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Download The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris, by Mark Kurlansky Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (150 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Kurlansky Narrator: Ed Sala Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the town of San Pedro in the Dominican Republic, baseball is not just a way of life, it’s the way of life. By the year 2008, seventy-nine boys and men from San Pedro had gone on to play in the Major Leagues—that means one in six Dominican Republicans who have played in the Majors have come from one tiny, impoverished region. Manny Alexander, Sammy Sosa, Tony Fernandez, and legions of other San Pedro players who came up in the sugar mill teams flocked to the United States looking for opportunity, wealth, and a better life.

Because of the sugar industry and the influxes of migrant workers from across the Caribbean to work in the cane fields and factories, San Pedro is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the Dominican Republic. A multitude of languages are spoken there, and a variety of skin colors populate the community; but the one constant is sugar and baseball. The history of players from San Pedro is also a chronicle of racism in baseball, changing social mores in sports and in the Dominican Republic, and the personal stories of the many men who sought freedom from poverty through playing ball. The story of baseball in San Pedro is also that of the Caribbean in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and, on a broader level, opens a window into US history.

As with Mark Kurlansky’s Cod and Salt, this small story, rich with anecdote and detail, becomes much larger than ever imagined. Kurlansky reveals two countries’ love affair with a sport and the remarkable journey of San Pedro and its baseball players. In his distinctive style, he follows common threads and discovers wider meanings about place, identity, and, above all, baseball.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Enticing and educational, a swell combination.”

    Denver Post

  • “It’s history. And sociology. And anthropology. And religion. And recipes. And a study of race. And recipes. And, oh yes, a smattering of baseball. In short, a pastiche. But an enticing one.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Kurlansky homes in on a singular subject and magnifies its every facet under the brilliant light of his investigative reporting, his historical sensibility, and his lively storytelling.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Ed Sala offers an engaging narration that is reminiscent of a grizzled former ballplayer spinning yarns about his playing days.”


  • “Classic Kurlansky: take one small thing…and through it tell a big multifaceted story…It is a history of missed opportunities and bittersweet successes.”

    Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

  • “A fantastic essay on the game of baseball and the sport dreams that unite—-for better and worse—-the US and the Dominican Republic.”

    Junot Diaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Matt | 2/15/2014

    " As enjoyable as all of Kurlansky's books. A fascinating glimpse at the Dominican Republic, and the way the business of baseball effects it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathleen Freeman | 2/10/2014

    " This is a book I typically would not read, however it was interesting and I received a great history lesson on a number of topics. For a baseball fan this would be a great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Hugh | 1/31/2014

    " Not bad, but drags a lot for a short book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bookmarks Magazine | 1/24/2014

    " Named after San Pedro's home team, Estrellas Orientales, The Eastern Stars hit a home run with some critics and struck out with others. Kurlansky tackles his subject capably, explaining key baseball terms and concepts for readers unfamiliar with the game, but he doesn't write with the passion and determined focus of a sportswriter. Critics who panned The Eastern Stars cited Kurlansky's failure to humanize his story as well as a few holes in his own understanding of the game. However, as the study of a troubled, economically depressed community, Kurlansky's book fares better. Based on solid research and framed in simple, forthright prose, his reflections on history, culture, religion, and racial relations--oh, and baseball--charmed critics who didn't necessarily have their hearts set on a baseball book. This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine. "

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