Cover for RIESS: Touching Base: Professional Baseball and American Culture in the Progressive Era

Touching Base

Professional Baseball and American Culture in the Progressive Era

Now revised and expanded, Touching Base examines the myths as well as the realities, symbols, and rituals of "America's favorite pastime." Steven Riess details the relationships among urban politics, communities, and baseball, exploring how debates over issues such as Sunday games, ballpark construction, and the promotion of the game were shaped by Progressive Era sensibilities. Focusing on Atlanta, New York, and Chicago, Riess analyzes the spectators, owners, and players to evaluate how baseball both influenced and mirrored broader society.

"Riess asks and answers fundamentally important questions about urban America as well as baseball in the early twentieth century. . . . Touching Base, the most ambitious and exhaustive case study of urban professional baseball yet written, clearly demonstrates not only the vast potential for understanding American history through baseball, but also the value of utilizing sociological theory and municipal archives in researching baseball history."--Larry Gerlach, Journal of Sports History

"Well-received in many quarters in its original version, Touching Base provides a massive fund of information extremely valuable to any baseball scholar. The bibliography and the opening essay on the state of baseball history alone justify this revised version."--Richard C. Crepeau, author of Baseball: America's Diamond Mine, 1919-1941

"Touching Base not only tells the story of baseball in its formative period; it explains how the game fit into a much larger pattern of social and cultural development. The original edition of Touching Base was an important work of sport history, and the new revised edition adds even more to our knowledge of how and why baseball became our national pastime. This is fine history."—Elliott J. Gorn, author of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America

Steven A. Riess, a professor of history at Northeastern Illinois University, is the author of City Games: The Evolution of American Urban Society and the Rise of Sports and other books.

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