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The Life That Ruth Built: A Biography Paperback – January 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080329218X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803292185
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,446,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the best sports biographies ever; Smelser beautifully evokes the life of baseball's most wondrous player and the times he lived in."—Donald Honig, author of Baseball When the Grass Was Real
(Donald Honig )

"Although many books have appeared about George Herman Ruth in the past half century, in my opinion Marshall Smelser's leads all the rest. Readers . . . will end up knowing the Babe even better than his teammates knew him."—Lawrence S. Ritter, author of The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (1992)
(Lawrence S. Ritter )

"Smelser's book is one of the first serious biographies of a sports figure, and is still one of the best."—Jules Tygiel, author of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy (1983)
(Jules Tygiel )

"Smelser demonstrates that a good historian can write good sports history and that good sports history makes good history. Of course Smelser had an ideal subject: Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, the Colossus of Clout, the Bambino. But the author made the most of his opportunity."—Eugene Murdock, American Historical Review
(Eugene Murdock American Historical Review )

"Smelser, who possesses that rare combination of training as a professional historian with a technical knowledge of baseball, has produced a well-written, comprehensive, and interpretive account of one of America's greatest popular heroes, based on research that is as thorough as possible."—Harold Seymour, Journal of American History
(Harold Seymour Journal of American History )

About the Author

Marshall Smelser was for many years on the history faculty of the University of Notre Dame. The author of The Winning of Independence (1973) and other books, he was also a musician and dedicated baseball scholar.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This biography, although scholarly, is entertaining throughout and easily read. Smelser was a life long baseball fan and his love of the game animates every page. As an undergraduate at Notre Dame, I studied under the author. Now deceased, he was a professor of history. Smelser demanded from his students the thorough research he displays in this book. But he was also a wonderful storyteller. Both qualities are apparent in this work. Like the best biographers, the author has only mild affection for his subject. The Babe's qualities and failings get equal attention. But today, when the word "superstar" is wildly overrused, you see the extraordinary level of fame this man achieved. If you really want to understand the Babe's life, read this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael J Woznicki HALL OF FAME on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Some legends are larger than life. Some legends are made up. Then there's Babe Ruth, than man by which all other baseball players are measured, even today. George Herman Ruth comes to life in this riveting, yet easy to read biography by Marshall Smelser.
You follow the bambino from his early days at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys to his early days with the Boston Red Sox. You read about his turmoil with the fans, his trade to the New York Yankees, that later became the curse of the Bambino.
Smelser's accounts of Ruth's life from his first wife to the run ins with Yankees manager Miller Huggins to the called shot in the 1934 World Series and so many others, will have laughing on minute and on the brink of tears the very next.
I have always been a great Babe Ruth fan; so reviewing this book was a no brainer. Smelser writing style made it easy for me to read along and finally get a true picture of the man so many either loved or hated. I would highly recommend this book to any serious baseball fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
It is a book about a hero that evrybody thought was perfect. In this book you get to see the life behind the face. There are so many legend and this book so the truth and tells you the miths.
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