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Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded Paperback – June 1, 2007


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Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded + Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (June 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597971081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597971089
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In revisiting the 1919 World Series scandal, baseball historian Carney argues persuasively that the infamous fix consisted of two conspiracies: the unsuccessful attempt of players, managers and owners to hide the fact that a handful of crooked White Sox had thrown the Series; and the largely successful effort of Charles Comiskey, owner of the team, and Judge Landis, baseball's first Commissioner, to ensure that the expulsion of eight accused Sox would preserve baseball's clean public image despite widespread ties between players, gamblers and officials. He assembles an impressive range of perspectives on each question about the incident, including whether gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein dreamed up the fix, when Shoeless Joe Jackson refused and accepted $5,000 from Lefty Williams and how Comiskey learned that his team was playing to lose. Extensive research and thorough documentation will make this a valuable resource for future scholars of the scandal despite the book's uncomfortable organizational shifts among narration, biography, bibliography and an ill-conceived passage arranged into an Abbott and Costello sketch. Casual readers will be frustrated by Carney's emphasis on accuracy of detail over storytelling drive and his reluctance to commit to any single interpretation of these controversial events; these readers would be better served by Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out. 11 b&w illustrations.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"If you think you know the story of the Chicago White Sox throwing the 1919 World Series... think again. Carney knocks down the myths and legends that have evolved and lays out the cold hard facts. His meticulously documented research uncovers new evidence in the 85-year old case, including diaries of key figures, grand jury testimony, and other contemporary sources. Carney definitively answers the questions about who was involved in the scandal and to what extent. More importantly, however, he shows why the cover up was more damaging than the fix itself. Burying the Black Sox will change the way we view the history of the game, and no baseball library will be complete without it. Burying the Black Sox is destined to be a classic."

"A must read for any baseball fan. Gene Carney is truly the reigning expert on the subject of the most famous event in the 137 year history of American MLB - the1919 "Black Sox" World Series. It is a mystery that just won't go away. If you want to learn how the business of baseball works, how the media is intertwined, and how the owners, managers and public officials conspired to create the "version" of this event that we all believe today, this is a must read for you."


"Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded is a 363-page master's thesis-quality look at what remains baseball's biggest scandal. Carney criticizes such famous writers as Jerome Holtzman, the official historian of Major League Baseball, for his interpretation of the transcripts of the 1924 trial in which former Sox star Shoeless Joe Jackson sued his former team for back pay. Thanks to Carney, we now have the definitive Black Sox source book in black and white."


“…Carney has broadened the context for the discussion…This is a fruitful line of analysis, and we can only hope that future writers in this field follow their welcome examples.”

"Aiming to supersede Eliot Asinof's Eight Men Out, veteran baseball researcher Carney unpacks the history of the scandal to reveal new sources and new elements to the tale. Asking who knew what about the fix, when they knew it, and what they did about it, he answers with a fully documented study of scandal and cover-up that should prove essential for all baseball collections."

"It is startling to think that immutable baseball history you've 'known' since childhood is nothing more than a pile of unconnected errors. Gene Carney has convinced me: few of us know a thing about the 1919 World Series, and that if Joe Jackson and his colleagues committed any crimes, they paled in comparison to the cover-up effected by the game's management. And all that is particularly evocative and relevant today, as we try to figure out if the game's management is trying to expose the use of performance-enhancing drugs or hide the evidence of it."

"If you think you know the story of the 'Black Sox Scandal,' think again and start reading. This thoroughly researched and well-balanced account goes well beyond anything that has ever been written about it before. Gene Carney has done a world championship job."

"I thought that I knew everything about the Black Sox Scandal until I read this book. Gene Carney has not entirely solved the puzzle; nobody possibly could. But thanks to his detective work we have a lot more of the pieces and a fuller picture of what occurred both during the 1919 World Series and, equally significantly, during the cover-up that followed."

"[Carney] assembles an impressive range of perspectives on each question about the incident. . . . Extensive research and thorough documentation will make this a valuable resource. . . ."

"More good stories than you can count . . . And it's more challenging insight than you've ever read on Shoeless Joe and the Black Sox. . . . If you're at all serious about baseball, it's a must-read."

"If you read only one book on the 1919 World Series, it should be Burying the Black Sox. . . . an actual page-turner."

"[The author] has done yeoman's work in assembling his research. . . . This volume is worth the price. . . ."

"Sheds new light on the plight of 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson. . . . Worth the commissioner's attention in what little spare time he finds these days. . . . Selig might feel compelled to reexamine the lifetime ban. . . ."

"The best, most researched, most enjoyable research I have ever seen on the Black Sox. Anyone remotely interested in the subject has to read Burying the Black Sox. It is the best!"

"Carney has created the definitive study on the scandal in Burying the Black Sox."

"Carney's book is carefull researched and well documented; he probably knows more about the 1919 World Series than anyone. It succeeds in correcting myths long believed by writers and fans who have too casually accepted uncorroborated accounts of the 1919 World Series' many tangled events."

"[Carney] has taken an incident which is really a tapestry of smaller, often unconnected events, twirled them around in his mind, analyzed them from every angle, and done the best job yet of solving a semmingly unsolvable puzzle. He has done this by uncompromisingly thorough research, as he literally discusses almost everything written or said about baseball's most intriguing event and yet keeps it highly readable...well worth one's time."

"This is a must read for any fan interested in the Black Sox Scandal story. Gene Carney has done his research and the book speaks for itself...I have been researching Joe Jackson and the Black Sox Scandal for over 22 years, and this is the very best book to date on the true story of the fix....If you only have time to read one book on the Black Sox Scandal, you must read this one!"

"...[O]ne of the best pieces of baseball research to come along in quite a while."

"One of the most notorious events in baseball history—the "fixing" of the 1919 World Series by the Chicago White Sox (Black Sox ever afterward)—gets a thorough and overdue revisionist examination by a Utica, N.Y. writer. Carney goes far beyond the traditional "Eight Men Out" (book and film of the same title), especially in his account of baseball's initial attempt to cover up the World Series scandal."

"...Numerous books, films, and documentaries have been produced on the topic, but Carney's newest tome delves into the subject unlike any other...has shed new light on this great mystery of baseball."

"How do you describe a book once you pick it up, you find it's hard to put it down. That's Burying the Black Sox. This book will be a future reference book. A 21-gun salute is in order!"

"I have read the book and salute [Gene Carney] for an extraordinary job of research. He not only covered every angle, but every angle on every angle."

"Gene Carney has done a first-rate job not only mining previous research but finding new material on baseball's blackest moment. While he concedes that not everything will ever be known about the scandal, given the difficulties of time and memory, this book reads with authority. Its special strength, as the title hints, is in the detail about organized baseball's attempt to bury the scandal. Thanks to Carney, more of this part of the story is now known than ever before. Highly recommended,"

"...[T]here is no doubt that this book was extremely well-researched. [Carney] does a good job of separating fact from fiction, giving credit to other sources where it is due and correcting misinformation that was previously published."

"For any baseball fan with an interest in this black spot on baseball's history, this is a must-read. Gene Carney 'hits a home run' in exposing the Black Sox scandal for the complex phenomenon that it was."

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I found the book thought provoking.
Robert W. Manchester
One gets the feeling that this is the way history books should treat Shoeless Joe, but, unfortunately, very rarely do.
Gary L
As every baseball fan knows, the Chicago White Sox have had a long and colorful history.
Poniplaizy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Gary L on April 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is hard to put into words the service that author Gene Carney - with the publication of his wonderful new book: BURYING THE BLACK SOX - has performed for all of us baseball history enthusiasts who are eternally intrigued by the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Mr. Carney's great achievement is that he steps into the sordid world of lies, conspiracies, gamblers, and cover-ups that pervade this sad but fascinating chapter in baseball history, and attempts to make sense of it all. He successfully emerges with a book that is both a joy to read and incredibly informative. The wealth of new information that the author uncovers and explores is simply breathtaking. It's a book that is extremely well written and edited, with just the right blend of stylistic flair and humor. It is never boring and, quite frankly, I couldn't put it down. It's also one of the few books I've ever read that I was disappointed when it ended: I just wished that it could go on for about another 200 pages.

It also succeeds in capturing both the essential elements of the 1919 World Series scandal and the cultural flavor of post World War I America. We see remarkable, uncanny similarities to our present time. Like steroids in today's game, we sense that gambling had a "death grip" on the National Pastime by 1919, a problem that had been festering for at least a decade. And, like today's baseball hierarchy trying to deal with the problem of steroids, many of baseball's ruling elite buried their collective heads in the sand, hoped it would just go away, and orchestrated a cover-up. It took a Grand Jury to get their attention. The thought of dealing with the problem in an open and forthright manner never seemed to occur to them. Like Watergate, the cover-up didn't hold, and in many ways, was worse than the crime.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rick Huhn on May 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I liken Gene Carney's wonderful study of the Black Sox scandal to my lengthy attempts years ago to solve Mr. Rubik's frustating little cube. He has taken an incident which is really a tapestry of smaller, often unconnected events, twirled them around in his mind, analyzed them from every angle, and done the best job yet of solving a seemingly unsolvable puzzle. He has done this by uncompromisingly thorough research, as he literally discusses almost everything written or said about baseball's most intriguing event and yet keeps it highly readable. There is much to like about the result. My favorite portion of the book appears on page 179, where Carney names a jury of "experts" (various baseball historians and writers) and records their opinion on whether or not "Shoeless" Joe Jackon played the 1919 World Series to win. The verdict may surprise some.

There is one other aspect of Mr.Carney's book that is worth mentioning. There is a striking resemblance to the actions of White Sox owner Charles Comiskey and other owners in attempting to keep a cover on the scope of player involvement in betting on baseball in 1919 and the efforts of present ownership to keep the lid on steroid use by players of the current era. Those who pick up and enjoy the recent Bond's expose, Game of Shadows, will find in Burying the Black Sox an early lesson in how that "game" is played. Both books are well worth one's time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Palehose Prof on December 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a long-time White Sox fan who has read many other books about this team, I was disappointed with this book. Granted, there is a lot to be found here - if you have the time and patience and inclination to plod through all the often-repetitious information offered by the author. As another reviewer has said, this book reads like the author just dumped all his notes together with no attempt to organize them in order to make them comprehensible to the average reader. Perhaps some other enterprising author can make Carney's material the basis for a more readable book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. Dellinger on March 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Gene Carney is truly the reigning expert on the subject of

the most famous event in the 137 year history of

American MLB - the1919 "Black Sox" World Series.

It is a mystery that just won't go away.

If you want to learn how the business of baseball works, how the

media is intertwined, and how the owners, managers and public

officials conspired to create the "version" of this event that we all

believe today, this is a must read for you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Nola on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for any fan interested in the Black Sox Scandal story. Gene Carney has done his research and the book speaks for itself. Gene is objective in his telling of this very complicated story of the fix and it's attempted cover up. Gene lays out the facts as we know them (with help from newspaper articles, letters and other documents that have remained hidden to all but a few serious researchers for over 80 years) and lets the reader decide for themselves. Gene does an excellent job of showing how much Charles Comiskey, Ban Johnson and others within Major League Baseball knew about the fix, when they knew it and what they did to try to cover it up. People say that Joe Jackson and others shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame and that may or may not be the case. After reading this book, you may question why Charles Comiskey is IN the Hall of Fame. Gene shows that Comiskey knew about the fix after the first game, possibly before the start of the Series. Comiskey directed Manager Kid Gleason to confront the team about the rumors, which Gleason did after Game 2, no later than the start of Game 3. Based on this fact, Landis' reason for banning Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver doesn't hold up (the guilty knowledge and not telling their team). There was no motivation for Weaver or Jackson to tell their team something the team already knew. Comiskey then spends the winter of 1919, spring and summer of 1920 attempting to cover up the fix and he almost succeeded in doing so. I won't reveal any more of the book...I'll just say this......I have been researching Joe Jackson and the Black Sox Scandal for over 22 years now and this is the very best book to date on the true story of the fix. This book contains something most Black Sox related books don't....FOOTNOTES.....if you don't believe Gene, you can look it up.....it's all there. If you only have time to read one book on the Black Sox Scandal, you gotta read this one!!!
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