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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-seller.

David Halberstam, an avid sports writer with an investigative reporter’s tenacity, superbly details the end of the 15-year reign of the New York Yankees in October 1964. That October found the Yankees going head-to-head with the St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series pennant. 

Expertly weaving the narrative threads of both teams’ seasons, Halberstam brings the major personalities on the field - from switch-hitter Mickey Mantle to pitcher Bob Gibson - to life. Using the teams’ subcultures, Halberstam also analyzes the cultural shifts of the '60s. The result is a unique blend of sports writing and cultural history as engrossing as it is insightful. 

"Compelling.... 1964 is a chronicle of the end of a great dynasty and of a game, like the country, on the cusp of enormous change." (Newsweek)

"Wonderful.... Memorable.... Halberstam describes the final game of the 1964 series accurately and so dramatically, I almost thought I had forgotten the ending." (The Washington Post Book World)

©1994 The Amateurs Limited (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"October 1964 should be a hit with old-time baseball fans, who'll relish the opportunity to relive that year's to-die-for World Series, when the dynastic but aging New York Yankees squared off against the upstart St. Louis Cardinals. It should be a hit with younger students of the game, who'll eat up the vivid portrayals of legends like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the Yankees and Bob Gibson and Lou Brock of the Cardinals. Most of all, however, David Halberstam's new book should be a hit with anyone interested in understanding the important interplay between sports and society." (The Boston Globe)

"Halberstam's latest gives us the feeling of actually being there - in another time, in the locker rooms and in the minds of baseball legends. His time and effort researching the book result in a fluency with his topic and a fluidity of writing that make the reading almost effortless.... Absorbing." (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Superb reporting.... Incisive analysis.... You know from the start that Halberstam is going to focus on a large human canvas.... One of the many joys of this book is the humanity with which Halberstam explores the characters as well as the talents of the players, coaches and managers. These are not demigods of summer but flawed, believable human beings who on occasion can rise to peaks of heroism." (Chicago Sun-Times)

What listeners say about October 1964

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

an excellent baseball book

Loved it! Well, extensively researched book; good narration. I highly recommend this. Great story of baseball & American society influencing each other in the 50s & 60s. The book focuses its primary attention on the Cardinals & Yankees teams (understandably so) and the story jumps around a lot going back and forth from player stories/biographies to covering the '64 season. But aside from that nit-picky critique, don't let that turn you away from enjoying this great baseball book.

5 people found this helpful

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Very good book, very disappointing narration

For a baseball fan, this is fine book filled with great inside details of the last pennant-winning Yankee team of the Mickey Mantle era, and of the rising Cardinals of Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. For content, it's a 5-star book.

The narration is very disappointing. I don't think the narrator for this book necessarily needs to be a baseball fan, but I am continually perplexed by narrators or producers who clearly haven't done even minimal research to get pronunciations right. This often happens in books with foreign words or expressions. There's an app that will allow you to hear the correct sound, so why not use it?

In this book, I found it distracting and mildly irritating when names of historical figures in baseball are repeatedly mispronounced: Bill Veeck, Solly Hemus, Jerry Lumpe, Mike Cuellar, and several more. Some of those are significant figures, others are not. But I'm guessing Angelo Di Loreto must know a baseball fan, and he could have gotten it all right with a half hour conversation.

I still highly recommend this book for its content. And if Mr. Di Loreto does another baseball book, he should feel free to be in touch.

3 people found this helpful

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my fist game as a 9 yr old

oct 64 sitting in the right field bleachers watching my yankees play the cards
bottom of the 9th mantle hit a hr 5 rows over my head off of barney schultz !
after the game walking around the warning track on the field......heaven :)

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful, very well written. Halberstram remains

Wonderful ! Halberstram remainse the best story teller of his remarkable generation. . I wish for more from this great author !

2 people found this helpful

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Great book, terrible narration

Halberstam's great 1995 book is given a terrible reading by Angelo Di Loreto who makes no attempt to learn the proper pronunciation of player names, including Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda.

2 people found this helpful

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Good read.

A few names were mispronounced. That's easy to do on names unfamiliar to the reader. Enjoyed the back story.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent!

I enjoyed the writing and the narration very much. So glad I got this, will listen to again and again.

1 person found this helpful

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Enlightening

As a Yankees fan it's the first time I had heard in depth the stories about the decline of the Yankee dynasty and the friction between Casey and Mantle and the way the older stars pushed the limits with Yogi as Mgr

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  • yy
  • 05-11-22

Fun

For someone who grow up in his teens in the 60s, this book brought back a lot of old great memories. I really like the part of the back stories of all the players. It was just such a fun book to spend time with. I recommend the book to any baseball enthusiast.

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Entertaining, Especially for Bob Gibson Fans

This is a good book that focuses on the 1964 baseball season, and the rise of the St. Louis Cardinals, and the slow descent of the New York Yankees. I especially liked the profiles of Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and the St. Louis players. The book is not so strong, at least in my opinion, with the Yankees.