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Chief Bender's Burden: The Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star Paperback – May 1, 2010
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"Signal thanks to journalist Swift for this authoritative biography of Charles Albert Bender. . . . Swift sets aside the myths about this most famous American Indian player while vividly describing him in the context of the famed Carlisle Indian School, baseball's Golden Age, Connie Mack and his Athletics, and the effects of gambling and alcoholism on sports." -- Bob Cottrell, Margaret Heilbrun, Paul Kaplan, and Gilles Renaud "Library Journal" (02/01/2008)
"In Swift's hands, Bender's life unfolds gradually, as though he were a character in a novel, and the prejudice he experienced, though never justified, is set within the context of the times. Carefully researched-and documented-as well as stylishly written (uncommon in the genre), this belongs in most baseball collections." -- Wes Lukowsky "Booklist" (04/01/2008)
"Unbelievable storytelling." -- Don Shelby "WCCO Radio/TV" (09/30/2009)
Top Customer Reviews
Rabbi Shmuel Jablon, [...]
The focus of this book is obviously on the one player and his story is maybe the most important and poignant of all from the early 20th century baseball era. With the moniker Chief, Bender is obviously what we now call a Native American. To read how mindbogglingly poorly Native Americans were treated post-Indian Wars is hard to comprehend now. The author, Tom Swift, is able to bring all that out without framing it all as a "woe is me" or "white race's guilt" tale. He takes us into the world of the 1880s and to the famous Carlisle School in Pennsylvania that Bender ended up at. Yes, the very same school made famous by possibly America's greatest athlete (and also a Native American) Jim Thorpe.
The book sort of frames itself around Bender's Game One start in the 1914 World Series yet the narrative weaves itself around this dipping in and out of this 1914 game to give us the total picture of Bender's life. And what a life! He not only ended up a Hall of Fame pitcher but pitched for years really afterwards in the minor leagues as well as coached, scouted and even pitched batting practice in his 50s back in the majors.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Charles Bender is certainly not a well known baseball name, but because he played about one century ago, that is not surprising. Read morePublished 23 months ago by benhat
Unless you (like me) are a hard-core fan of the history of baseball, the story of Chief Bender is one that will likely never cross your path. Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Zachary Koenig
First off, must say that Charles Bender deserves a full-length, heavily and well researched, aimed at thinking adults biography and this is all of those things. Read morePublished on October 5, 2011 by J. Hundley
I read Chief Bender's Burden because he is a Hall of Famer and with a great curiousity about why Native Americans would have an interest in baseball at the turn of the 19th into... Read morePublished on December 4, 2010 by David Mayo
I've read many baseball bio's. Chief Bender's burden is a good one, but not a great one. We learn about his relationship with Connie Mack, about his youth and early adult life away... Read morePublished on May 8, 2010 by Marc Ranger
Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack said if he had to pick one pitcher to hurl one game, it would be Chief Bender. Read morePublished on June 27, 2009 by Barry Sparks
Bender's name and statistics are familiar to anyone who has studied the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Read morePublished on February 21, 2009 by Alan M. Silbergeld
As an avid reader of many baseball biographies, Chief Bender's Burden is at the top of my list as one of the best, well-researched books I have read. Mr. Read morePublished on November 26, 2008 by Peter A. Izzo