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'78: The Boston Red Sox, A Historic Game, and a Divided City Paperback – March 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; First Paperback Printing edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451229223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451229229
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #349,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bill Reynolds is an award-winning sports columnist for the Providence Journal. He has written five books, including Fall River Dreams, and co-written three more, including the New York Times bestseller, Success Is a Choice. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Galluzzo VINE VOICE on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Red Sox fans have watched over the past two decades as free agents have turned their city down, the most famous being David Justice. For anybody under 45 years of age, it's been a head-scratcher. Why is Boston labeled as a racist city by outsiders?

Reynolds' book explains the heavy racist hatred that plagued the city during the 1970s, through the story of the busing experiment that attempted to systematically integrate the city's neighborhood schools. Paralleling the busing story is the tale of the 1978 single game playoff between the Red Sox and Yankees, how it froze time in the city and focused everybody's concentration - black and white - on the game. The author also explores the hypocritical stance taken by many fans of the day, cheering black ballplayers like Jim Rice and George Scott, yet protesting busing once the games got out.

So the problem for Bostonians today is one of simple math. If they lived in the city in the mid-1970s and were cognizant of the busing controversy, they remember the hate. If David Justice had a friend who grew up in Boston during those turbulent, violent days, his opinion of the city could easily have been swayed. If you moved into Boston after 1980, you might never know the importance of the names Judge Garrity, Mel King and Louise Day Hicks.

In the end, the author uses the game as a metaphor for the race relations. After Carl Yastrzemski popped out to end the dramatic game, the Yankees visited the Red Sox clubhouse to say that neither team should have lost, that in the end, both teams should have been labeled winners.

If the Red Sox and Yankees could get along, so could South Boston and Roxbury.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. C Sheehy on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have to tip my cap to Bill Reynolds, he manages to write a compelling and somewhat uplifting story about a very dark period in the history of Boston. As we all know the mid-1970's were not a happy time for the city of Boston. The busing issue nearly destroyed its reputation. Reynolds in this book tells the compelling story of the Red Sox and the 1978 pennant race. He shows how the tumult outside the ball park was in some ways alien to what was going on inside but yet not completely foreign.

Reynolds does a tremendous job of describing the principal players on both the political as well as sport fronts. He describes the history of racism that dominated not only the Boston School Committee but also the Boston Red Sox under Tom Yawkey. He does a great job at showing how this racism caused long term harm to both the Red Sox and the city of Boston.

All in all a great read and highly enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on July 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For the city of Boston, the mid '70s was a period of prime-time racial tension; everyone in the country seemed to focus on the busing issue & many labeled that city as racist.

Bill Reynolds' compelling tale of one devastatingly historic baseball game (for Red Sox fans) and the racial tension that divided a city, is a masterful piece of writing.

Over 30 years has passed since that fateful game; the city has shaken the so-called Curse of the Bambino, with two World Series titles over the past five seasons (which is two more than the mighty Yankees), and the racial tension has dissipated. However, to any fan of the Red Sox who witnessed the stunning outcome of that game, the hero for the Yankees will forever be remembered tersely, as Bucky Bleepin' Dent.

Reynolds has compiled a fascinating story, whether you're a fan of the game, or a fan of contemporary American culture. It's a great book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph C. Sweeney on April 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bill Reynolds has long been on of New England's most prolific writers of sports books. His latest, "'78", does not disappoint. A recounting of the great playoff game between the Sox and Yankees along with a history of the Boston busing crisis of the 70s, Reynolds work is extremely readable and entertaining, and should be read by any Red Sox fan or those interested in the history of the Hub.

Highly recommended.
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