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The Chicago Cubs

Story of a Curse

Rich Cohen


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ISBN10: 1250192781
ISBN13: 9781250192783

Trade Paperback

304 Pages



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When Rich Cohen was eight years old, his father took him to see a Cubs game. On the way out of the park, his father asked him to make a promise. “Promise me you will never be a Cubs fan. The Cubs do not win,” he explained, “and because of that, a Cubs fan will have a diminished life determined by low expectations. That team will screw up your life.”

Cohen became not just a Cubs fan but one of the biggest Cubs fans in the world. In this book, he captures the story of the team, its players and crazy days. Billy Sunday and Ernie Banks, Three Finger Brown and Ryne Sandberg, Bill Buckner, the Bartman Ball, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo—the early dominance followed by a 107 year trek across the wilderness. It’s all here, in The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse—not just what happened, but what it felt like and what it meant.

Featuring extensive interviews with players, owners, and coaches, this mix of memoir, reporting, history, and baseball theology—forty years in the making—has never been written because it never could be. Only with the 2016 World Series can the true arc ofthe story finally be understood.


Praise for The Chicago Cubs

"As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan this reviewer had low expectations of enjoyment from Rich Cohen’s recent contribution to the genre . . . Cohen, who has written for The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated magazines and published previous books on topics as diverse as Jewish gangsters, the Rolling Stones and the Chicago Bears, has produced the best sports book of 2017."—Lincoln Journal Star

"Plenty enough illumination to wow casual baseball fans and engage even the hardest-core Cubs fan . . . that long-awaited World Series win was undoubtedly a gift, and Cohen did with it what the best writers do: He turned it into something lasting.”—Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune

“[There] is already a succession of books on the Chicago Cubs’ historic 2016 World Series championship . . . but [Cohen's] might be the best, since it’s both a deeply satisfying historical account of that colorful franchise and a compelling, all-too-painful personal narrative of one longtime, besotted Cubs fan."—Booklist (starred review)

"[Cohen] rehearses in swift, entertaining fashion the genesis of the team and its glory years (there were many early on) and long decades of mediocrity . . . His many personal stories, strung like holiday lights throughout the narrative, illuminate a fan's frangible heart that annually repaired itself."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt



What you want is always out of reach. Sometimes it’s miles out of reach, sometimes you can almost touch it. If you do touch it, you will realize, after a week or two,...

About the author

Rich Cohen

Rich Cohen is the New York Times-bestselling author of Tough Jews, Monsters, Sweet and Low, The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones, The Chicago Cubs, and The Last Pirate of New York, and, with Jerry Weintraub, When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead. He is the cocreator of the HBO series Vinyl, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, and a writer at large for Air Mail. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Harper’s Magazine, among other publications. Cohen has won the Great Lakes Book Award, the Chicago Public Library’s 21st Century Award, and the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. He lives in Connecticut.

© Jeremy Medoff