The Games Do Count
Frommer on Sports
Every once in a while a book comes along that makes me say: "Why didn't
I think of that?"
Such is the case with "The Games Do Count" by Brian Kilmeade
(HarperCollins/Regan Books, $24,95, 326 pages). Kilmeade, co-host of
cable's "Fox & Friends" and one who has reported on sports for two
decades, has assembled an all star lineup ranging from Tony Danza
through Gray Davis to John Irving and Ron Shelton including Henry
Kissinger and former presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush and
President George W. Bush and about sixty more.
The result is an interesting, entertaining and sometimes enlightening
read. We are there with Kissinger on an all-Jewish soccer team in Nazi
Germany, there with TV personality Hannah Storm, involved with sports
virtually her entire life, there with Tony Danza as sports helped him
seize the role of Tony Banta in "Taxi."
"Archival" early day photos of those Kilmeade calls "America's Best and
Brightest on the Power of Sports" add a wonderful visual element to the
book. For browsing, for gift giving, for keeping - "The Games Do
Count" is a book that counts.
"THE FIFA 100" authored by Pelé, one of the greatest soccer players of
all time (Abrams, 216 pages) celebrates the centenary of the Fédération
Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the governing body of
international professional soccer. Some of the leading sports
photographers serve up portraits that are revealing and just terrific to
spend time studying. If you are or know some one who is a
soccer/football fan - this is a holiday gift that scores.
"Confidence" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter( Crown, $27.50, 402 pages) is a
stimulating intellectual and well researched look at how confidence can
improve life and why there are winners and why there are losers. Kanter,
a professor at Harvard Business School,puts forward a well reasoned
treatise. Jammed with all kinds of interesting facts and factoids from
business, sports, education, and government, "Confidence" relies on
hundreds of interviews and a national survey of over 1,000 companies as
it puts forth the in depth explanation of why some always succeed and
Another professorial/author offering and an interesting bit of
intellectualizing about the nature of winning, losing, watching games
people play and why this is done is "The Meaning of Sports" by Michael
Mandelbaum (Public Affairs, $26.00, 332 pages). The John Hopkins
professor offers stimulating arguments and fascinating anecdotes about
teams and icons and their historical significance and place in the
culture at large among other things.
Another entry in this series and highly recommended for fans of the
Wrigley field guys is "Cubs Where Have You Gone?" by Fred Mitchell
(Sports Publishing, $24.95, 249 pages). The book follows the familiar
formula - career capsules and musings and after life. In this case
subjects include such as Andy Pafko, Ernie Banks, Larry Bowa, etc.
"ESPN25" by Charles Hirshberg (Hyperion, $25.00, 141 pages) is a book
as lively as the cultural phenomenon it celebrates - with a sports
highlight (at least on every page) and visuals, visuals, visuals. If you
watch it - buy the book.
Two expensive but attractively formatted New York Yankee book are
"Players in Pinstripes" ($21.95, 127 pages) and "The Greatest Yankee
Teams" ($21.95, 127 pages) - both by the packager Rare Air Ltd and
edited by Mark Vancil and Mark Mandrake. There is really nothing new in
either book, and they are pricey for such skimpy tomes.
Two baseball books with very specific approches are "Taking in a Game: A
History of Baseball in Asia" by Joseph Reaves (University of Nebraksa
Press, ($16.95, 208 pages, paper) and "El Beisbol: The Pleasures and
Passions of the Latin American Game" " by John Krich (Ivan R. Dee,
$16.95, 272 pages).
HIGHLY NOTABLE: "The Big Horse" by Joe McGinniss (Simon and Schuster,
$22.95, 261 pages) is without apologies to "Seabiscuit a book that
draws McGinnis back to the sport he loves after a quarter century.
Essentially, the author's sparkling narrative focuses on the story of
the racing season of 2003 and trainer P. G. Johnson, a legend in the
world of horse racing. The book is a labor of love and love of a book,
one to read cover to cover in one sitting.
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
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
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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.
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© 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.
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