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Holiday Roundup 2004 Part 1

Dr. Harvey Frommer on Sports

Sports Book Review

The range of sports books released this year have run the gamut from literary bios and not so literary bios, to autobiographies, to exposes to picture books to histories and on and on.   It has been a veritable free for all among small publishers, university presses, and giant houses, established authors and guys taking a one time shot.   What follows is a sampling of just a few of the worthy efforts.

Three gridiron bios of interest include: "Rush to Judgment" by Simeon Rice with Mark Stewart (Lyons Press, $22.95, 261 pages), "Catch This" by Terrell and Stephen Singular (Simon and Schuster, $23.00, 261 pages), and "Golden Boy" (Simon and Schuster, $25.00, 291 pages).

The "T.O" book (Owens, Terrell) is not as outlandish as one would have thought - in fact there are some excellent insights into the pro game and its culture. The book about Rice, two time All American at Illinois and All-Pro defensive back with Tampa Bay is kind of a whining,  in-your-face high volume read. And although Hornung was from another era, he typified some of the outrageous behavior and football skills possessed by Rice and Owens. For Packer fans, "Golden Boy" should be required reading.

"Tricksters in the Madhouse" by John Christgau  (University of Nebraska Press, $26.95, 219 pages) looks at Lakers vs Globetrotters 1948 -  a slice of basketball culture. The book chronicles the game played between the two teams on February 19, 1948 - the mighty Lakers and the clowning and comedic globies. The clash was a watershed mark in the history of American sports. John Christgau handles it deftly.

In the same basketball vein only flash forwarded to a different world in 2004 is "StreetBall" by Chris Palmer (HarperCollins, $16.95, 217 pages, paper) a hoop game celebration as the book's sub-title says of "all the ballers, moves, slam and shine."

From McFarland comes "The College World Series by W.C. Madden and Patrick J. Stewart ($45.00, 308 pages). The book traces the event from 1947 University of California vs. Kalamazoo, Michigan through 2003. Recommended reading for all those with an interest in the topic.

"Marv Levy: Where Else Would You rather Be?" (Sports Publishing, $24.95, 414 pages) is an in depth profile of the Hall of Fame football coach - his 47 years with the game he loves. Insightful, interesting, this is a book like the man, a notch above.

The theme of "When the Tuna Went Down to Texas" by Mike Shropshire (Morrow, 246 pages) has as its sub title proclaimed "How Bill Parcells Led the Cowboys Back to the Promised Land," almost. Gossipy and readable, this one is worth your money.

For the legion of Lance Armstrong fans there is "23 Days in July" by John Wilcockson (Da Capo Press, $25.00, 310 pages). The book is a revealing look in words and pictures front stage and back stage at the cycling icon's monumental accomplishments this past summer.

Golfers and golf book readers should rush out an get a copy of Ben Hogan: An American Life by James Dodson (Doubleday, $27.50, 528 pages). This is a rich book, rich in new insights, rich in story telling ability. It is the first and only authorized autobiography of one of the true greats of the game. 

"First Of the Tee" by Don Van Natta, Jr.  (Public Affairs, $16.00, 357 pages) is the big best seller now in paper.  Entertaining, investigative, anecdotal, the book is a ranging look at presidents from Taft to Bush and their time on the links. Recommended highly for fans of politics and golf.   


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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 .

Other Frommer sports related articles can be found at:   

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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