 100 years ago along with learning about the men who made up the game's colorful past. Get busy on another one, Ms. Murphy.
21 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating subject, but her writing is a mess. 12 mai 2007
Par mike in baltimore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Baseball is one of my favorite subjects, and the early 20th century is my favorite time period, so I was eager to read this book. The author's writing style, however, leaves this fascinating subject matter in shambles. Ms. Murphy has a maddening tendency to change tense multiple times in the middle of paragraphs. She often, in fact, changes tense in the middle of sentences. It makes me think that modern day publishers can no longer afford proofreaders. Any journalism professor I ever had would have failed me outright if I'd handed in a work like this. I really WANTED to like this book, but it left me with my head on the table, unable to get through to the end.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Better than a Bingle 23 novembre 2007
Par Rich Piellisch - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
From the preamble with its loving lament to her late Dad to the gripping epilogue, this is an astonishingly readable book, far more than readable, as Cait Murphy has achieved a distinctive style, a voice that combines the banter of baseball with enormous erudition and an authority born of massive research. It's archival journalism at its very best. The result is a history not only of a great baseball season but of an era when, as Murphy notes, the sport we know today and the corporate culture of 20th century America itself took shape. Sidebars on Tammany corruption in New York and a lady mass-murderer in Chicago provide context, and far-distant baseball characters like John McGraw, Honus Wagner, Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown (the photo of his pitching hand alone is worth the price of the book), the disbeloved Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, the Rubes Marquand and Waddell, and Tinker and Evers and Chance are all brought to life. Fred Merkle too, yes.
This is the best baseball book since Jim Bouton's Ball Four in 1970. It's in fact better. Bouton's book was a beautiful bingle. Cait Murphy has hit a grand slam -- no mean feat for 1908.
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