The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg

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9780679762898: The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg

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Moe Berg is the only major-league baseball player whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA. For Berg was much more than a third-string catcher who played on several major league teams between 1923 and 1939. Educated at Princeton and the Sorbonne, he as reputed to speak a dozen languages (although it was also said he couldn't hit in any of them) and went on to become an OSS spy in Europe during World War II. 

As Nicholas Dawidoff follows Berg from his claustrophobic childhood through his glamorous (though equivocal) careers in sports and espionage and into the long, nomadic years during which he lived on the hospitality of such scattered acquaintances as Joe DiMaggio and Albert Einstein, he succeeds not only in establishing where Berg went, but who he was beneath his layers of carefully constructed cover. As engrossing as a novel by John le Carré, The Catcher Was a Spy is a triumphant work of historical and psychological detection.

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From the Inside Flap:

The only Major League ballplayer whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA, Moe Berg has the singular distinction of having both a 15-year career as a catcher for such teams as the New York Robins and the Chicago White Sox and that of a spy for the OSS during World War II. Here, Dawidoff provides "a careful and sympathetic biography" (Chicago Sun-Times) of this enigmatic man. Photos.

About the Author:

Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of five books. One of them, The Fly Swatter, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and another, In the Country of Country, was named one of the greatest all-time works of travel literature by Conde Nast Traveller. His first book, The Catcher Was A Spy: The Mysterious Life Of Moe Berg was a national bestseller and appeared on many 1994 best book lists. In 2009, Pantheon published The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness and Baseball. He is also the editor of the Library of America’s Baseball: A Literary Anthology. A graduate of Harvard University, he has been a Guggenheim, Civitella Ranieri and Berlin Prize Fellow, and is a contributor to The New YorkerThe New York Times Magazine and the American Scholar.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The stories about Moe Berg - his behavior, his intelligence, his charm - are legion, as are the unanswered questions posed by his life. A baseball player and a spy, he was one of the most colorful men to pursue either line of work. He played in the major leagues from 1923 through 1939 and then became a coach for the Boston Red Sox. It was not, however, as a player that Berg earned his highest accolades, but as a dugout savant (it was said that Berg, educated at Princeton, the Sorbonne, and Columbia, could speak a dozen languages but couldn t hit in any of them). A month after Pearl Harbor, the day after his father - who had never approved of Berg s choice of career - died, Berg announced his departure from baseball and entered the world of diplomacy and espionage. But only now has the extent of his work for the OSS in determining Germany s atomic bomb capability been revealed. The Catcher Was a Spy provides one of the few thoroughly documented accounts of a real spy s life. Equally compelling is Nicholas Dawidoff s account of Berg after the war. A secretive man who had a reputation for appearing and disappearing without warning, Berg has long been the subject of wonder and speculation. Behind the enigma of Moe Berg was a life of fantastic and fascinating complexity - a life that has never been pieced together so seamlessly and to such riveting effect as it is now in what David Remnick calls a stunning biography. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780679762898

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