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The National Pastime: Volume 12

RRP $15.95

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The National Pastime offers baseball history available nowhere else. Each fall this publication from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) explores baseball history with fresh and often surprising views of past players, teams, and events. Drawn from the research efforts of more than 6,700 SABR members, The National Pastime establishes an accurate, lively, and entertaining historical record of baseball.

A Note from the Editor, Peter C. Bjarkman:

Even when that laughable Abner Doubleday creation myth of baseball's origin-foisted on the American public by Albert Spalding for crassly commercial reasons-is just dismissed, still the reputed "American origins" of the national game are tough enough to shake. Most current sports histories merely substitutes one "creation myth" for another. Thus Alex Cartwright gets full credit and-presto-the American birthright of the national pastime remains largely intact. But the Cartwright claim itself rests on shaky enough ground: the Elysian Fields contest of 1846 was no more an instance of "fully evolved baseball" than were numerous earlier matches held throughout the northeastern states and provinces of Canada. This native game of "base-ball" was never immaculately conceived but, instead, slowly and painfully evolved-"stool ball" to "rounders" to "town ball" to "Massachusetts game" to "New York game"-and the germinating seeds were always demonstrably European.

Events of the past decade have made the international elements of our adopted national game simply indisputable. A near tidal wave of Latin American imports has inarguably provided the biggest single story in major league baseball during the 1980s. Rival Japan boasts a long-standing professional league which, while never a serious match for our own, nonetheless solidifies the cross-cultural appeal of diamond play. In world amateur contests it is Castro's Cuba that has long been ranking world power, while USA amateur teams are beaten out with disturbing frequency at world-level competitions by squads from Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Nicaragua as well. Throughout the Caribbean basin "beisbol" enjoys equal status as the ordained national game.

This Olympic year-in which baseball first (and at long last) debuts as a medal sport-seems, then, a most appropriate occasion to focus the attention of SABR scholars upon the world baseball movement. Even major league baseball-long a bastion of provincialism-now looks pragmatically in that very direction. Major League Baseball International Partners has recently been created by MLB, NBC and Pascoe Nally (a leading British sports marketing firm) to regulate broadcast and promotion of the international game. The International Baseball Association, based in Indianapolis, has been actively spreading the world baseball message for more than a decade with clinics and tournaments held around the globe.

As the worlds grows smaller and cultures find themselves drawn more tightly into a web of interdependence, it is again the miraculous game of baseball which marches at the forefront of this inevitable parade toward a world community. Baseball in 1992 ironically seems poised to fulfill its global mission at the very hour when runaway salaries and shopping mall stadia have disaffected so many American fans. Yet, as our Canadian SABR colleague Bill Humber has often reminded us, "Who ever said that baseball is an American game, anyway?"


The National Pastime: Volume 10

RRP $16.00

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The National Pastime offers baseball history available nowhere else. Each fall this publication from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) explores baseball history with fresh and often surprising views of past players, teams, and events. Drawn from the research efforts of more than 6,700 SABR members, The National Pastime establishes an accurate, lively, and entertaining historical record of baseball.

A Note from the Editor, Robert L. Tiemann:

Baseball intrigues its followers on many different levels. Its statistics lend themselves to endless interpretations and speculations, spawning SABRmetrics, the Baseball Research Journal and numerous offspring. In this journal we examine not the statistics but the lives and careers of players and teams of the past and them game and times in which they performed.

In an uncertain and changing world, there is comfort in the timeless patterns of baseball. When a team like the Hitless Wonders can upset an apparently invincible squad like the 1906 Cubs, underdogs can forever take heart. And with the right formula and attitude, surprise teams like the 1894 Orioles and 1961 Reds can leap from the second division to the pennant. Whole communities can come together in support of the local ballclub in times of need, as happened in Amsterdam, N.Y., in 1942, but the pressures of the pennant race can also cause some performers to do strange things, like Flint Rhem's allegations of kidnapping in 1930. Promising youngsters like Christy Mathewson and Rube Waddell often struggle before emerging as stars, while proven performers like Hack Miller may find their careers derailed by changing managerial strategy. But even after their fabled skills have faded, some old heroes are able to stay in the game as managers, executives, or, like Harry Heilmann, as broadcasters.

Although baseball's continuity is vital in explaining its stature as our national pastime, the game is constantly, if subtly, changing. It took pioneers like Dickey Pearce to define how the game is played both on offense and defense. And an examination of the 1901 Boston Americans reveals differences in nearly all aspects of the game. Yet not all apparent innovations are new. Indeed, the first midget pinch-hitter was used in 1905, not 1951 as generally believed.

At its best baseball teachers us larger lessons of life. Batboys take their clubhouse experiences into the outside world with a greater understanding of humanity. And one former batboy and amateur club organizer had gone on to world renown as an historian of the game. Bobo Newsom's brilliance in the face of personal tragedy in 1940 aroused the admiration of the entire nation, not just that of the fans. Andy Cohen and Jackie Robinson had to overcome social prejudices as well as the normal pressures to establish themselves as big league performers.


The Economics Of Time And Ignorance

RRP $271.99

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"The Economics of Time and Ignorance" is one of the seminal works in the development of modern Austrian economics. Building on the work of Hayek, Lachman and Shackle, the authors engage in a powerful critique of neo-classical economics. O'Driscoll and Rizzo argue against neo-classical models which use inappropriate pretenses of knowledge and are overly deterministic. This key text has helped set the agenda for the remarkable revival of work on the Austrian economic tradition and has led to an even wider interest in the once heretical ideas of Austrian economists.
"The Economics of Time and Ignorance" is reprinted here with a substantial new introduction which outlines the major developments in the area since the books original publication a decade ago.


Murder Of A Cranky Catnapper

RRP $15.99

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In the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Murder of an Open Book, a school psychologist has her hands full after a school board sourpuss meets a bitter end...
 
With her morning sickness finally abated, Skye Denison Boyd is ready to pounce on the pertinent problems she faces as Scumble River School's psychologist. After trying almost every trick in the book to aid a handful of socially awkward fourth grade boys, Skye opts for the innovative approach of pet therapy with the assistance of the local vet, a Siberian husky, and a Maine coon cat.
 
Unfortunately the first session only breeds disaster and draws the ire of cantankerous school board member Palmer Lynch. But Skye's worry over the episode changes to dread after Lynch is found dead in his home with the therapy cat hidden in his garage. With a clowder of questions unleashed, Skye finds herself dealing with a killer who isn't pussyfooting around...


Time Must Have A Stop

RRP $20.99

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Sebastian Barnack, a handsome English schoolboy, is on bad terms with his socialist father who disapproves of his hedonistic lifestyle. He escapes to Florence in order to learn about life. His education there, thanks to the contradictory influences of his scurrilous Uncle Eustace and a saintly bookseller, is both sacred and profane.

This is a haunting novel from one of the twentieth century's most powerful commentators.



About the Author

Aldous Huxley was born on 26 July 1894 near Godalming, Surrey. He began writing poetry and short stories in his early 20s, but it was his first novel, Crome Yellow (1921), which established his literary reputation. This was swiftly followed by Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925) and Point Counter Point (1928) - bright, brilliant satires in which Huxley wittily but ruthlessly passed judgement on the shortcomings of contemporary society. For most of the 1920s Huxley lived in Italy and an account of his experiences there can be found in Along the Road (1925). The great novels of ideas, including his most famous work Brave New World (published in 1932 this warned against the dehumanising aspects of scientific and material 'progress') and the pacifist novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936) were accompanied by a series of wise and brilliant essays, collected in volume form under titles such as Music at Night (1931) and Ends and Means (1937). In 1937, at the height of his fame, Huxley left Europe to live in California, working for a time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. As the West braced itself for war, Huxley came increasingly to believe that the key to solving the world's problems lay in changing the individual through mystical enlightenment. The exploration of the inner life through mysticism and hallucinogenic drugs was to dominate his work for the rest of his life. His beliefs found expression in both fiction (Time Must Have a Stop,1944, and Island, 1962) and non-fiction (The Perennial Philosophy, 1945; Grey Eminence, 1941; and the account of his first mescalin experience, The Doors of Perception, 1954. Huxley died in California on 22 November 1963.



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