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Hoopla
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When eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, the team became known as the "Black Sox." "Hoopla" blends the narrative of team member George Weaver with the view of Luther Pond, who exposed the scandal. Filled with cameo portraits of prominent sports legends of the early twentieth century, this novel brings to life an era when America was passionate, even patriotic, about baseball; and when one reporter's words had the power to rock a nation.
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Author of Esquire's ``Ethics'' column, Stein sets his first novel in the aftermath of baseball's ``Black Sox'' cheating scandal in 1919, a device that allows him not only to explore the familar turf of ethics but also to probe both mythmaking and racism in sport. The narrators are an ambitious fictional reporter who uncovers the scandal and Buck Weaver, one of the eight actual ballplayers charged with accepting bribes and fixing games. PW noted that while the book affords ``a sharp and imaginative look at the underside of the national pastime at a time when baseball and America were supposedly more innocent,'' Hoopla unfortunately ``falls victim to Stein's overly ambitious narrative scheme.'' (April)

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