Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2015
Curt Flood’s life story was complicated. His biographer would need more than a solid grounding in baseball.

As Brad Snyder demonstrated in his definitive work, "A Well Paid Slave: Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports," it required a legal background (which Snyder has) and familiarity with the personalities and politics of the United States Supreme Court justices, specifically the Burger Court.

"A Well Paid Slave" skillfully weaved together Flood’s shortened baseball career, his personal life (including demons) and the legal drama he is most remembered for. The story was so complex, Snyder discovered, that the author quit his day job at a law firm to complete the book. (Fortunately, he found work as a law professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he currently teaches).

Indeed, it is the legal battle that makes "A Well Paid Slave" different than any other book about America’s national pastime. Snyder vividly recreated the behind-the-scenes meetings of Flood, Marvin Miller (the player’s union rep) and the former United States Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg (Flood’s lead attorney, who worked pro-bono) and their not-so-well-thought-out-plan to sue Major League Baseball (MLB). A lawsuit ensued, concluding at the nation’s highest court, which ultimately did not go Flood’s way.

Following the Court’s decision, Flood’s life went into a downward spiral, but he eventually found solace before his premature passing–due to a lifelong struggle with alcoholism—at the age of 59. Although Flood may not have benefited monetarily from his quest to take on MLB, his legacy has been cemented not only in baseball but in all of sports. And Brad Snyder showed us why.
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