"Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis" is an essential read for fans of baseball history in my opinion. It's well researched and well written. I found this book fascinating from both the baseball perspective and also from the general history perspective. I try to read some baseball books every year around the start of spring training. It's one of my traditions. This year, David Pietrusza's book sat on my list. I'm glad I read it.
Nearly anyone who knows even cursory baseball history has heard the name Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Even people who aren't familiar with how much he influenced baseball has probably heard of him from the Black Sox scandal. Until I read this book, I wasn't aware of much else about him. This book does a great job of filling in the blanks to give us a more rounded picture of who the judge was. I really appreciated the history prior to 1920 when he assumed the commissionership. It was great! The extensive notes in the back also help people like me who enjoy further research.
I think this was a very fair, balanced look at a complicated man. It addresses myths that have surrounded the judge back to his lifetime. I appreciate all of the work Mr. Pietrusza put into this book, and I will read it again.
Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis