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Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

May Reads for Sports Fans

All types of books from all kinds of publishers are out there for the getting and the reading. What follows is a survey of some of the more interesting and appealing tomes.

"Ed Barrow" by Daniel R. Levitt (University of Nebraska, $29.95, 427 pages) is an in depth bio of the man best known for being the power behind the great Yankee dynasty. But he was much more than that as Levitt shows in this well researched and highly readable effort. Sadly for Red Sox fans, it was Barrow who left the Olde Towne team and went on to work wonders with the Big Apple franchise.

"An Incomplete and Inaccurate History of Sport" by Kenny Mayne (Crown, $24.95, 234 pages) is a rollicking romp on most things you were probably not that much interested in anyway but that is part of the charm of this book containing the author's "random thoughts from childhood" and an assortment of outrageous other commentary on sports of all kind ranging from ice hockey to yachting. If you are a fan of the ESPN icon and want a good laugh go for this book.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is "Anatomy of Baseball" edited by Lee Gutkind and Andrew Blauner (SMU, 210 pages) where 20 writers compete -  -with  17 new essays and three not so new ones - - reflecting, editorializing and waxing poetic sometimes on the myriad pinpoints of light of the national pastime.
"Spoke" by Charles Alexander (SMU, $17.95, 400 pages) and  "Chief Bender's' Burden" by Tom Swift (University of Nebraska Press, $24.95, 339 pages) are both worthy reads dealing as they do with underrated icons from earlier baseball times.    Both books are long over-due and add insights aplenty into the lives of two talented players, the obstacles they faced, the challenges they overcame. 
From Rounder Books comes "When Boston Still Had the Babe: the 1918 World Champion Red Sox" ($18.95, 213 pages, paper). It  has a long title and an even longer list of contributors three associate editors and in all a total of 30 contributors. But with Bill Nowlin as editor, with a talented group of writers and editors, the book comes together  bringing back the performers and the times of the glorious championship season. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Red Sox fans and for others, too.

"Red Sox Rule" by Michal Holley (Harper, $25.95, 207) is a slim tribute to capitalize on the great BoSox accomplishments of the past few seasons. Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and the guys get the up close and personal treatment from Holley. There is a lot to like about this behind the scenes book but so much of what appears here has been covered in depth in magazines, newspapers and other books.
"Chicago Cubs" with text by Steve Johnson ( Voyageur Press, $26.95, 144),padded with photos and light on text as it goes through Cubby lore yesterday and today. 

"Two In the Field" a  novel by Darryl Brock (Frog, Ltd., $15.95, 393 pages is a sequel to the highly received " If I Never get Back." Here Brock focuses on the doings of reporter Sam Fowler and his back in time (1875) adventures and twists and turns and encounters with all type of  characters. A GOOD READ.

Even celebrated sports authors like John Feinstein can have an off day - -and that is what "Living on the Black" (Little Brown, $26.99, 525 pages) represents. The original idea Feinstein relates was to do a book with David Cone. But that was not to be as Cone did a "thinking pitcher's book" with Roger Angell. (Feinstein related that it "got good reviews, sold about 22,000 copies in hardcover" and far less than that in paperback, 6,000. Undeterred,  Feinstein wound up with Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina - one a Met and the other a Yankee.  The premise was solid two thinking men who had been around the baseball blocks and should have had a lot to say. The result is less than satisfying  - - too much repetition, too many hits, runs and errors. Better editing would have pared it down and turned this book into an extra base effort. 

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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .

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Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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Last Revised: Friday, May 15, 2015 06:38:58 AM
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