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Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time Paperback – June 19, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (June 19, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060974087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060974084
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,168,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gehrig, who played baseball for the New York Yankees from 1925 to 1939, is best known for having participated in a record 2130 consecutive games--and for having died at 37 (in 1941) of what is now called Lou Gehrig's disease. His career was a triumphant one, even though he labored for many years in the shadow of Babe Ruth, but Gehrig's personal life was not without problems. He was born into near-poverty in New York City, the son of an unambitious father and a driving, domineering mother. His immigrant parents wanted him to earn a college degree, but he left Columbia when the big money of baseball beckoned. Exceedingly shy and inarticulate, he was seen by many as sullen and unfriendly, although all respected him. He had a happy marriage but his mother hated his wife. This biography by Robinson ( Oh Baby, I Love It! ) is sensitive and moving. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- The shy and reserved Lou Gehrig, overshadowed by Babe Ruth, played for the New York Yankees from 1925-1939 and earned the nickname "Iron Horse" for playing in 2130 consecutive games. Robinson traces Gehrig's life from his poverty-stricken childhood with a domineering mother until he drops out of Columbia to play baseball. His happy marriage is covered, plus an insight into baseball during the 1920s and 1930s. His death at the age of 37 from a rare disease, now called Lou Gehrig's disease, completes a carefully researched biography. Appendices follow his baseball record and list winners of the Lou Gehrig Award.
- Mike Printz, Topeka West High School, KS
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Boehm on June 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Even though I am a Cubs fan, my favorite baseball player is Lou Gehrig. This book has a lot of baseball information that My Luke and I did not have.
If you want to read about Gehrigs baseball career this is a great book to read. I suggest if you really want to read about Gehrig get a copy of My Luke and I By Elenor Gehrig even if it is out of print.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randy Pathe (rparthe240@aol.com) on September 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Ray Robinson gives us a different look at Lou's life. The often strained relation with fellow teammate Babe Ruth. The softness in Lou's heart that touches many as well as the outstanding performances Lou achieved in his brillant baseball career that were often over shadowed by Ruth. A definate must read for Yankees fans, baseball fans and anyone one interested in a remarkable man.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By B. Walsh on May 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Many traps are set for the baseball biographer. S/he can fall into biased hero-worship; lapse into the recitation of dusty, Biblical lists: "And in 1930 he hit .379, which begat an average of .341 the following year, and verily an average of .349 in the year 1932, and ..."; bombard us with information of questionable value; bore us.
Ray Robinson falls into every one of those traps. There are pages and pages of dry as dust technical stuff which reads poorly. If a biographer wishes to get into the details of how a player learns to hit to the opposite field or how he adjusts his grip or how he deals with left-handed sinkerball pitchers going to the outside of the plate, it has to be presented well. Present it as a measure of personal growth, wrap it up in interesting anecdotes, surround it with spicy quotes, offer it as a baseball primer or an insider's tip. What we get in "Iron Horse" are pages of dull, drab detail.
The writing does not help. Right from the start, we know we're not in good hands with a meaningless, clichéd subtitle like "Lou Gehrig in His Time". Of course he's in his time. Who else's time is he going to be in? Bad word choices drop like clumsy anvils: we are told that Lou "experienced" a five-for-five game.
There is also a fan's bias pervading the book that gets tiresome. Yes, the author nails his colors to the mast as a Gehrig devotee from the start, but after a while his determination to interpret everything Lou ever did in the best possible light makes one suspicious. If Gehrig were allowed to have a few human flaws, instead of the author defensively explaining away anything conceivable as a lapse, he - and the book - would be more accessible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lilly Gagne on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Although the recent Jonathan Eig biography has pretty much surpassed Robinson's book in terms of research and accuracy, for the better part of the past two decades, Robinson's biography was the best Gehrig book on the market. It tells a nice little story about both the remarkable ballplayer and man; it's a quick and easy read without any of the corny fabricated dialogue or "puffing" previous treatments had given the subject -- both Frank Graham's and, worse, Paul Gallico's versions -- and you come away with a good sense of who Lou Gehrig was, warts and all. Where Robinson's bio will always have the upper hand over Eig's, though, is through personal experiences. Robinson opens the book with his own story of how he met the Iron Horse as a boy -- he was also in the bleachers the day of Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech -- and, in terms of sources, Robinson had time on his side. The book was initially published in 1990, when a handful of Gehrig's closest acquaintances from the seminal events in his life were still alive -- and thus could be interviewed and share personal anecdotes (whereas Eig had to rely on secondhand information, old newspaper accounts, and the few tangential relations that were left). Which is to say, it's still very much worth a read, definitely recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This informative biography suffers by comparison to the graceful and powerful writing in Frank Graham's "Lou Gehrig: A Quiet Hero." Robinson's book has more facts and reveals more about Gehrig's faults and problems as well as strengths, but it's like reading an encyclopedia: you may (probably will) wind up caring about Gehrig, but you'll have to fight your way past the dry, unemotional prose to do so. Worth your time if you want to learn more about Gehrig's life and career; skip it if you're looking for an impact similar to the movie ("Pride of the Yankees").
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
In "Iron Horse", Ray Robinson gives the reader an introduction to the Lou Gehrig persona. More than a list of records and triumphs of the baseball star, we meet the human being behind the records. I always had the impression that Gehrig was a good man, whereas Babe Ruth was only a good baseball player. This book confirms that impression.

Growing up the son of German immigrants, Gehrig had the disadvantage of being something of an outsider in his own world. Baseball was just one avenue he traveled in his efforts to advance himself. Various jobs and Columbia University were other options pursued by Lou. His parents discouraged him from playing a game which they did not understand. When Lou had to choose between Columbia University and baseball, his parents urged the University, while a professor recommended baseball. Going to work every day was not extraordinary for Lou. That was how his parents raised him.

In his chosen trade, Lou achieved excellence and attention wherever he played. Lou lived the thrill of playing baseball, and as a Yankee to boot! Lou always considered himself the luckiest man alive, even as he lived in the shadow of two giants, Babe Ruth at the start of his career, and Joe DiMaggio toward the end. Through it all, Lou considered himself a lucky man.

Robinson leads the reader through a character study of his boyhood hero. We see Lou's relationships with his loving parents who could never understand the stage on which he strode. His wife, who gave him joy while suffering his mother's resentment, would be his solace in his illness. His relationships with his team mates, particularly Babe Ruth, get much attention. In this book we see Gehrig as a man not only driven by passions and wants, but guided by a sense of right and wrong.
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