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Summer of '49
 
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David Halberstam
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Summer of '49

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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,671 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews

With incredible skill, passion, and insight, Pulitzer Prizewinning author David Halberstam returns us to a glorious time when the dreams of a now almost forgotten America rested on the crack of a bat.

The year was 1949, and a war-weary nation turned from the battlefields to the ball fields in search of new heroes. It was a summer that marked the beginning of a sports

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Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published December 1st 1989 by Audio Literature (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 20, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
”DiMaggio's grace came to represent more than athletic skill in those years. To the men who wrote about the game, it was a talisman, a touchstone, a symbol of the limitless potential of the human individual. That an Italian immigrant, a fisherman's son, could catch fly balls the way Keats wrote poetry or Beethoven wrote sonatas was more than just a popular marvel. It was proof positive that democracy was real. On the baseball diamond, if nowhere else, America was truly a classless society. DiMag ...more
Matt
Jul 18, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This summer, baseball came back to me. It had been gone a long time. I loved it as a kid. I played it, I watched it, I had no idea how lucky I was (growing up in Minnesota) to watch the Twins win two Series in a five-year period. Baseball was the only way I connected with my dad. We never did talk – and still seldom do – but we sure could pass the hours shagging flies. (There is a specific reason guys love Field of Dreams: because it is spot-on about fathers and sons).

As I grew older, I drifted
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Pris robichaud
Jan 04, 2009 Pris robichaud rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goddamm, But Playing Baseball Is Fun, 9 Aug 2007



"Old-time baseball players and fans love to denigrate the modern ballplayer. "Baseball today is not what it should be," one old-timer once wrote. "The players do not try to learn all the fine points of the game as in the days of old, but simply try to get by. They content themselves if they get a couple of hits every day or play an errorless game... It's positively a shame, and they are getting big money for it, too."
Bill Joyce, 1916 Ballplayer

'
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Harold Kasselman
I'm so glad I finally sat down and read this classic; there is no disappointment here. What a fabulous read. It has all a baseball fanatic could ever want.
1949 was a bit before my first MLB ball game interest but this book, written 40 years after the season with the aid of most of the principle players, captures brilliantly one of the best pennant chases in history between two of the greatest rivals of all time: the Yankees and the Red Sox. At a time when baseball and American culture was on th
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Roy
Mar 30, 2011 Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the cliché goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Those are wise and banal words. They are also applicable words to Halberstam’s well told novel about the Yankees-Red Sox pennant race in 1949, for if you were to judge this book by its cover you would think that it was a poorly researched cartoon about baseball.

Once you get past the odd sight of Joe DiMaggio hitting left handed (with a reversed NY on his uniform) the book tells the tale of mid-century America with a focus on its most popul
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Mike
Jun 28, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Halberstam tells the story of the 1949 American League pennant race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. The outcome rested on the final game of the season when these two legendary rivals faced off in Yankee Stadium. The topic has obvious appeal for fans of the game (particularly to those of us with a stake in this rivalry), but Halberstam offers a narrative that can charm the general reader as well. He tells of a bygone era when the crack of the bat was crisp over the radio and ...more
Cazual23
Jun 15, 2008 Cazual23 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any baseball fan
Recommended to Cazual23 by: my father
I used to go up to Cape Cod every summer. My uncle had this hammock between two pine trees, and I would spend my annual hours swinging, dozing and reading. Summer of '49 was one of my favorite books from that time. My Dad and I would make our annual pilgrimage to The Baseball Store in Orleans, marveling at old cards, and walk farther down main street to thumb through The Compass Rose bookstore's baseball encyclopedia. We also went to Cape Cod League baseball games at night, go Cardinals! So I'd ...more
Jake
Sep 30, 2013 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summer of ‘49 is a non-fiction book about baseball in the 1940s. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, rivals for decades, must beat each other for a bid in the 1949 World Series.

There are many characters in this book, and each unfold in different ways. The legendary Joe Dimaggio, and his less famous brother, Dominic, have to play separately, even on separate teams! In the final game of the season, Joe must win to get his World series check, and Dominic just wants to get to the great Worl
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Carol Storm
Great analysis on the diamond -- but off the field a little too stuffy and patrician!

I tell everyone that this is the best baseball book I ever read, except for THE GLORY OF THEIR TIMES by Lawrence Ritter. And I mean it! This book describes the 1949 Pennant Race between the New York Yankees (Joe DiMaggio) and Boston Red Sox (Ted Williams) in play by play, game by game detail. Halberstam also gives fascinating background information on the entire organization, the stands, the announcers, the pres
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carl  theaker
Sep 23, 2014 carl theaker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sportz

Read this at the perfect time, during my first trip to NYC which was to see games at Yankee and Mets stadia, which were torn down at the end of that season.

Great weaving of player's lives with the baseball story and historical context of America.

Interesting items - it was considered a sign of weakness to drink water during a game, and this was when wearing wool uniforms, also to eat a candy bar or anything like that.

Even though the nation only had 3 million TV sets, fans were already clownin
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Todd Stockslager
Review title: Just OK baseball classic tries hard to be poignant and ends up maudlin
I went into Halberstam's history of the 1949 Yankees/Red Sox pennant race expecting to read a great story about the postwar golden age of baseball. The story was good, but I was mildly disappointed because it seems Halberstam was expecting to write a great story about the postwar golden age of baseball, and in doing so he overwrote beyond profound and poignant and ended up at maudlin.

The particulars: in 1948 and
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Steph
Feb 09, 2013 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great...interesting story between the two rivals of the pennant race of 1949. Of course, as a die hard Red Sox fan I totally enjoyed it. I still believe Ted Williams (the last guy to ever bat .400) the greatest hitter that ever lived. It was also fun to see the Dimaggio brothers playing against each other as well. A good book for baseball fans and die hard Yanks or Sox fans everywhere!
Aaron Million
Jul 28, 2015 Aaron Million rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball
An anecdotal rendering of the exciting pennant race between the Red Sox and the Yankees in 1949. Although technically it is not, this almost acts as a prequel to Halberstam's October 1964 about the World Series that year between the Cardinals and the Yankees. Halberstam writes about the relationship (very one-sided in those days) between the owners and the players. One really comes to realize just how horrible owners and general managers (and sometimes managers) treated the players. The players ...more
Nick
Mar 16, 2013 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, non-fiction
What I most appreciated about this Halberstam baseball book was his sense of the ends and beginnings of different eras in the evolution of the game: racial integration, the dawn of televised games, the last seasons of Joe DiMaggio's career and the beginning of the years of Yankee dominance through the 1950s. A great read!
Jessica Lave
I had never heard of this book or the author until I saw it at a Sam's Club years ago. The price was right and I love baseball history, so I bought it and took it home.
Though I enjoy nonfiction, it is slower reading for me, but this one is written so well that it went by quickly for me. Not only does it cover the players and teams from the era, but it gets into some of the people close to the game, like the radio announcers, which was sort of a fun insight into a part of the game that we don't
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Phil Hill
Jul 31, 2015 Phil Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
David Halberstam is a gifted writer whose prose flows like a river keeping the reader attached to every page. Summer of '49 is an outstanding account of baseball, the days when the greats played for the love of the game, something terribly missing in today's MLB. The story is more than the Yankees vs Red Sox for it brings to life the players, the triumphs, the failures and the closeness that the teams had in that era. The greats, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich come to li ...more
Steve
Mar 13, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. Its a great tale of the '49 season and the characters that made up the pennant race between the Yanks and the Sox. I struggled with the rating, because I liked the tales and the overall story. If I were in HS, undoubtedly this is a 5 star. Today I had to separate myself to give it a 4 (which it deserves).

There's a strong chance I read this book back in the 90's. I devoured sports books back in my middle and high school days. And frankly a lot of the stories in here were fa
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Bob
May 12, 2013 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
David Halberstam brought to life an era of baseball before I was born. He chronicles the 1949 American League pennant race and the contest between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox that comes down to the last game of the season between these two teams.

Halberstam tells the story of the passing of an era. Joe DiMaggio would play just one more season. Yankees Tommy Henrich (who carried the Yankee team while DiMaggio sat out part of the season with a heel injury) and Charlie Keller were al
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Adam
Jul 08, 2008 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as I expected it to be but I still enjoyed it. This book was very much written like Halberstam's "Teammates" in that it gave a lot of background on the key players. I was expecting it to be more about the season, the actual pennant race and the way it gripped the nation and less about the back stories of the key players. Maybe it felt this way because I knew much of what I read because I had already been through his other book. There was some new information and it was pretty cool to ...more
Chris
Oct 29, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summer of ’49 by David Halberstam is a terrific book, especially for sports fans. It’s very exciting to read about the best and most hated rivalry in all of sports between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. A lot of the book also talks about Ted Williams arguably the greatest hitter in baseball history (played for the Red Sox) and Joe DiMaggio not only one of the greatest hitters of all time but a major celebrity (played for the Yankees, married to Marilyn Monroe).
In the beginning, th
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Keith
Apr 15, 2013 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any book about baseball is a good book. A baseball book from David Halberstram is a classic. Whether you are a Yankee lover or a Yankee hater or don't care about the Yankees or baseball at all, this a great read. That also pertains to the lovers, haters and indifferent of the Red Sox. He makes the men who played the game stand up and walk out of the pages of history and stand before you, full of the angst of playing the great American game, driven (to drink, many of them) by the passion to win, ...more
Joe Proulx
Sep 03, 2008 Joe Proulx rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: baseball fans, historians
This was somewhat of a slow read. I've written this in some of my other reviews, but I hardly have time to read, what with a young child and a full time job. But when a book resonates with me, I'll make time to get through it as fast as possible. Perhaps a sign of this book's lack of resonation, it took me a month to read it.

The subject matter is right up my alley. I'm a die-hard Red Sox fan, an avid Yankee hater, and I have an appreciation for all things competition. But this book just dragged
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Eric
Jan 15, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eric by: Joe Lazarro
Shelves: sports
I usually stick to fiction, but a co-worker (and fellow Yankees fan) gave me a copy of this book and I decided to give it a read, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

Even though "Summer of '49" is way before my time, I appreciated it on a number of levels. I learned a lot about the time period, the beginnings of television and advertising in baseball, the difference in the relationship between the media and the players, and the effect of the war on the game and the careers of its stars. I also c
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Shawn
Aug 25, 2010 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
a.t.m.
Dec 09, 2015 a.t.m. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book about our pastime, when life was simpler.

I really enjoy a well researched book and this is one of those special books about baseball. This book covers so much about the players on two teams fighting for the American league pennant. The details about their personalities and what makes a champion borders on human talent and lady lucky. Good read, I highly recommend.
Sam
Jun 04, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With my favorite baseball team being the New York Yankees, I really enjoyed reading this book. For anyone who likes a good baseball story between rivals this would be your book. Towards the begging there were a few dull chapters leading up to the World Series race where it was filled with action and drama. David Halberstam's writing style was very humorous and I enjoyed it. I recommend highly recommend this book.
Westerville
Oct 19, 2015 Westerville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults, non-fiction
Man I love baseball. I really enjoyed how Halberstam kept a neutral tone throughout the book and didn't elevate one team over the other. He gave a good unbiased account of the 49 pennant race. - Allison, Adult Services

Reserve a library copy.
Jack
May 29, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a baseball fan you might enjoy this. If you are from the East Coast you might enjoy it even more. If you grew up in the Northeast, in the forties and were a baseball fan you will be ecstatic. Good writing, interesting anecdotes and a look at the times and individuals that made up MLB. It brought me back to my youth.
Charlie Newfell
Interesting account of the times, in the late 40's before the arrival of TV into sports. Some background into the biggest stars of the day, but at the end I didn't feel I really knew them any better. Lots and lots of stories of all of the peripheral players - management, sports writers, restaurant owners, but not really a lot of baseball. A pitcher winning 10 in a row is summed up in a sentence or two. The guy who sells peanuts gets a couple of pages. So, a mixed bag.
Brent
Nov 07, 2012 Brent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed also David Halberstam's October 1964, but this is my favorite of the two. The books cover more than just the baseball seasons in their titles, also including much background on the teams and players as well as discussions of the culture of the era. The fact that much of the emphasis of this book is of Joe DiMaggio's Yankees and the Red Sox of Ted Williams - two legendary players - makes it all the more interesting.

It's obviously a time now gone from America, where the teams traveled b
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David Halberstam (April 10, 1934–April 23, 2007) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author known for his early work on the Vietnam War and his later sports journalism.

Halberstam graduated from Harvard University with a degree in journalism in 1955 and started his career writing for the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Mississippi. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, writing for
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“DiMaggio's grace came to represent more than athletic skill in those years. To the men who wrote about the game, it was a talisman, a touchstone, a symbol of the limitless potential of the human individual. That an Italian immigrant, a fisherman's son, could catch fly balls the way Keats wrote poetry or Beethoven wrote sonatas was more than just a popular marvel. It was proof positive that democracy was real. On the baseball diamond, if nowhere else, America was truly a classless society. DiMaggio's grace embodied the democracy of our dreams.” 11 likes
“Baseball was rooted not just in the past but in the culture of the country; it was celebrated in the nation’s literature and songs. When a poor American boy dreamed of escaping his grim life, his fantasy probably involved becoming a professional baseball player. It was not so much the national sport as the binding national myth.” 0 likes
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