Saturday, November 26, 2011

Emperors and Idiots, By Mike Vaccaro

The Red Sox and the Yankees. The Rivalry. 100 years of baseball animosity. This book covers it all. From the early years when the Sox clearly had the upper hand. Through the middle of the 20th century when the Yankees took the advantage. Right on through the 2004 season when the Yankees showed themselves as the biggest chokers in the history of sports. Vaccaro attempts to cover it all as impartially as possible. Many books have been written from one side or the other. This one attempts to split the line right down the middle and simply retell the stories.

Vaccaro does a very good job of that. While reading this book, it’s easy to forget that he’s a writer for a NY newspaper. That’s saying something. The only problem with the book? It’s fewer than 400 pages, and tries to cover 100 years worth of history. It can’t be done. It can’t be done in the sort of detail one might like. For instance, Vaccaro’s other book The First Fall Classic was about the same length, and talked about one World Series. So, when you need to skim over history like that, you stick to the basics. Many of the stories were familiar to me. Which, I suppose, is a credit to Vaccaro that I still enjoyed the book. He didn’t use a chronological retelling, and made it work. He shifted back and forth through history telling similar stories that happened over the years. It really showed how the rivalry was really one big story. It was a great read.

Rating: 3 bases.

1 comment:

  1. Just finished reading this. As a Yankee fan, very painful. As a baseball fan, very enlightening. I was not totally up to date on the older (ie: pre 70's history, it's before my time.


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