The Empire Strikes Out is a rare and wonderful combination of splendid scholarship and lively writing. Robert Elias� affection for baseball illuminates its pages, even when he is unearthing episodes of organized baseball�s racism, jingoism, unbridled militarism and insensitivity to other cultures. Simultaneously, and gracefully, the book describes the development of baseball and its impact overseas as a sort of quasi instrument of American foreign policy. The recent internationalization of major-league rosters makes the book particularly timely. A truly fine work. Highly recommended.