Ed Barrow by Daniel Levitt: a review

This is a terrific portrait of long-time Yankee GM Ed Barrow, his teams, and his times. Levitt’s research is impeccable, as are his interpretations of the material.

While this is primarily a biography, the book features the author’s enormous research effort about the way baseball’s conditions and working rules changed over the course of Barrow’s career. This is important because Barrow was constantly adjusting his work to accommodate those conditions and rules. It’s valuable because I’ve not seen a similar effort by any author.

I do wish Levitt had included footnotes in some way, shape, or form. But there’s a fine bibliography.

Delightful book. Well worth any serious baseball fan’s time.

Having praised the book, I need to rant about the ebook. The ebook version has been butchered, as the publisher (Nebraska) has omitted all but one of the book’s photographs, and roughly half of the statistical (mainly financial) tables that Levitt compiled in the process of writing the book. The surviving tables are unlabelled, and isolated in an appendix, which makes it painfully difficult to refer to them, even though they’re mentioned in the text. A better publisher would have included all the tables, and built hyperlinks from the references to the tables, and from the tables back to the text.

Treating ebook purchasers as second class citizens is simply irresponsible. In the long run, it’s a losing strategy.

The missing pictures and tables are all marked with the comment “Copyrighted image removed by Publisher”, a note apparently intended to give the impression that the copyright is at issue. That’s silly, and it’s insulting.

This review was originally published on LibraryThing.

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