"Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution presents the extraordinary history of a great African American achievement, from its lowest ebb during the Depression, through its golden age and World War II, until its gradual disappearance during the early years of the civil rights era. Faced with only a limited amount of correspondence and documents, Lanctot consulted virtually every sports page of every black newspaper located in a league city. He then conducted interviews with former players and scrutinized existing financial, court, and federal records. Through his efforts, Lanctot has painstakingly reconstructed the institutional history of black professional baseball, locating the players, teams, owners, and fans in the wider context of the league's administration. "
"Prodigiously researched and thoroughly unsentimental, Neil Lanctot's history of organized black baseball from 1933 through the early 1960s provides an enormously important historical corrective to feel-good versions of baseball integration... Lanctot's judgments can be pointed, persuasive and at times profound…Without nostalgia, Lanctot offers a careful and balanced judgment on the Negro leagues, one that is likely to stand for some time. "—New York Times
"Lanctot takes us beyond the ball field where the Paiges and Gibsons played in forced segregation, and into the commercial and social realities of baseball in black communities. . . . Lanctot offers a rich array of facts that history lovers can feast on."—Washington Post
"This is a superb historical analysis of the Negro Leagues. . . . Lanctot provides, in my opinion, the most detailed and sophisticated examination of black baseball ever written."—David K. Wiggins, author of Glory Bound: Black Athletes in White America