It's easy to see why this writer also wrote a book about Satchel Paige. Their careers are so intertwined, he already had the research. And, in fact, you could almost call this a history of the Negro Baseball League.
The negatives to the book are that it early reads somewhat like a rehash of newspaper articles. The author was forced into this because the two primary sources were the weekly black newspapers and "embellished" word of mouth. The set-up is a little long on the history of the two Pittsburgh teams that Josh played for but since this rivalry was so intertwined with Josh's history, it was almost necessary.
The positives are that this is a classic "tragic hero". Humble beginnings and tragedy, develops into a tremendous player, personal flaws erode his skills, and then he has a young, controversial death. When you overlay that with the rumors and embellishment of his accomplishments, it's easy to see how the legend has grown. The author did a good job of balancing legend with documentable evidence helping the reader draw a conclusion on the stories that may be overstated exaggerations.
This is a great story and a very good read I enjoyed. Obviously, Josh Gibson and Satch Paige paved the way for Jackie Robinson and have their place in baseball history. I STRONGLY encourage you to watch "The Soul of the Game" on HBO which takes the history of Paige, Gibson and Robinson and overlays the facts into a reconstruction. It was one of the best movies I have ever watched and never fails to draw you emotionally into the story. This book and it's careful research, allowed me to realize virtually every scene in the movie was drawn from some fact and not an overstatement.