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April 13, 2012 / schulerbooks

Schuler Guest Author Spot: Double Header Weekend!

We’ve got a special treat for Michigan book geeks to celebrate the weekend, with a double-header of guest author spots, both with ties to the Mitten state!

First up is sports writer Tim Wendel, who will be promoting his newest book, Summer of ’68, at Schuler of Lansing at 7 p.m. next Thursday, April 19! We are super-pumped to hear him talk about the year that the Tigers won the world series! Check back tomorrow for a guest blog from  author Nick Arvin about his highly praise new novel The Reconstructionist!

Tim Wendel:

In 1968, the gods were angry, very angry. It’s been called the year that rocked the world and it rarely showed any mercy.

In Detroit, the baseball Tigers rose to prominence, joining such teams as the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Jets and the Boston Celtics in reminding us that sport not only can thrill and entertain, but it can sometimes heal us, too.

Much has been written about the year 1968 from political, cultural and even musical points of view. That tumultuous year saw the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. As the summer came to a close, riots broke out in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention. It was the period between the Summer of Love and Woodstock when the Beatles were breaking up. Time and time again, the nation was pushed to the breaking point.

What I tried to do with the SUMMER OF ’68: THE SEASON THAT CHANGED BASEBALL, AND AMERICA, FOREVER was move sports to the forefront. Because through it all fans could often attend sporting events in which whites, blacks and even Latinos not only wore the same uniform but showed America how to come together in pursuit of a common purpose.

The ’68 baseball season was the last one before the leagues split into divisions and playoffs determined who went to the World Series. It was the “Year of the Pitcher” with such great hurlers as Denny McLain, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale, Luis Tiant and Mickey Lolich.

When I began SUMMER OF ’68, I knew I would write about two of the greatest baseball teams of all time in the Tigers and the Cardinals. What I did not expect to discover were athletes who were struggling like so many others in the country to find a way to move forward, to somehow come together. How they responded to the upheaval in 1968 was often human and courageous and something we can find solace in today.

I’m excited about returning to Michigan and coming to Lansing. My family has a cottage outside of Traverse City and I spent many summers there growing up. And I’m also looking forward to discussing the great teams of that memorable year, notably the Detroit Tigers and such heroes as McLain and Lolich, Willie Horton and Al Kaline.

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