Banzai Babe Ruth (Hardcover)
Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan
University of Nebraska Press, 9780803229846, 368pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Politicians on both sides of the Pacific hoped that the amity generated by the tour--and the two nations' shared love of the game--could help heal their growing political differences. But the Babe and baseball could not overcome Japan's growing nationalism, as a bloody coup d' tat by young army officers and an assassination attempt by the ultranationalist War Gods Society jeopardized the tour's success. A tale of international intrigue, espionage, attempted murder, and, of course, baseball, Banzai Babe Ruth is the first detailed account of the doomed attempt to reconcile the United States and Japan through the 1934 All American baseball tour. Robert K. Fitts provides a wonderful story about baseball, nationalism, and American and Japanese cultural history.
About the Author
Praise For Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, & Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan…
"Banzai Babe deserves a spot in any baseball (or Japan) lover's library."—Robert Whiting, Wall Street Journal
"Fitts, a master at depicting all of the key elements in prewar Japanese social and political life, gives the reader valuable insights into the influential moderates trying to hold the line against the army, as well as the American ballplayers taking a victory lap in front of adoring foreign fans. This book is a powerful snapshot of men from two contrasting cultures attempting to stop a slide into aggression."—Publishers Weekly
"This dramatic story, equal parts baseball and history, should appeal to anyone interested in Japanese cultural and political history and the sports-politics nexus."—Library Journal
"The history lessons in Banzai Babe Ruth go well beyond merely chronicling the games and the players. This is a well-researched, fascinatingly told tale of two super powers whose shared passion for baseball wasn't enough to maintain the peace, though it did help to restore it in the years following World War II."—James Bailey, Baseball America
"Banzai Babe Ruth reads like a multi-stranded mystery novel . . . . Fitts has an eye for the quirky details that make historical writing vivid."—Michael R. Stevens, Books & Culture
-Michael R. Stevens
"Banzai Babe Ruth is far more than just a sports story. . . . No one could have told this incredible story better than Robert K. Fitts."—ForeWord Reviews