A captivating history of the baseball reformers and revolutionaries who challenged their sport and society—and in turn helped change America.
In Major League Rebels: Baseball Battles over Workers’ Rights and American Empire, Robert Elias and Peter Dreier reveal a little-known yet important history of rebellion among professional ballplayers. These reformers took inspiration from the country’s dissenters and progressive movements, speaking and acting against abuses within their profession and their country. Elias and Dreier profile the courageous players who demanded better working conditions, battled against corporate power, and challenged America’s unjust wars, imperialism, and foreign policies, resisting the brash patriotism that many link with the “national pastime.”
About Baseball Rebels
In Baseball Rebels, Peter Dreier and Robert Elias examine the key social challenges—racism, sexism and homophobia—that shaped society and worked their way into baseball’s culture, economics, and politics.
Since baseball emerged in the mid-1800s to become America’s pastime, the nation’s battles over race, gender, and sexuality have been reflected on the playing field, in the executive suites, in the press box, and in the community. Some of baseball’s rebels are widely recognized, but most of them are either little known or known primarily for their baseball achievements—not their political views and activism. Baseball Rebels tells stories of baseball’s reformers and radicals who were influenced by, and in turn influenced, America’s broader political and social protest movements, making the game—and society—better along the way