Authors on Stage: Jack Cavanaugh
Veteran sportswriter and author Jack Cavanaugh takes on the topics of war-time America and baseball in his compelling new release Season of ’42. Mr. Cavanaugh will speak as part of the Library’s Authors on Stage series on Tuesday, October 30, at 7:00 pm. The event is co-sponsored by Elm Street Books and will take place in the Adrian Lamb Room.
Big league baseball would seem to have been on the bottom of the list of concerns for America in 1942. The country was in the throes of World War II in the Pacific and in Europe. Here at home, drastic shortages of ships, planes, ammunition and other war materials was putting a strain on the country, as were rationing and food shortages. Man power was in short supply and a mandatory draft was calling for all able-bodied men ages 21-35.
President Roosevelt decided that major league baseball should ‘play on’ in 1942 as it would throughout the war. It delivered much needed diversion, particularly with the brash, young St. Louis Cardinal team surprisingly winning the World Series. Shadows of the war hung over the season, though. Many citizens questioned whether it was right for four hundred healthy men to play a child’s game and earn far more money than the thousands of young Americans risking their lives to fight overseas.
Jack Cavanaugh is a veteran sportswriter whose work has appeared most notably on the sports pages of The New York Times, for which he has covered hundreds of assignments. He is the author of Giants Among Men (2008) and Tunney (2006), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in biography. In addition, Cavanaugh has been a frequent contributor to Sports Illustrated and has written for Reader’s Digest, Tennis and Golf magazines as well as other national publications. Cavanaugh is currently a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and lives with his wife, Marge, in Wilton, Connecticut.