What the critics are saying:

With elegance, wit and precision, John Thorn traces the lineage of baseball, a melting pot of cultures and diversions that became quintessentially American. Baseball in the Garden of Eden is a must read for anyone who claims to know the game.Jane Leavy, author of The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and The End of America’s Childhood and Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy

Baseball’s creation myth—Abner Doubleday in a Cooperstown pasture in 1839—has the merit of being enchanting but the defect of being false in every particular. Now comes another of John Thorn’s many contributions to our understanding of baseball, proof that the game is even older and more interesting than most fans know.George F. Will, author of Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball

What a garden of delight! John Thorn takes us through the tangled history of the game’s origins with great good humor and flair. He accepts nothing on face value, but gives all sides their due. A pleasure for fans, but also for anyone with an interest in history and myth.Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row

No one knows baseball history as well as John Thorn or writes about it more ably. And there is no one better suited to record—with affection, amusement and sometimes hilarity—the chicanery, misrepresentation and downright lies that have obfuscated the fascinating story of the origins and development of our national game.Robert W. Creamer, author of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life and Stengel: His Life and Times

No sport clings to its myths like baseball, which means it takes a baseball historian of the first rank like John Thorn to turn those myths upside down and inside out. Baseball in the Garden of Eden offers enlightenment for every fan. It is also a joy to read.Michael Shapiro, author of Bottom of the Ninth and The Last Good Season

An invaluable, enduring and unique history of the early game and how it swiftly changed, in some ways for the worse, and yet survived and thrived.David Nemec, author of The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Baseball

The One True Game’s old creation myths are nowhere near as interesting and as much fun as the truths that Thorn digs up about the conspiracies, vices, and raucous behavior of baseball’s earliest innings.Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter

No one, absolutely no one, knows more about the history of our national pastime than John Thorn, and this new book ought to settle once and for all many of the questions fans have about baseball’s origins. Superb.Ken Burns, filmmaker

John Thorn's Baseball in the Garden of Eden reveals a secret history of the early game that is more fantastical (and funny) than any concocted story.Jim Bouton, author of Ball Four

This book is the masterwork we would expect from baseball’s foremost historian.David Block, author of Baseball Before We Knew It

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