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Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games Hardcover – March 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608192245
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608192243
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A. Bartlett Giamatti served as commissioner of Major League
Baseball from April 1, 1989, until his death on September 1, 1989. He
had previously been the president of
the National League, starting in 1986. He was a scholar of the English
Renaissance at Yale University, a beloved professor, and later became
its youngest president.


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Customer Reviews

It's a must-read for any baseball-bred sports fan.
P. Ritter
A Bartlett's above (far above I mean) me in writing in his style is a little hard to get used to ... and the book itself is short - 94 pages w/o his son's Afterword.
Jim Moore
Helps you understand how games say more about who we are than just about anything we do.
BlueOrangex2

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd A. Conway on May 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A. Bartlett Giamatti wrote this book immediately prior to his unexpected death in 1989. It appeared in print posthumously. That he would pen a paen to baseball at the height of the Pete Rose scandal, as his last published work, is ironic. His prose is sublime. The slender volume is a monograph on the nature of the game of baseball. It is timeless because it is not tied to temporal events. With little alteration, the book could have been written a hundred years ago, or (I hope) a hundred years hence. The Commissioner of Baseball and former Yale Professor of Renaissance Literature explores the intellectual facination of the game. From the geometry of the diamond to the Homeric nature of the baserunner's struggle to reach home again, Giamatti's story is enlightening as well as entertaining. Insights into the nature of our society flow naturally, given that sport in general should be seen in the context of the civilization that spawns it. One that I found to be especially memorable was on the commonalities of learning that change from generation to generation. Giamatti wrote of how the rising generation would understand the world through a computer screen, even as their progenitors had seen it through books, and of the differences, both great and small, that it would make to the thought patterns of our young. All this against the literally timneless fabric of a game played without a clock. -Lloyd A. Conway
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd A. Conway on May 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A. Bartlett Giamatti wrote this book immediately prior to his unexpected death in 1989. It appeared in print posthumously. That he would pen a paen to baseball at the height of the Pete Rose scandal, as his last published work, is ironic. His prose is sublime. The slender volume is a monograph on the nature of the game of baseball. It is timeless because it is not tied to temporal events. With little alteration, the book could have been written a hundred years ago, or (I hope) a hundred years hence. The Commissioner of Baseball and former Yale Professor of Renaissance Literature explores the intellectual facination of the game. From the geometry of the diamond to the Homeric nature of the baserunner's struggle to reach home again, Giamatti's story is enlightening as well as entertaining. Insights into the nature of our society flow naturally, given that sport in general should be seen in the context of the civilization that spawns it. One that I found to be especially memorable was on the commonalities of learning that change from generation to generation. Giamatti wrote of how the rising generation would understand the world through a computer screen, even as their progenitors had seen it through books, and of the differences, both great and small, that it would make to the thought patterns of our young. All this against the literally timneless fabric of a game played without a clock. -Lloyd A. Conway
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cujo Wilson on March 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are two kinds of people in this world, those that absolutely loved the film Lost in Translation and those that said, `What the hell did I just watch?' I myself fall into the latter camp and I couldn't help thinking about that movie while reading this book from Bart Giamatti. It sounds like something that was indeed written by the president of Yale and if it was about baseball I could barely tell. I'm sure there are those that will thoroughly enjoy this work just as those that enjoyed Lost in Translation but clearly this ode to sport was out of my league. I had more fun dissecting John Dryden in a 17th century lit class years ago than I did reading this. I would recommend Thomas Boswell's "Why Time Begins on Opening Day" or Ken Burns baseball documentary instead. I have to say the foreword and afterword by Jon Meacham and Marcus Giamatti respectively were very well written and quite moving, more of what I was expecting from the late Commissioner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Mackey on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My initial reaction to this slim volume was disappointment. I thought, "Is this all there is to say about sports?" The moment I began reading, though, I was entranced. Giamatti's writing is succinct, yet full of meaning as a haiku. In three brief chapters he captures the essence of the role of sports for humankind, its attractions and challenges. To understand sports is to understand the human aspiration for order, freedom and immortality. If to understand sports is to understand humanity, then to understand baseball is to comprehend the soul of America.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a deeper understanding of sports and their role in our lives.
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Format: Paperback
All men who have served as Commissioner of Baseball--a position more people probably aspire to than aspire to be President of the United States--have a dull sameness in their resumes and their manner of speech compared to the late A. Bartlett Giamatti, who died in 1989 in his rookie season as Commissioner, the only baseball commissioner to be a Renaissance Scholar and President of Yale University.

Giamatti's book is a celebration of baseball's "freedom (for) the promise of an energetic, complex order." "Baseball," Giamtti writes, "fulfills the promise that America made to itself to cherish the individual while recognizing the overarching claims of the group. It sends its players out (around the bases) in order to return again, allowing all the freedom to accomplish great things in a dangerous world. So baseball restates a version of America's promises every time it is played. The playing of the game is a restatement of the promises that we can all be free, that all succeed."

"Sport," Giamatti writes, "contains within itself, as a self-transforming activity, fueld by instinct and intellect alike, the motive for freedom. The very elaboration of sport--it's internal conventions of all kinds, its ceremonies, its endless meshes entangling itself--are for the purposes of training and testing (perhaps by defeating) and rewarding the rousing motion within us to find a moment (or more) of freedom. Freedom is that state where energy and order merge and complexity is purified into a simple coherence, a fitness of parts and purpose and passions that cannot be surpassed and whose goal could only be to be itself.

"If we have known freedom, then we love it; it we love freedom, then we fear, at some level (individually or collectively)its loss. And then we cherish sport.
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