The Secret History of Early Baseball

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Baseball historian John Thorn debunks baseball’s creation story and reveals that from its earliest days. He reveals how baseball was a vehicle for gambling, a proxy form of class warfare, that was infused with racism like the larger society, and was corrupted by hustlers and shady entrepreneurs. In Baseball in The Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, Thorn traces the rise of the New York version of the game over other variations popular in Massachusetts and Philadelphia, and tells a tale full of heroes and scoundrels, scandal, greed, and glory.