Synopses & Reviews
The only Major League ballplayer whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA, Moe Berg has the singular distinction of having both a 15-year career as a catcher for such teams as the New York Robins and the Chicago White Sox and that of a spy for the OSS during World War II. Here, Dawidoff provides "a careful and sympathetic biography" (Chicago Sun-Times) of this enigmatic man. Photos.
Moe Berg is the only major-league baseball player whose baseball card is on display at the headquarters of the CIA. For Berg was much more than a third-string catcher who played on several major league teams between 1923 and 1939. Educated at Princeton and the Sorbonne, he as reputed to speak a dozen languages (although it was also said he couldn't hit in any of them) and went on to become an OSS spy in Europe during World War II.
As Nicholas Dawidoff follows Berg from his claustrophobic childhood through his glamorous (though equivocal) careers in sports and espionage and into the long, nomadic years during which he lived on the hospitality of such scattered acquaintances as Joe DiMaggio and Albert Einstein, he succeeds not only in establishing where Berg went, but who he was beneath his layers of carefully constructed cover. As engrossing as a novel by John le Carre, The Catcher Was a Spy is a triumphant work of historical and psychological detection."
About the Author
Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of The Catcher was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg and In the Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music, and is the editor of the Library of Americas Baseball: A Literary Anthology. He is also a contributor to The New Yorker, The American Scholar, and The New York Times Magazine. A graduate of Harvard University, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Berlin Prize Fellow of the American Academy. He and his wife live in New York.