Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $19.95
  • Save: $3.52 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Baseball in Blue and Gray... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: (PAPER BACK) The book shows normal wear and tear. All shipping handled by Amazon. Prime eligible when you order from us!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Baseball in Blue and Gray: The National Pastime during the Civil War Paperback – February 11, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.43
$7.68 $0.60

Great City Maps by DK
30 of the World's Greatest Historical City Maps
A beautifully illustrated history of the world's most celebrated historical city maps, from the hubs of ancient civilization to sprawling modern mega-cities, created in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Learn more
$16.43 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Baseball in Blue and Gray: The National Pastime during the Civil War
  • +
  • Baseball's First Inning: A History of the National Pastime Through the Civil War
Total price: $46.38
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Kirsch examines the emerging organizational sophistication of urban and collegiate baseball on the home front, and he sketches out the social and racial contours of what was already often seen as the national game. . . . A careful scholar, he savors using evidence to demolish myth."--Choice

"The book is a pleasure to read, and deserves numerous votes for the current literary All-Star Game."--David Wee, American Historical Review

"George P. Kirsch has written an interesting, readable book about the sport's growth during the Civil War that teaches readers how the game evolved into the national pastime."--Jeff Diamant, Newark Star-Ledger

"Although baseball shares the public stage with other sports nowadays, it is still the professional sport most prominent in American historical consciousness. George B. Kirsch's book offers an intriguing look at the very early years of baseball, which were intertwined with the crucible of the Civil War. . . . Overall, this is a solid examination of the subject and will be of interest to sports and baseball historians, in particular, but also those scholars and general readers interested in the social history of the Civil War."--John Sickels, Civil War History

From the Inside Flap

"This fine social history tells a very powerful story, and one that will stir a lot of interest. It is full of lively analysis and overflowing with fascinating research. The author has done a splendid job of putting his material into an enticing format that draws the reader into an absorbing narrative. He makes a compelling case that the stories of baseball and the epic of the Civil War were inextricably bound."--Catherine Clinton, author of Fanny Kembel's Civil Wars

"This book, written in a straightforward and accessible style, is clearly the most complete book on baseball in the Civil War era yet written."--Jules Tygiel, author of Past Time: Baseball as History

"This is an impressive work on Civil War baseball that shows a sport developing and growing even as war raged--a testament to the popularity of the game. Kirsch recounts the stories of the early players who answered the call for service, does a fine and honest job of discussing the baseball-in-prison issue, and covers the early history of the game itself in a pleasing manner."--Randy Roberts, author of John Wayne America --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691130434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691130439
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael J. Sopher on July 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
America's favorite pastime existed in the Civil War? As a Civil War historian it never crossed my mind that baseball existed in the mid nineteenth century. But it did and it was popular! This book not only relates baseball to the Civil War but also presents the roots of America's favorite pastime. While many baseball and sports historians claim that Abner Doubleday, a Union general in the Civil War, was instrumental in creating the baseball we know today, Kirsch shows evidence that the game was actually developed in the 1840's and 1850's.

The Civil War hurt baseball for obvious reasons- the first being that several of its key players choose to drop their bats and pick up the rifle. The second explanation for baseball's decline during the early stages of war was the shift of focus from baseball to the war front. American nationalism was high and baseball took a back seat to the war effort, at least for the first couple of years. Baseball fans became more interested in how there country was doing rather than who won the local ball game. But as Kirsch explains, the game did not die with the Civil War, but rather came stronger as it progressed. Games in 1864 and 1865 were popular, especially in the bigger cities such as Philadelphia and New York City. Soldiers in the camps and prisons used baseball as a form of entertainment. The game was beginning to show its true popularity.

As Kirsch says, his book shows that American nationalism and baseball really came of age at the end of the Civil War. As the death toll for both armies began to mount, the people looked for ways to entertain themselves and perhaps escape the realities of being at war. Going to theaters, band concerts, and other forms of entertainment were essential to ease the pain.
Read more ›
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
George Kirsch's book about baseball during the middle of the 19th century, particularly the Civil War years, is a little too scholarly and a little too detailed to be considered light reading, in spite of its fairly small size.

But it's still a very engaging book, which will inform and entertain reasonably literate baseball fans (yes, I know these often seem scarce).

The Abner Doubleday legend was put to bed long ago, as was the myth that Lincoln, on his deathbed, begged Doubleday to keep baseball alive (with a bullet lodged 6 inches in his brain, Lincoln never regained consciousness after being shot).

Still, traditionalists will find much to cheer, for in place of these legends, and in a relatively short space, Kirsch provides a wealth of information that actually does establish baseball as a uniquely American activity.

The traditionally English pastime of rounders is of distant ancestry to American baseball, more so than cricket, but as Kirsch notes - citing Henry Chadwick - baseball modified and improved in the United States to an extent almost to deprive it of any or its original features beyond the mere groundwork of the game.

Chadwick's name comes up frequently in this volume, and Kirsch provides information justifying the present-day consensus that the English-born American-raised Chadwick was the "father" of modern-day baseball - having extensively promoted the game, worked assiduously in an effort to keep it free of corruptive elements such as gambling, and invented the first set of statistics and box scores to record and summarize the action.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have said, the title is somewhat misleading. I bought it at the Gettysburg battlefield. Being a Civil War buff and a baseball buff, I thought it would be an interesting way to combine two of my interests. I expected (based on the title) to read about baseball being played by soldiers on both sides of the war.

There is very little of that, however. Rather, the book focuses on the origins of the game and how it blossomed into what it is today during the Civil War years. In other words, it should have been entitled, "Baseball's 19th Century Roots" or something similar.

That said, the author did an outstanding job researching and documenting his findings. When questions remain unanswered or sources are ambiguous, he says so -- a mark of a true historian. Lesser historians try to justify their predispositions or biases, but Kirsch does not.

Like another reviewer said, I would not consider this light afternoon reading. Buy this book if you are interested in baseball's origins and its history, especially during the middle and late 19th century. Do not buy it if you are simply a Civil War buff with no interest in baseball history looking for a change of pace.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
I love to find books that tie baseball to just about any topic under the sun so I was quite eager to read this one. It was very disappointing.

To be sure, it had its moments, but just not enough of them. It was interesting to read that some more well-to-do northern men paid others to take their places in the war and then stayed home and played baseball. I would've enjoyed more than a sentence or two about this.

In fact, the subtitle is "the national pastime during the Civil War," that is, this is a history of baseball at the time the Civil War just happened to be taking place. Only two chapters out of six (and the far shorter two chapters) are actually devoted to the Civil War. One chapter is called "Battleground" and it talks about how prisoners of war played the game, at least during the first year or two of the war. Another chapter focuses on the legacy of the Civil War on baseball, which was interesting, especially as to how baseball helped to reunite the country after the war.

Besides not being what I expected, the writer's style is dry, to say the least. In other words, I thought this book was pretty dull (and it didn't need to be that way).
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Baseball in Blue and Gray: The National Pastime during the Civil War
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Baseball in Blue and Gray: The National Pastime during the Civil War