Books by Jules Tygiel

PAST TIME by Jules Tygiel
Released: April 1, 2000

"are vivid and come to life effortlessly, it is in showing the broad sweep of baseball's history that Tygiel excels."
A full-innings exploration of some less celebrated (and a few better-known) moments in baseball's history, by historian and Read full book review >
Released: March 3, 1997

Historian Tygiel (San Francisco State Univ.; Baseball's Great Experiment, 1983, etc.) has fashioned what he calls ``an alternative biography'' of the man who broke major league baseball's color barrier in 1947. It's hard to believe anything new could be added to the Robinson story, but Tygiel has uncovered a few previously unpublished pieces that shed new light on Robinson's historic signing with Branch Rickey's Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey provided the press with emotion-laden, probably apocryphal anecdotes to explain his signing an African-American. Published here for the first time is sportswriter (and later Dodger press secretary) Arthur Mann's ``exclusive scoop'' on the signing (which Rickey ultimately announced before Mann's piece could appear in Look magazine). According to Tygiel, the piece ``provides the first authorized account of Rickey's rationale for signing'' Robinson as well as an account of the behind-the-scenes action. Also published for the first time is an August 1946 report of a major league steering committee, ``most likely'' written by New York Yankees owner Larry MacPhail, that ``remains a damning document'' about segregationist attitudes held by many of the owners. Arranged chronologically, most of the material here is reprinted from Time or Look magazines, with a few interesting bits from sources such as the Pittsburgh Courier and the Baltimore Afro-American. Some of the great sportswriters are represented here, including Donald Honig and Roger Kahn. Also included are excerpts from Robinson's autobiographies that address his political and personal battles, such as his feud with Paul Robeson and the short, tragic life of his son. His exchange of letters with Malcolm X will prove interesting to social historians. While the writing styles and the quality vary wildly, and a few of the excerpts are from weak sources (e.g., Maury Allen's 1986 biography), this clever assemblage effectively tells the story. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1994

A lackluster retelling of a celebrated stock-rigging case and its aftershocks, which rippled through Los Angeles for the better (or worse) part of a decade, from the author of Baseball's Great Experiment (1983). Tygiel (History/San Francisco State Univ.) offers a detailed albeit uninflected account of the Julian Petroleum fraud that flowed from Southern California's pre-Depression oil boom. He recounts how a Canadian hustler yclept C.C. (for Courtney Chauncey) Julian parlayed folksy newspaper ads and some fortuitous wildcat successes into the dubious energy enterprise bearing his name. Despite a devoted following among trusting souls with high hopes and short bankrolls, the master of the promotional game ultimately lost control of his precariously capitalized company to an even shiftier predator, S.C. Lewis. Lewis routinely released false financial statements, rhapsodized about illusory mergers, and issued appreciably more shares than authorized by the corporate charter while pools organized by rival brokerage houses made huge profits trading in the watered stock. The bubble finally burst in mid-1927, resulting in a wealth of recriminations, several tabloid- quality deaths, scores of indictments, but precious few convictions. Tygiel does a tolerably good job of tracking those who played peripheral as well as leading roles in the megabuck ripoff. Unfortunately, his fact-filled narrative (with illustrations throughout) lacks any systematic perspective on either the socioeconomic factors or absence of regulatory restraints that permitted white-collar scofflaws to prey on the investing public in the anything-goes environment that led to the 1929 market crash. Nor does the author place the West Coast racketeers in a broader context that might have prefigured their latter-day counterparts on Wall Street, in Beverly Hills, or elsewhere. The bottom line: a linear take on an oldish rogues-to-riches tale, conspicuously deficient in the resonance that could have made it worth retelling. Read full book review >