Ohio History Journal

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Book Notes

Book Notes



Croquet: An Annotated Bibliography from the Rendell Rhoades Croquet Collection.

By Nancy L. Rhoades. (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1992. xx + 214p.; illus-

trations, bibliography, appendix.) Today, croquet might appear a quaint, insignificant

game in an environment dominated by professional football, baseball, and basketball.

But this annotated bibliography underscores croquet's position of prominence among

American sports in the years following the Civil War, as well as its revival in the past

twenty years. Nancy L. Rhoades based this enlightening book on the croquet-related

collection of the late Rendell Rhoades, now housed in the Rutherford B. Hayes

Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio. The bibliography is organized according to the

source of the croquet image or information, from rule books to fiction, patents to sheet

music, etiquette manuals to trade cards. The pungent annotations give the reader a clear

idea of both the substance and style of each citation. Read cover-to-cover, the book pro-

vides, in miniature, a history of croquet's meteoric rise as entertainment and obsession

followed by its precipitous decline as the public's taste shifted to lawn tennis.


The Strong Museum                                      Christopher Bensch



Sports in Cleveland: An Illustrated History. By John J. Grabowski. (Bloomington

and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1992. xii + 150p.; illustrations, index.) An

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History project, this splendidly illustrated work will appeal

to all sports fans, both from within and without Cleveland, but especially to those old

enough to remember when the Indians were perennial contenders for the American

League crown. But Grabowski does not limit his coverage to baseball, as he includes

football (remember those early Paul Brown teams?), sleigh racing, trotting, auto racing,

tennis, roof-top tennis (see page 21 for this YWCA donation to the sports world), golf,

hockey, track events, basketball, and bowling. Grabowski's text is informative--espe-

cially a number of short biographical sketches-and his illustrations well chosen. The

book is a fine addition to Cleveland history.


Ohio Historical Society                               Robert L. Daugherty



Distinguished Shades: Americans Whose Lives Live On. By Louis Filler. (Ovid,

Michigan: Belfry Publications, Inc., 1992. vii + 278p.; illustrations, index.) In reexam-

ining the careers of 56 extraordinary Americans, historian Louis Filler presents new

information on men and women of various social and ethnic origins whose lives were,

as Filler notes, truly great. Filler, a widely respected historian, carefully explains in his

introduction that Distinguished Shades "is not a guide to distinction or to past figures

who seem to lean toward present interests, but rather a guide to methods by which past

or present lions can be given place to assert their qualities for good or evil." Among his

diverse collection of luminaries are several individuals with Ohio associations, includ-

ing William Burnham Woods, a native of Newark who rose to become Supreme Court

Justice, E. W. Scripps, father of the penny post newspapers and the United Press

International (UPI), and Arthur Ernest Morgan, creator of the Miami Conservancy

District, a landmark flood control system that served as a model for TVA, of which he