Stanton, Tom. Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society that Shocked Depression-era Detroit
Booklist Reviews 2016 May #1
*Starred Review* If you're looking for a book that combines sports, crime, and history in one package, look no further. Stanton, who's written or contributed to several books about baseball, examines a fascinating period in the history of the sport, the mid-1930s. It was a time when Detroit was, generally speaking, a sports powerhouse: the Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings (football, baseball, and hockey, respectively) were champions during the same three-year period; Joe Louis, an up-and-coming local boxer, was starting to generate some serious publicity. But it was also a time when the Black Legion, a massive white-supremacist criminal organization similar in structure and philosophy to the Ku Klux Klan, was terrorizing and murdering men of the church, union leaders, and various other perceived enemies. Stanton tells this big story by focusing on two key players: Mickey Cochrane, newly appointed manager to the Tigers, and Dayton Dean, a Black Legion member whose guilty plea in a murder case led to a massive law-enforcement effort to bring the Legion to its knees. For fans of books about baseball, Depression-era American history, and crime nonfiction, this book is a must-read. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 June #1
A city rich with history, Detroit is widely known for its sports teams, including the Tigers (baseball), Red Wings (hockey), and Lions (football). For Detroit, the 1930s was a period of corruption, crime, sports, and murder. It was also the era of the notoriously racist "klan like" group called the Black Legion. Stanton (The Final Season) has written an engaging piece that highlights this darkened time. Stanton's masterly prose is thoroughly engaging from cover to cover. Chronicling baseball legends such as Mickey Cochran and Hank Greenberg, Stanton offers engrossing stories that are filled with historical gems. He contrasts the awful crimes committed by the Black Legion with accounts of the Tigers, Red Wings, and Lions, who all won championships during this decade. The author further follows Joe Louis, one of boxing's most famous stars, who made his debut in 1932. VERDICT Packed with fascinating background, this work will be enjoyed not only by fans of Detroit sports, but all sports enthusiasts.—Gus Palas, Ela Area P.L., Lake Zurich, IL[Page 98]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2016 April #3
Glittering triumphs cover up a sordid racist conspiracy in this lively vignette of the Motor City in its heyday. Swerving between hysterical excitement and hysterical fear, the city embodied the roiling socioeconomic and ideological currents of the 1930s. Journalist Stanton (The Final Season) narrates the mid-1930s transformation of the lackluster Detroit Tigers into World Series contenders under charismatic catcher and manager Mickey Cochrane, a story replete with colorful, superstitious players and ninth-inning drama. (Simultaneous championships for the Lions, the Red Wings, and Detroit boxer Joe Louis add to the epic.) Providing counterpoint is the saga of the Black Legion, a Klan-inspired Midwestern secret society that despised African-Americans, Catholics, Jews, immigrants, leftists and union organizers. Despite comic-opera trappings—members pledged to sign their names in blood at nighttime ceremonies—the group, which included politicians, police officers, and prosecutors, was a menace; it plotted to assassinate political opponents, committed several murders, carried out bombings and arson, and conspired to gas synagogues and contaminate ethnic neighborhoods with typhoid germs. The smushed-together halves of Stanton's book don't really articulate well, but they combine to form a vivid portrait of Depression-stricken Detroit, a cauldron of racial tensions, police brutality, and strife between management and workers. Photos. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC