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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of A Black Institution » User review

Behind the scenes look at the history of the Negro Leagues

  • Nov 30, 2008
  • by
While most knowledgeable baseball fans have a passing acquaintance with Negro League Baseball, precious little ink has been devoted to the institution itself.  Author Neil Lanctot has corrected this oversight with a downright fascinating and meticulously researched book.  "Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of A Black Institution" chronicles the history of the sport from its earliest origins until its ultimate demise in the early 1960's. From the outset there were a multitude of obstacles that the operators of most of these teams were simply never able to overcome.  Poor administration, lack of suitable venues, constantly shifting franchises and raids from competing leagues were just some of the problems the Negro Leagues were up against.  And when the leagues finally became profitable in the early to mid 1940's the spectre of integration in organized baseball and the shortsightedness of the league owners would ultimately seal the fate of this venerable black institution.
This is an absolutely fascinating story that you are sure to become engrossed in.  The writing is first rate and as I mentioned earlier the book is extremely well researched.  Sports fans and history buffs alike are certain to enjoy "Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of A Black Institution".    Highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book


Winner of the 2005 Seymour Medal of the Society for American Baseball Research

"Prodigiously researched and thoroughly unsentimental, Neil Lanctot's history of organized black baseball from 1933 through the early 1960s provides an enormously important historical corrective to feel-good versions of baseball integration."—New York Times

The story of black professional baseball provides a remarkable perspective on several major themes in modern African American history: the initial black response to segregation, the subsequent struggle to establish successful separate enterprises, and the later movement toward integration. Baseball functioned as a critical component in the separate economy catering to black consumers in the urban centers of the North and South. While most black businesses struggled to survive from year to year, professional baseball teams and leagues operated for decades, representing a major achievement in black enterprise and institution building.

Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution presents the extraordinary history of a great African American achievement, from its lowest ebb during the Depression, through its golden age and World War II, until its gradual disappearance during the early years of the civil rights era. Faced with only a limited amount of correspondence and documents, Lanctot consulted virtually every sports page of every black newspaper located in a league city. He then conducted interviews with ...

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ISBN-10: 0812220277
ISBN-13: 978-0812220278
Author: Neil Lanctot
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Date Published: April 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
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