baseball + business | June 21, 2011

Jonah Keri's Montreal Expos Book: Sports, Commerce, Community

Jonah Keri—whose latest New York Times bestseller, The Extra 2%, examines the incredible turnaround of the Tampa Bay Rays—is now working on the definitive history of the Montreal Expos. Youppi! More than a history of the franchise, Jonah’s book, to be published by Random House in 2014, is an ambitious undertaking that will explore national identity, civic history, English-French relations, and, of course, the tricky dance between sports, community and commerce. “This is a business story,” Jonah writes.

More from Jonah Keri's blog:
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve agreed to terms with Random House Canada to write my next book: The Definitive History of the Montreal Expos. The book is tentatively slated for release in the spring of 2014 — the 10-year anniversary of the Expos’ move to Washington, D.C., and the 20-year anniversary of the strike that wiped out the team’s last, and maybe best shot at a World Series.

This isn’t simply the story of a Canadian baseball club that shipped out of town seven years ago. This is a tale of auspicious beginnings, as a city worked to land a professional sports franchise on the strength of a world’s fair (remember those?). It’s a story of linguistic strife, as the rift between French and English Quebec fostered tragic consequences, mellowed, then led to a sovereignty movement and corporate headquarters exodus that helped fuel the team’s eventual downfall. It’s about the cultural ingredients that made Montreal a wonderful and unique market for baseball, but also made it a foreign entity that the league never fully appreciated. This is a business story, one that examines the links between public and private sectors, promises made and broken, and what happens when self-interested individuals get to decide the fate of a franchise, and its carcass.
Read more about sports and business speaker Jonah Keri.

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