Speaking

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Thursday
Aug092018

Reviewers Very Bullish on The League

My latest book, The League, about the early history of the NFL, won’t be out until October, but I’m pleased to report that its pre-publication reviews are extremely positive. Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review, signifying a standout effort, and called it a “rich history” that was “thoroughly researched and gracefully told.” Publisher’s Weekly also weighed in, writing that it was ”enlightening and fascinating” and “puts a nearly century-old story into contemporary context.” Booklist suggested that “fans who only know the league as it exists today will be shocked and fascinated by its early years.”

The book’s subtitle is How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire. It’s about the first generation of influential owners, all now enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and how they worked together to keep the league alive when it was a third-rate, failing enterprise. The five men are George Halas, Bert Bell, Tim Mara, Art Rooney and George Preston Marshall.

This is my tenth book. It can be pre-ordered here at Amazon or Barnes and Noble (just click on the link) and any other major online seller. Basic Books is the publisher.

Here are links to the full reviews in Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly.

And here's a look at the cover:

Friday
Jun012018

The Great Match Race: Still Making News

It's hard to believe a dozen years have passed since the publication of The Great Match Race, my book about the first major sports event in American history, an epic horse race with North-South undertones that took place in 1823.

But I'm pleased to report that the book continues to receive attention and scrutiny.

Michael S. Rosenwold of the Washington Post recently noticed parallels between the 1823 race and Justify's attempt to win modern thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown. He quoted my book extensively in an article that ran on the day Justify won the Preakness Stakes in my hometown of Baltimore.

To read the article that ran in The Washington Post, click here.

Wednesday
May232018

Quite an award season for The Streak

My latest book, The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Baseball's Most Historic Record, had quite a run of success at the end of 2017. Here is a wrap-up of the recognition it received:

+ It was a finalist for for the Casey Award, recognizing the best baseball book of 2017.

+ It was a semi-finalist in the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting competition.

+ It was one of just three books on Sports Illustrated’s list of the best sports books of 2017

 + It was a finalist for the Seymour Medal, recognizing the best book of baseball biography or history in 2017.

Wednesday
Aug022017

Does a day off help a ballplayer?

While researching and writing my new book about baseball’s Ironman record, THE STREAK: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Baseball’s Most Historic Record, I found that several fundamental questions inevitably barged their way into the narrative. Of those questions, none is more central to the Ironman concept than the enduring issue of whether a day off helps a major league player.

Does it?

Should all players take a rest now and then because a respite from the game’s daily grand freshens their bodies and minds and enables them to perform better going forward? Or are the advantages of rest just a myth?

Ripken, who played in 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, obviously has a clear-cut opinion. When we discussed the subject during our interview for the book, he said, “I never thought I could solve any problems by not playing.”

I think it’s safe to say that most of today’s players disagree. Ironman streaks have all but disappeared from baseball, and one of the many reasons for that is players, managers, and front offices now believe occasional rest is essential. Many other players I interviewed for the book, including Prince Fielder, Dale Murphy, and Tim McCarver – three players from three different eras – agree that is the case.

But the body of opinion I uncovered on the subject is far from unanimous. Frank Robinson, a Hall of Fame player, told me he never benefitted from taking a day off. Brooks Robinson, another Hall of Famer, said there were times when he came back better from a rest but also times when he came back playing even worse.

What do you think? Is the Ironman credo out of touch with reality? Does every player benefit an occasional day off?

Wednesday
May172017

Four Thumbs Up for THE STREAK

The release date for my new baseball book, THE STREAK, aboout Cal Ripken, Lou Gehrig, and baseball's Ironman record, is about seven weeks away now -- July 4, to be exact.

The period before publication always includes a round of reviews from the book industry media – heavyweight outlets such as Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal and Booklist. An author isn’t being honest if he or she tells you they don’t hold their breath, at least a little bit, before those reviews start rolling in.

I’m pleased to report that THE STREAK has performed well under scrutiny, bringing home an extremely positive report card – four thumbs up from the sources listed above.

You can read the full pre-pub reviews via the links listed below, but here are the highlights:

-- Booklist gives it a “starred” review, signifying a book that warrants special attention.

-- From Kirkus Reviews: “Eisenberg examines one of baseball’s most venerated records while exploring what it all means, providing a compelling, thought-provoking history for fans of America’s grand game.”

-- From Publisher’s Weekly: “Eisenberg’s impressively researched effort is a terrific tribute.”

-- From Library Journal: “A readable and comprehensive look at one of baseball’s most arcane but incredible accomplishments.”

I’m in the process of setting up a batch of signings and appearances to promote the book. There’s some exciting stuff in the works, soon to be announced. You can pre-order the book right here. In the meantime, here are the review links (just click on the name of the outlet). Thanks for the interest!

Booklist

Publisher's Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal