Author: A. Bartlett Giamatti
Title: Take time for paradise : Americans and their games
Publication Info: Bloomsbury USA, 2011.
When I was young and stupid, I hated Giamatti for banning Pete Rose from baseball. Over the years I came to realize that Rose is a cheater and a liar, and that Giamatti’s premature death was a great loss for Major League Baseball. This charming little book shows why. Giammatti was an intellectual who took time to philosophize over why Americans play games dropping in a few classical references here and there to illustrate his points. It’s a pretty little book that should be enjoyed by baseball fans or people who want to understand the games we play.
I do not believe human beings have played games or sports from the beginning merely to summon or to please or to appease the gods. If anthropologists and historians believe that, it is because they believe whatever they have been able to recover about what humankind told the gods humankind was doing I believe we have played games, and watched games, to imitate the gods, to become godlike in our worship of each other and, through those moments of transmutation, to know for an instant what the gods know. – p. 24-25