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The Summer of Beer and Whiskey


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About the Author

Edward Achorn, a journalist and Pulitzer prize finalist for distinguished commentary, is the deputy editorial pages editor of the Providence Journal and author of Fifty-Nine in'84: Old Hoss Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball, and the Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had. He has won numerous writing awards and his work appears in The Best Newspaper Writing, 2007-2008. His reviews of books on American history appear frequently in the Weekly Standard. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island.


Bill Littlefield, NPR's "Only a Game" "The author makes a convincing case that it was an exceptionally entertaining time to be a baseball fan in St. Louis." Providence Journal "Edward Achorn ... favors us with a realistic and colorful look at early professional baseball." The Daily Beast "The time machine travels back to the 1880s as brewer Chris von der Ahe purchases the forerunner of the St. Louis Cardinals, with the singular purpose of selling more beer." Los Angeles Times "When it comes to baseball history, Edward Achorn has carved out his own territory, re-animating the 19th century game." The New Yorker - The Sporting Scene blog "Combining the narrative skills of a sportswriter with a historian's depth of knowledge and stockpile of detail, Achorn has produced a book that is both entertaining and informative." The Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel "The Summer of Beer and Whiskey" is full of great stories and interesting tidbits of history." Library Journal "Achorn...takes us back to when baseball was expressed in two words and one league--until the American Association was founded in 1882." Publishers Weekly "Achorn...turns his attention to old-time professional baseball, visiting the nascent days of the American Association, more notably, the American Association that turned baseball into a nationally beloved sport...[An] entertaining history of baseball's overlooked early years." Kirkus Reviews "A thoroughly enjoyable re-creation of the gusto, guts, glory and grime of the game's early days." Tampa Tribune "The Summer of Beer and Whiskey strengthens the baseball fan's understanding of that raw, unvarnished era of baseball 130 years ago that eventually evolved into the smooth product we see today. Achorn writes passionately and presents an excellent history lesson." St. Louis Post Dispatch "The Summer of Beer and Whiskey hinges on the hard-fought 1883 pennant race between Von der Ahe's ascendant Browns and the Philadelphia Athletics. The book is rich in newspaper accounts of the race, along with accompanying caricatures of the players. But Achorn also includes insightful digressions on topics ranging from the sport's persistent problems with racism and alcoholism to the peculiarities of 19th-century baseball, which featured barehanded fielders, one umpire per contest, and pitchers who could take a slight running start before each throw."

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