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Spoke: A Biography of Tris Speaker (Sport in American Life) Hardcover – August 28, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Sport in American Life
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870745174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870745171
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,007,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Spoke is a first-rate biography of one of the most important and intriguing, but today largely overlooked, figures in baseball history." -- C. Paul Rogers III

About the Author

CHARLES C. ALEXANDER, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Ohio University, is the author of several important works of American intellectual and cultural history in addition to his other acclaimed baseball books - Ty Cobb, John McGraw, Our Game: An American Baseball History, Rogers Hornsby: A Biography, and Breaking the Slump: Baseball in the Depression Era.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Atamian on February 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Baseball biographies of deadball era players are all the rage now. I was really excited to see that Mr. Alexander had written about one of the true early greats- Tris Speaker- as I was a big fan of his Cobb and McGraw biographies. I was a little disappointed though with this bio, for some of the same reasons I was disappointed in his work on Rogers Hornsby. Speaker almost seems like a ghost in this book, as I never could get a feel for him as a person (in contrast, Hornsby just came off as a colorless jerk). Alexander's text at times almost reads like a play-by-play retelling of every major game that Speaker was involved in. So one gets a feel for his greatness as a player, but at times I felt like I was slogging through play-by-play for chapters on end. That got tiring. I think the problem is that there is just not enough written material available to truly justify a biography of Speaker, the person. That's really sad, as he truly was great and simply had the misfortune of playing in Cobb's shadow his entire career. Consequently, when he retired and left baseball, he was largely (and unfairly) forgotten by baseball writers. Lastly, Speaker retired from the major leagues 80 years ago, and that there just aren't any people alive to shed insight into him as a person. So I guess Mr. Alexander did all right, given the limited material available- but I still felt largely unsatisfied after finishing.
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