Summer of '49 (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
This book evokes a time, not so long ago, from which we seem to have traveled a great distance. Blending his personal recollections as an avid fifteen-year-old Yankee fan with numerous interviews with players, coaches, front-office officials, sportswriters, and other fans, Halberstam reconstructs the 1949 American League pennant race between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Along the way he sheds light not only on the game of baseball but also on American society and culture as they were and have since become. As such, the book takes on much of the gravity associated with Halberstam’s more “serious” books such as The Best and the Brightest (1972), which details American involvement in the Vietnam War, and The Reckoning (1986), which examines the decline of Ford and other American automobile companies during the 1970’s.
The year 1949 saw Major League Baseball at peak popularity. Far from cutting into gate receipts, radio broadcasts of baseball games had heightened public interest in the sport, and attendance was on the rise. Professional football, now baseball’s equal in many respects, had yet to establish itself as a competitor for America’s sports dollar. In short, the game of baseball had captured America’s imagination and, as a result, the business of baseball was booming.
These developments reflected the happy state of the nation itself. The United
States had emerged from World War II...
(The entire section is 1953 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1990)
The American Spectator. XXII, October, 1989, p. 35.
Baseball America IX, October 25, 1989, p. 35.
Business Week. May 29, 1989, p. 16.
Library Journal. CXIV, September 1, 1989, p. 235.
Maclean’s. CII, June 12, 1989, p. 56.
The Nation. CCXLIX, August 21, 1989, p. 210.
The New York Review of Books. XXXV I, October 12, 1989, p. 49.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIV, May 7, 1989, p. 9.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXXV, March 17, 1989, p. 86.
The Sewanee Review. XCVII, Summer, 1989, p. 475.
Time. CXXXIII, May 22, 1989, p. 114.
(The entire section is 64 words.)