Holiday Roundup 2004 Part 1
Frommer on Sports
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
"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.
# # #
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.
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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
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