The Devil's Snake Curve: A Fan's Notes from Left Field (Paperback)
This anecdotal history of baseball is a gem. Musings--both personal and
historical--are intertwined with snippets of Americana, dashes of
history, and cultural observations by an urban anthropologist. Flip
through the book and randomly read about pissing in
the Wrigley Field troughs, Allan Dulles' CIA coups, bubble gum and
tobacco rituals, the politics of facial hair, and both religious and
ideological attempts to co-opt sport. Or better yet, read it again in
the way the author intended and see the connections
between Baseball and Machines, Militarism, the Animal World,
Nationalism, and the Corporatocracy.
The Devil's Snake Curve offers an alternative American history, in which colonialism, jingoism, capitalism, and faith are represented by baseball. Personal and political, it twines Japanese internment camps with the Yankees; Walmart with the Kansas City Royals; and facial hair patterns with militarism, Guantanamo, and the modern security state. An essay, a miscellany, and a passionate unsettling of Josh Ostergaard's relationship with our national pastime, it allows for both the clover of a childhood outfield and the persistence of the game's service to those in power. America and baseball are both hard to love or leave in this by turns coruscating and heartfelt debut.
Josh Ostergaard holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and an MA in cultural anthropology. He has been an urban anthropologist at the Field Museum and now works at Graywolf Press.
About the Author
Josh Ostergaard: Josh Ostergaard holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and an MA in cultural anthropology. He has been an urban anthropologist at the Field Museum and now works at Graywolf Press.