Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg

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I am grateful and pleased by the the Association of Jewish Libraries’ review of my biography of Hank Greenberg. 

Celebrate the 100th birthday of baseball icon, Hank Greenberg, with this strong biography told in the context of American history and culture. The story of the man and his game unfold, embedded in the arc of twentieth-century America before civil rights and multicultural values became norms. Economic depression and war time are major factors in the baseball season. Greenberg’s status arcs from Jewish star to American superstar while he changes from wishing to be a great ballplayer to being a great Jewish ballplayer. Anti-Semitic remarks disturb his peace of mind, but not his determination to play as a Jew; he is famous for not playing on Yom Kippur during the cliffhanger American League pennant race. Readers observe a gentleman, standing up for his heritage. They will hold their breath wondering if Greenberg beats Babe Ruth’s home run record. They will understand why he supports Jackie Robinson who breaks the color barrier. Greenberg retires as a player, becomes an administrator and part owner; his family influences his work.

Greenberg’s quotes give every chapter immediacy and warmth; nostalgic black and white photographs reveal ordinary folks, national superstars, and political demons in their midcentury youth. The excitement of the games engrosses readers, hooked to stay despite quieter ending chapters as Greenberg ages. Greenberg played with uber-famous ball players whose names and faces grace these pages, but there is no doubt which one is the star. Readers will ask their parents to “take me out to the ball game!” Highly recommended.


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