100 books like God Almighty Hisself

By Mitchell Nathanson,

Here are 100 books that God Almighty Hisself fans have personally recommended if you like God Almighty Hisself. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy Satchel Paige

David Vaught Author Of Spitter: Baseball's Notorious Gaylord Perry

From my list on deep-dive baseball biographies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing this book brought back memories from my childhood—of watching Perry pitch in the late 1960s and, more deeply, of relations with my parents. My father (a math prof at UC Berkeley) and mother cared little for sports, but by the time I turned seven, an identity uniquely my own emerged from my infatuation with the San Francisco Giants. By age ten, I regularly sneaked off to Candlestick Park, which required two long bus rides and a hike through one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. I knew exactly when I had to leave to retrace my journey to get home in time for dinner. Baseball was, and remains, in my blood.

David's book list on deep-dive baseball biographies

David Vaught Why did David love this book?

Spivey and I share the same goal—to reach a broad audience, both scholarly and general. His book is for readers who love baseball and love history—those with a passion for the game who are not scared off by complex arguments or endnotes. Baseball intellectuals—the huge group of readers embodied by George Will, Ken Burns, and Doris Kearns Goodwin—constitute the central audience. But baseball buffs also care about the history of the game and will want to read this book. Spivey, a history professor, writes accessibly and avoids “insider history”—even in the sections and chapters focused primarily on the sordid past of American race relations. It is a deftly-executed, balanced treatment of Paige and one of the most meticulously researched biographies ever written about an athlete.

By Donald Spivey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked If You Were Only White as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If You Were Only White" explores the legacy of one of the most exceptional athletes ever-an entertainer extraordinaire, a daring showman and crowd-pleaser, a wizard with a baseball whose artistry and antics on the mound brought fans out in the thousands to ballparks across the country. Leroy "Satchel" Paige was arguably one of the world's greatest pitchers and a premier star of Negro Leagues Baseball. But in this biography Donald Spivey reveals Paige to have been much more than just a blazing fastball pitcher.

Spivey follows Paige from his birth in Alabama in 1906 to his death in Kansas City…


Book cover of Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy

Robert Elias Author Of Major League Rebels: Baseball Battles over Workers' Rights and American Empire

From my list on baseball’s historic influence on America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Typically, we follow sports only on the playing field. I share that interest but I’ve become fascinated by sports off the field, and how they influence and reflect American society. After my fanatical baseball-playing childhood, I pursued an academic career, teaching and writing books and essays on politics and history, and wondering why it wasn’t more rewarding. Then I rediscovered sports, and returned again to my childhood passion of baseball. I began teaching a popular baseball course as a mirror on American culture. And I began writing about baseball and society, recently completing my sixth baseball book. The books recommended here will help readers to see baseball with new eyes. 

Robert's book list on baseball’s historic influence on America

Robert Elias Why did Robert love this book?

Martin Luther King, Jr. once observed that without the breaking of the color line in baseball in the late 1940s, his work for civil rights in the 1960s would have been infinitely more difficult.

This book tells the story not only of Jackie Robinson breaking that barrier to integrate baseball in 1947, but its profound consequences for both white and black baseball and for the Negro Leagues and the black community.

This breakthrough, seven years before the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, emerged not merely from Robinson and his sponsor, Branch Rickey, but from a several-decades long social movement for baseball integration, and it began the process of breaking down racist barriers in U.S. society—a notable example of how sports can promote social progress.

By Jules Tygiel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Baseball's Great Experiment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this gripping account of one of the most important steps in the history of American desegregation, Jules Tygiel tells the story of Jackie Robinson's crossing of baseball's color line. Examining the social and historical context of Robinson's introduction into white organized baseball, both on and off the field, Tygiel also tells the often neglected stories of other African-American players-such as Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron-who
helped transform our national pastime into an integrated game. Drawing on dozens of interviews with players and front office executives, contemporary newspaper accounts, and personal papers, Tygiel provides the most…


Book cover of Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life

David Vaught Author Of Spitter: Baseball's Notorious Gaylord Perry

From my list on deep-dive baseball biographies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing this book brought back memories from my childhood—of watching Perry pitch in the late 1960s and, more deeply, of relations with my parents. My father (a math prof at UC Berkeley) and mother cared little for sports, but by the time I turned seven, an identity uniquely my own emerged from my infatuation with the San Francisco Giants. By age ten, I regularly sneaked off to Candlestick Park, which required two long bus rides and a hike through one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. I knew exactly when I had to leave to retrace my journey to get home in time for dinner. Baseball was, and remains, in my blood.

David's book list on deep-dive baseball biographies

David Vaught Why did David love this book?

Both for sheer inspiration and for studying the craft of biography, I read this book at least five times while researching and writing Spitter. Absorbing, controversial, and courageous, this book offers a deeply disturbing look into the rise and fall of the most famous baseball icon of the twentieth century—and ‘the loneliest hero we ever had.” DiMaggio is rendered so vividly you almost want to look away. The book taught me the supreme importance of building the character, starting on page one, and of sustaining and expanding central and supplementary themes, chapter by chapter. It is also, simply put, a romping good read. If Spitter lives up to even one-tenth of this book’s brilliance, I would die a happy biographer.

By Richard Ben Cramer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joe DiMaggio as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking, breathtaking biography of one of the Century's great icons, the late Joe Dimaggio, from the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning author of the bestseller WHAT IT TAKES. Few celebrities have captivated the sport's world for as long, or with such depth, as Joe DiMaggio. Here, for the first time, is the definitive story of his life, as told by the award-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer. In Cramer's hands, DiMaggio's complicated life, from the first game with the Yankees in the 1930's, his marriage to Marilyn Monroe and his rise to hero status, becomes a story of the media, the…


Book cover of Willie's Time: Baseball's Golden Age

David Vaught Author Of Spitter: Baseball's Notorious Gaylord Perry

From my list on deep-dive baseball biographies.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing this book brought back memories from my childhood—of watching Perry pitch in the late 1960s and, more deeply, of relations with my parents. My father (a math prof at UC Berkeley) and mother cared little for sports, but by the time I turned seven, an identity uniquely my own emerged from my infatuation with the San Francisco Giants. By age ten, I regularly sneaked off to Candlestick Park, which required two long bus rides and a hike through one of the city’s worst neighborhoods. I knew exactly when I had to leave to retrace my journey to get home in time for dinner. Baseball was, and remains, in my blood.

David's book list on deep-dive baseball biographies

David Vaught Why did David love this book?

I read this when it first appeared in 1979, long before I started taking history seriously. Much more than a generic “life and times” offering, Willie’s Time, by Charles Einstein, a former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, still stands tall as a sweeping biography of Willie Mays. It foreshadowed the approach pioneered by Jules Tygiel of “taking one’s eye off the ball”—paying as much attention to the broad and wide-ranging historical context of the game as to the game on the field itself. Einstein also embraces essayist Roger Angell’s deeply held belief that the power of baseball lies in its daily details. Both are necessary to understand Willie Mays and his place in history. Written with verve and vibrato, this book outshines James Hirsch’s dense and less captivating 2010 biography of Mays.

By Charles Einstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Willie's Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Willie's Time: Baseball's Golden Age restores to print Charles Einstein's vivid biography of one of baseball's foremost legends. With a new preface from the author, this volume replays the most dramatic moments of the Say Hey Kid's career - from the 1951 Miracle Giants to the Amazing Mets of 1973 - and takes us inside the lives of Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron, Durocher, and others along the way. Einstein offers a compelling and complete look at Mays: as a youth in racist Birmingham, a triumphant symbol of African American success, a sports hero lionized by fans,…


Book cover of Chief Bender's Burden: The Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star

Curt Brown Author Of Minnesota, 1918: When Flu, Fire, and War Ravaged the State

From my list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter.

Why am I passionate about this?

After more than 30 years in daily journalism in Minnesota, I moved to a trout stream near Durango, Colo., to stage a second act. Editors at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where I worked for 26 years, gave me a freelance contract to write a Minnesota History column every Sunday. It’s morphed into a popular crowd-sourcing of history with readers feeding me delicious family stories. I’m the lucky one who gets to weave these stories—enriching my knowledge of what being Minnesotans is all about.

Curt's book list on Minnesota stories to get through a long winter

Curt Brown Why did Curt love this book?

This 2008 biography of a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher follows Charles Albert Bender from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota to his heyday with the Philadelphia Athletics in the early-1900s. While fans know about Minnesota baseball stars like Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, and Jack Morris, Bender’s amazing life has been all but forgotten. Swift breathes new life into a man with a foot in both his Indian and white worlds.

By Tom Swift,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chief Bender's Burden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The greatest American Indian baseball player of all time, Charles Albert Bender, was, according to a contemporary, "the coolest pitcher in the game." Using a trademark delivery, an impressive assortment of pitches that may have included the game's first slider, and an apparently unflappable demeanor, he earned a reputation as baseball's great clutch pitcher during tight Deadball Era pennant races and in front of boisterous World Series crowds. More remarkably yet, "Chief" Bender's Hall of Fame career unfolded in the face of immeasurable prejudice. This skillfully told and complete account of Bender's life is also a portrait of greatness of…


Book cover of To Every Thing a Season: Shibe Park and Urban Philadelphia, 1909-1976

Jerald Podair Author Of City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

From my list on American baseball stadiums.

Why am I passionate about this?

Major league baseball stadiums have always enthralled me—their architectures, their atmospheres, their surroundings. Each has a unique story to tell. So I decided to tell the story of how perhaps the greatest of all American ballparks, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, came to be. As an urban historian, I also wished to tell a broader story of how the argument between 1957 and 1962 over whether, where, and how to build the stadium helped make Los Angeles into the modern city we know today. So writing City of Dreams allowed me to combine my passions for baseball, for stadiums, and for the history of American cities.

Jerald's book list on American baseball stadiums

Jerald Podair Why did Jerald love this book?

One of the models for my own book, this study of Shibe Park—later named Connie Mack Stadium—places it in the context of the growth and decline of its North Philadelphia neighborhood. Home first to the Philadelphia Athletics, then the Athletics and Phillies, and then, until 1970, the Phillies alone, the stadium went from a position as the centerpiece of a vibrant industrial and residential community to a decaying symbol of urban decline by the 1960s. Still, there are those who remember and love it, and Kuklick has written a fascinating and evocative book that tells the story of a twentieth-century American city through its signature baseball stadium.

By Bruce Kuklick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Every Thing a Season as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shibe Park was demolished in 1976, and today its site is surrounded by the devastation of North Philadelphia. Kuklick, however, vividly evokes the feelings people had about the home of the Philadelphia Athletics and later the Phillies.


Book cover of Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia

Laura A. Macaluso Author Of Monument Culture: International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments in a Changing World

From my list on monuments in the era of controversies and removal.

Why am I passionate about this?

Laura A. Macaluso researches and writes about monuments, museums, and material culture. Interested in monuments since the 1990s, the current controversies and iconoclasm (monument removals) have reshaped society across the globe. She works at the intersection of public art and public history, at places such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Laura's book list on monuments in the era of controversies and removal

Laura A. Macaluso Why did Laura love this book?

Monument Lab is one book to get your hands on, if you are curious to know how a historic city can remake its traditional monumental history to become more inclusive and reflective of a holistic past and present. The book is about the organization called Monument Lab, which works with communities, artists, and more to reshape the monument culture of Philadelphia. Filled with short essays and colorful photographs, Monument Lab and Monument Lab the book model the democratic turn towards inclusive monument making in an American city.

By Paul M. Farber (editor), Ken Lum (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monument Lab as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? That was the question posed by the curators, artists, scholars, and students who comprise the Philadelphia-based public art and history studio Monument Lab. And in 2017, along with Mural Arts Philadelphia, they produced and organized a groundbreaking, city-wide exhibition of temporary, site-specific works that engaged directly with the community. The installations, by a cohort of diverse artists considering issues of identity, appeared in iconic public squares and neighborhood parks with research and learning labs and prototype monuments.

Monument Lab is a fabulous compendium of the exhibition and a critical…


Book cover of Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America's Empire

Jordan Neben Author Of A Lot of Questions, with No Answers

From my list on thinking about history and how we understand it.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like many people, my passions were first ignited when I was a toddler, and I mainly have my maternal grandfather to thank what for interests me. I remember coming to my grandparent’s house when I was young and watching WWII documentaries that my grandfather had on VHS (yes, I’m that old). Since then, I’ve always had a passion for history. It doesn’t really matter the subject, I’m interested in everything; from the Ottoman Empire to the Vietnam War, to the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula, to the US-backed coup in Guatemala during the Cold War. I hope that passion for history comes through when readers explore my book.  

Jordan's book list on thinking about history and how we understand it

Jordan Neben Why did Jordan love this book?

Gangsters of Capitalism covers a part of US history that is often deliberately overlooked by Americans, because it clashes with our national myths about ourselves. Katz follows US imperial history from the very end of the 19th century through to the middle of the 20th century, by following the life and career of Smedley Butler, a man who served in the marines for so much of this history. Gangster of Capitalism is in the top five of my favorite books that I have ever read. Katz’s ability to weave a personal biography with sweeping history and how that history still affects us all in the present is superb. 

By Jonathan M. Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gangsters of Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking journey tracing America’s forgotten path to global power—and how its legacies shape our world today—told through the extraordinary life of a complicated Marine.

Smedley Butler was the most celebrated warfighter of his time. Bestselling books were written about him. Hollywood adored him. Wherever the flag went, “The Fighting Quaker” went—serving in nearly every major overseas conflict from the Spanish War of 1898 until the eve of World War II. From his first days as a 16-year-old recruit at the newly seized Guantánamo Bay, he blazed a path for empire: helping annex the Philippines and the land for the…


Book cover of The Sphas: The Life and Times of Basketball's Greatest Jewish Team

R.D. Rosen Author Of Tough Luck: Sid Luckman, Murder, Inc., and the Rise of the Modern NFL

From my list on Jews and sports.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author whose works have spanned several genres, from mysteries (I won an Edgar for Strike Three You’re Dead), to psychology (I coined the word “psychobabble” and wrote a book about it), to humor (Bad Cat and Bad Dog were both bestsellers), and, more lately to nonfiction, including Such Good Girls, true story of three Jewish women who survived the Holocaust. I have worked in television as a comedian, writer, and producer, and as a senior editor in the publishing industry, but my first and enduring love is the magic of writing.

R.D.'s book list on Jews and sports

R.D. Rosen Why did R.D. love this book?

The little-known story of promoter Eddie Gottlieb’s South Philadelphia Hebrew Association team begins in the 1920s when professional basketball in this country was often played in a cage-encircled court to protect the athletes from the rabid fans in Philly and other cities in the hard-scrabble Eastern League. The unathletic Gottlieb kept the SPHAs at the top of the pack, along with Harlem’s all-Black Renaissance team. The story ends in the 1940s when helped organize the whites-only Basketball Association of American, the forerunner to the NBA. Gottlieb, who coached the original Philadelphia Warriors, spent the last 30 years of his life preparing each NBA season’s schedule by hand with a pencil and a legal pad.

By Doug Stark,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sphas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The history of the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association's basketball team and the legends it spawned


Book cover of Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away

Jeffery McKenna Author Of Saving Dr. Warren... "A True Patriot"

From my list on for young adults on the American Revolution.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved American history all my life. I thought I knew the events and key figures in the American Revolution. Then, in 2001, I learned about Dr. Joseph Warren. The more I learned, the more I wanted to tell his story. I travelled to Boston. I walked the Freedom Trail. I followed the red bricks that wind through historic Boston until they end at Bunker Hill. I saw the marble statue of Dr. Warren at Bunker Hill honoring his death. His influence and footprints are on every location along the Freedom Trail. My passion is to tell his story; my hope is that all Americans can remember his sacrifice.

Jeffery's book list on for young adults on the American Revolution

Jeffery McKenna Why did Jeffery love this book?

I love to find “hidden gems” in history. Ona Judge is a gem. First published in 2017, Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge is a biography that reads like an engaging novel. It depicts the life of George and Martha Washington’s young enslaved girl that grows to a young woman in the shadows of the most powerful couple in our new nation. At age 16, Ona leaves Mount Vernon to accompany President Washington and Martha while they live in New York and then Philadelphia. She is treated splendidly, but she is still property. This terrible truth crashes upon Ona when Martha, wanting to give the absolute best gift she can to her difficult, disagreeable, and stubborn granddaughter, decides to give her Ona – her most cherished possession, as a wedding gift. Rather than be property to be gifted and given, Ona escapes. This book shows how President…

By Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Kathleen Van Cleve,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"A brilliant work of US history." -School Library Journal (starred review)
"Gripping." -BCCB (starred review)
"Accessible...Necessary." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction, Never Caught is the eye-opening narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington's runaway slave, who risked everything for a better life-now available as a young reader's edition!

In this incredible narrative, Erica Armstrong Dunbar reveals a fascinating and heartbreaking behind-the-scenes look at the Washingtons when they were the First Family-and an in-depth look at their slave, Ona Judge, who dared to escape from one of the nation's Founding Fathers.

Born into a…


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