Alan's Reviews > Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games

Take Time for Paradise by A. Bartlett Giamatti
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads
Read in June, 2011

"To know baseball is to continue to aspire to the condition of freedom, individually and as a people, for baseball is grounded in America in a way unique to our games. Baseball is part of America's plot, part of America's mysterious, underlying design--the plot in which we all conspire and collude, the plot of the story of our national life."

A very kind recipient of the First Reads ARC passed this to me as she was unable to read/review.

The first two chapters of this extended essay were quite wide-ranging ruminations on the place of leisure and sport in society. I enjoyed them though they were probably too philosophical for most casual baseball fans. The third section reveals why baseball is the quintessential American game.

Over the last decade or so, there has been a bit of a backlash against the sentimentalization of baseball and the attempts to over intellectualize what is really just an overgrown kids game. I am not amongst these critics. I tear-up watching Field of Dreams and cannot get enough of Ken Burn's nostalgic documentary.

The late Giamatti, a one time Yale English Professor and President of the college, president of the National League and commissioner of MLB has been called, the "philosopher king of baseball". This short treatise cements that reputation.

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