Page by Page: Book Reviews

Baseball, Race, and the Americas

Alou is one of the best baseball autobiographies of recent years because it offers the story of race and baseball not from a non-American perspective, but from someone who got to know the United States very well as both a resident and a subject of its foreign policy, as both insider and outsider.

Why Spoken Words Matter

Most scholarly professionals, linguists and non-linguists alike, suffer from the occasional (or not so occasional) feeling that what they do is meaningless, having no direct, positive impact on their fellow man. The overall message of Baugh’s book will inspire them otherwise.

Seasons of the Southpaw

The basic facts are here, from Spahn’s upbringing in Buffalo to his last year in baseball with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants, as well as some useful quotes but there are two problems with Freedman’s book.

Melodrama and the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage

Collins provides an uplifting narrative about how a same-sex romantic partnership is validated by the government and comes to hold a more respectful and comfortable place among friends, family, and the larger community. Setbacks are setbacks. Wins are wins. Hopes and fears are clear.

The Geography of Political Dysfunction

Hill’s comprehensive work reflects a diverse skillset, straddling the disciplines of history, journalism, and political science, that lends to a linguistically captivating and informative explanation of Yemen’s experience of regional intervention, tribal patronage, and strongman politics.

Pow! Bam! Biff! Tales of the Comic Book Wars

Slugfest is a fun book for anyone interested in comic books, in American popular culture generally, or in the obsessive and sometimes pathological nature of business competition. But it is not the incisive book about this industry that still awaits its author.

Baseball and the Fate of America

William J. Ryczek aptly documents baseball’s generation of conflict through 1968, the year “America’s pastime” confronted racial militancy, Vietnam, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, and also the growing dominance of football.