The Summer of Beer and Whiskey

  • by Edward Achorn
  • Narrated by Ax Norman
  • 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Chris Von der Ahe knew next to nothing about baseball when he risked his life’s savings to found the St. Louis Browns, the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals. Yet the German-born beer garden proprietor would become one of the most important - and funniest - figures in the game’s history.
Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason - to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag clubs into a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League. Sneered at as The Beer and Whiskey Circuit,” their American Association ended up revitalizing the sport, bringing Americans of all classes back to the ballpark. Their recipe: Sunday games, booze, 25-cent-tickets, with teams comprised of exciting, renegade, and often drunk, players.
Edward Achorn re-creates this wondrous and hilarious world and illuminates a long-forgotten turning point in American baseball history.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good sense of the times

Where does The Summer of Beer and Whiskey rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Having only listened to three so far it's comparable. I appreciated the overall view of the league rather than the focus on one individual. I would have preferred less "of the times rhetoric" to be understood a bit more in certain areas when not making actual writers or article references.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Chris von der Ahe. To see a cycle of life and to start from humble beginnings then be lifted to the wealthy class just to come back down to almost the same status is an interesting perspective and how the treatment of others while wealthy changes his life when his wealth wasn't there.


What does Ax Norman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mood setting. Bringing out the lower points or the more disastrous moments. Would have preferred more emphasis on the high points. Also not as enthused about his way of pronouncing "W" words with an almost whistle.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes


Any additional comments?

The Epilogue delved further into the "long-term" lives of more players than the book did and would have have preferred to hear more about the players upbringing than just the select few that were highlighted.

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- Keith

This is Great History!

If all history classes could be adjusted to throw in some fun, I think more people would enjoy learning. This book is fun, enjoyable, easy to understand and just plainly well done.

The narration is simple, inflection as if telling a story rather than rote history. It's a tale of the 1883-1884 baseball, before all the big money, when alcohol selling and drinking and playing on Sundays was frowned upon (for a while) and only some 20 years after the Civil War, bigotry still reigned between the races, salaries were not so obscene, players played no matter their injuries and it is wrapped in a book that makes it all really to understand and very much enjoy and long for "the good ol' days" of baseball.

I have recommended this book to any and all, baseball fans or not, it's a great listen and made me get onto the internet to see what these men looked like--bushy big mustaches reigned.

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- Kathy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-09-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios