Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer of ‘49 - By David Halberstam

This book chronicles the exciting 1949 baseball season. It focuses
on the two great teams of that year, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. It follows a now common outline of being more than just a play-by-play. It gives in-depth accounts of the people involved in the story, making it as much a series of related biographies as a rehashing of a season.

As a journalist, more than a “writer”, Halberstam’s books tend to simply lay out a series of facts. They tend to lack a cohesive story. The information is wonderful, gathered from research as well as first had interviews. It simply lacked the flow to get me involved in the season. I could be reading a pile of newspaper clippings to get the same information. The story left its goal at times as well. It felt as if the same book would be written about the 1948 and 1950 seasons with just a couple of the day-to-day happenings altered. The biographies and stories about players past deeds would still apply. It’s almost like the author had this lifetime of research and information, but was searching for a common thread to tie it all together. I didn’t find myself vested at all in the story…especially when the Sox lost.

I’d rate this as 2 bases.

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