Friday, January 27, 2012

'Summer' is one of PW's Top 10

Spring 2012 Announcements: Sports: Olympians, Yogi & the Knuckler
By Michael Coffey
Jan 20, 2012
This June, the Summer Olympics from London will be hard to escape, and there are no fewer than five books in the pages that follow that deal with the history of Olympic competition in one way or the other.
All of the Olympics books would seem to have value, but the one done in association with Olympic Museum in Switzerland wins the gold, at least in this preliminary event: The Treasures of the Olympic Games, an “interactive history” of the games by Neil Wilson, comes from Carlton Books, and features many photos plus facsimiles of Olympic mementoes, some innocent, like rail passes, some chilling, like a police report detailing the fatal hostage-taking in Munich in 1972.
Whether this Olympiad is battered by politics will be a big security question no doubt in the streets of London , but sports and politics have often been inextricably linked. Da Capo’s Summer of ’68: The Season That Changed Baseball—and America —Forever by Tim Wendel revisits a horrendous year in America , with the assassinations of MLK and RFK, and riots and arson in many cities. Detroit was one of the hottest cities, and Wendel recalls the exploits of the Tigers, with several homegrown black stars, who appealed for calm in their hometown and also won the World Series.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Library Journal? Great review

Wendel (fiction & nonfiction writing, Johns Hopkins Univ.; High Heat: The Secret History of the Fastball and the Improbable Search for the Fastest Pitcher of All Time) follows the tradition of homing in on a key year in both baseball and U.S. history. America was being torn apart in 1968, and baseball was under stress, too. The pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers had players at loggerheads with one another. Star players like Cardinal ace Bob Gibson were not immune to racial tension and prejudice. And yet, the ultimate story is one of triumph as these teams provided some respite and hope to a beleaguered country suffering from the effects of the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Wendel has interviewed many of the key participants to bring this crucial year to life. Transcending baseball history alone, this is recommended for baseball fans and students of the era.—P.K., Library Journal

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Summer of '68 cover

Here's the cover for Summer of '68. This is the pivotal play in that season's World Series recast for the time period.With cover blurbs from Ken Burns, Tom Stanton, John Thorn, David Maraniss and Hampton Sides, Summer of '68 will be out March 13.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

From David Maraniss

The Summer of 68 captivated me from the get-go: I was 18 that summer, reeling from the chaos of an unforgettable year, awestruck by the ferocious beauty of Bob Gibson, rooting for Willie Horton and the Tigers from the city of my birth. Cheers to Tim Wendel for bringing it all back so vividly.”
--David Maraniss

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Endorsements keep coming

I'm a big admirer of Hampton Sides' writing. Thankfully, he took the time to blurb Summer of 68 (see below). Sides joins Tom Stanton, John Thorn and Ken Burns. The cover goes to the printer next week, and we still may pick up another blurb or two before we close. But I'm thrilled and humbled these great writers took the time.

"A year of great convulsion and heartbreak, 1968 was the closest we've come to a national nervous breakdown since the Civil War. But as Tim Wendel so deftly captures in this fine book, it was also a year when baseball soothed and thrilled us—and urgently reminded us why it's called the "national pastime."   
—Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blurb from MLB's official historian

“It seems like only yesterday when both our nation and its pastime seemed in mortal peril. Tim Wendel ’s Summer of ’68 brilliantly evokes the glories and the grim realities of that time, when America and baseball came to a crossroads, and emerged for the better on the other side.”–John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball and author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden