ARC Review: 1962: Baseball and America in the Time of JFK

1962: Baseball and America in the Time of JFK by David Krell

This is a book with a really promising idea, which unfortunately is somewhat confusingly organized, making for a disjointed reading experience.

For this book, the Pros all center on the amount of research that went into it. David Krell has clearly done his homework, and there are some great nuggets of writing about events in America in 1962. He does a great job providing in depth storytelling around the creation of the two baseball expansion teams of 1962 (the Mets and the Houston Colt-45s), especially the Houston team. And you get some in depth biographies of individual baseball players, as well as good commentary on other important figures and events in 1962 America.

The Cons all center on how the author organized the material. Each of the book's 12 chapters has two heading - the calendar month January through December, and then a thematic or topical chapter name that relates to the bulk of what's covered in the chapter. To be honest with you, I completely glossed over the month chapter titles until I got to July, since the book is NOT really chronologically organized. The October through December chapters are more centered on events that occurred during those months than any of the earlier chapters, which will have events from the month at the beginning or end of the chapter - in some cases only a couple of paragraphs - before the topical thrust of the chapter sets in.

The title of the book would lead you to believe that you'll be reading about the 1962 baseball season. I so wish the author had structured the book that way, so that the biographies of the players would come naturally out of the stories of their play during the season. As it is, they are arranged within rosters of each of the teams he covers, and so feel very disjointed. Likewise, the topics of each chapter, though some of them are really interesting, don't build on each other.

If you are a baseball fan, and you are interested in events in the early 1960s, this book has a wealth of information and, if you can get past the issues with the organization of the material, it may be worth your time.

NOTE: I was provided an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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