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Emperors and Idiots: The Hundred Year Rivalry Between the Yankees and Red Sox, From the Very Beginning to the End of the Curse Paperback – May 9, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767919106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767919104
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The C-word. Curse. Spell. Hex. However you say it, from 1918-the infamous year the Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to their southern rivals-until the 2004 playoffs, the curse brought the Red Sox Nation to its knees and supplied New York Yankees fans with an unswerving level of confidence. For 86 years, the Curse of the Bambino fell upon Boston, blocking the plate on their slide into World Series success. Hundreds of heated games packed those decades, but few seasons compare to those of 2003 and 2004, when the Sox came this close to crushing the curse and, against all odds, not only crushed it, but knocked it out of the park. Vaccaro, a senior sports columnist for the New York Post, recounts those two most recent seasons while peppering his storytelling with colorful anecdotes from the ghosts of Red Sox-Yankees past-from Williams-DiMaggio to Jeter-Garciaparra. Few of today's fans know how truly deep the most heated rivalry in sports cuts (yes, even the most fervid fan can learn something here) or how thick the roster of athletes, coaches and fans involved in it flows. The author gives equal time to the players and their fans, going grassroots and seeking out the most dedicated followers to best illustrate the highlights of those seasons, and the emotions that accompanied each moment. Remembers Sox fan Mike Carey: "I was more nervous for game seven than I was for my wedding or the birth of my daughter." But by the end of that game, the curse was broken.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

The curse is over, and the Red Sox have won the World Series: let the books begin. This one focuses on Boston's rivalry with the Yankees. Vaccaro, sports columnist for the New York Post, has written a lively and actually quite marvelous accounting of the history of the Boston-New York rivalry, infused with his enthusiasm for the game. There's no trashing, gratuitous or otherwise, just an evenhanded account of a century of baseball, as he deftly weaves the history of many encounters between the pinstripes and the Bostons in and around the story of the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The parallels between those two playoffs are especially well done, as are the vivid quotes with which he begins each chapter. Even the hoary, oft-told tale of 1978 is handled with freshness and vigor. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Missel on April 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Invariably, we had to be bludgeoned with an onslaught of Red Sox-Yankees books after the "Greatest Comeback in Sports History." It seems like a dozen or more books have hit the shelves since The Curse was broken, but most were rushed so hurriedly to market to capitalize on demand, that almost none are anything more than time-worn retreads of stories we already knew - or worse, Red Sox fans/authors whose objectivity is questionable at best. But Vaccaro's book was set in motion long before The Babe rolled over in his grave. It's clearly a book two years in the works, since Aaron "Bleeping" Boone's HR, and its exhaustive detail and historical sweep turn over stones even the most rabid Yanks' and Sox' fans had likely never noticed before. For fans of both teams who have a passionate appreciation for the scope of the greatest rivalry in sports, this is an absolute must-read. Forget sports; this is one of the most thorough and insightful history books I've ever read.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nick Cusano on March 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mike Vaccaro brings to sportswriting something most of his statistical, fanatical, factoid spewing brethern forgets...baseball, at it's very core, is about the people behind the numbers. Thats what makes this book so much more interesting than all of the other Red Sox-Yankee history books. This book weaves together such a poetic colorful narrative of quotes, emotions and stories from the all the players involved right down to the dihard fan in the last row of bleacher seats. We all know how the story ends, but Vaccaro takes us on that crazy ride one more time. This time we see it and feel it from all sides.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Triano on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the better books about baseball I've read. Mike Vaccaro is one of the top sports columnists in the country and he makes a very good transition to book author. The interweaving

of history and the present is well done and kept me interested throughout. Recommended for fans of either team. Entertaining and informative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Justin Neill on July 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For all the criticism I've heard about this book being yet another in a steady stream of noise about the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry over the past three years, I can confidently say that isn't true; this is a book about the past 102 years in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. The dramatic story of 2003 and 2004 is interspersed with stories from 1904, 1919, 1941, 1946, 1949, 1977, and 1978, all well told and well researched.

The main negatives I saw in the book were a slightly overdramatic prose style (he uses a lot more words than necessary, and certainly tends to overstate things) and some factual errors (for example: he states the Pedro threatened to hit Posada in the head during Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, which was an inaccuracy stated by Tim McCarver on the air but later proven inaccurate). Still, for any fan of either side of the rivalry, even those who have been around a while, I recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Enjoyed listening to EMPERORS AND IDIOTS by Mike Vaccaro,

the story of the 100 year Yankee-Red Sox rivalry . . . it emphasized

the very exciting races in both 2003 and 2004, while also interspersing

tales from 1904, 1919, 1941, 1946, 1949, 1977, and 1978 . . . and

that leads to my only criticism of the book; i.e., it was a bit

choppy . . . personally, I would have preferred a more linear approach.

Yet I quibble . . . what a thrill to relive many of the seasons that I

personally followed . . . (NOT the ones prior to 1977!) . . . and even

then, I enjoyed hearing about DiMaggio and Williams, and the fact

that they almost got traded for each other . . . also, it was fun

getting to again hear names from my not-so-distant past, including

Mantle, Maris, Fisk, Yastremski, Pinella, Munson, Jackson and taking me

through the present era of Martinez, Jeter, Damon, and Rivera.

The CD version had an added bonus: interviews with Bill "Spaceman"

Lee and Yogi Berra, two players who had actually experienced the

rivalry . . . to quote Berra, "You really have to go through it to

know what it was like to go through it."

This book gave me a feel for just that . . . fans of either team--or

sports, in general--will like EMPERORS AND IDIOTS.
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Format: Paperback
The Red Sox and the Yankees. The Rivalry. 100 years of baseball animosity. This book covers it all. From the early years when the Sox clearly had the upper hand. Through the middle of the 20th century when the Yankees took the advantage. Right on through the 2004 season when the Yankees showed themselves as the biggest chokers in the history of sports. Vaccaro attempts to cover it all as impartially as possible. Many books have been written from one side or the other. This one attempts to split the line right down the middle and simply retell the stories.

Vaccaro does a very good job of that. While reading this book, it's easy to forget that he's a writer for a NY newspaper. That's saying something. The only problem with the book? It's fewer than 400 pages, and tries to cover 100 years worth of history. It can't be done. It can't be done in the sort of detail one might like. So, when you need to skim over history like that, you stick to the basics. Many of the stories were familiar to me. Which, I suppose, is a credit to Vaccaro that I still enjoyed the book. He didn't use a chronological retelling, and made it work. He shifted back and forth through history telling similar stories that happened over the years. It really showed how the rivalry was really one big story. It was a great read.
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