Harvey Frommer / Players
Recent book reviews:
By Dr. Harvey Frommer
Football Nation, Their Lifes Work and other fall tomes
(HARVEY FROMMER IS AT WORK ON A BOOK ON THE FIRST SUPER BOWL, 1967. ANYONE WITH CONTACTS, STORIES, SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH).
It is the time of the year when baseball is going down the home stretch, football is coming on the sporting scene with a vengeance and the subject matter of all other sports is still a part of the publishing mix. So here is a very interesting collection for your reading pleasure.
Football Nation by Susan Reyburn (Abrams, $30.00, 256 pages) is sub-titled Four Hundred Years of Americas Game. The sub-title is an exaggeration. For many, baseball is still the nation pastime. And the book is a gloss over in words and marvelous images from the Library of Congress of not exactly 400 years worth of football. Nevertheless, for football fans, for sports fans, for those interested in history and culture - this is the book for you even though its grasp is survey-like not in depth prose. RECOMENDED
Their Lifes Work by Gary M. Pomerantz (Simon & Schuster, $28.00, 480 pages) is an opposite kind of book from Football Nation. In depth, scrupulously researched, carefully edited, the work focuses on the Steelers of the 1970s and updates the now. Pomerantz truly was into his subject, conducting as he says more than 200 interviews and traveling about to various research locales to flesh out his terrific tome. Their Lifes Work is wonderful reading and should be required reading for all those who are part of Steeler Nation. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Rising Tide by Randy Roberts & Ed Krzemski (Twelve, $28.00,437 pages) is a detail loaded and academically tilted tome focused on Joe Namath, northerner and Bear Bryant, southerner and how their relationship forged at the University of Alabama culminated in creating something special for football, race relations and the two men. It probes how college football became big business, how early sports and TV partnered, how civil rights was an agenda item of both politics and football. MUST READ
The Last Headbangers by Kevin Cook (Norton, $15.95, 304 pages, paper)
Is a reprint of the raunchy weirdos, wacky villains, flat out football geeks. It is also prime time NFL narrative 1970s style. It features Roger Staubach, Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, Ken Stabler and other names from that time who front and center in helping the world of pro football stake its claim as the true national pastime. WORTH A READ
Relentless by Tim S. Grover (Scribner, $26.00, 256 pages) is sub-titled From Good to Great to Unstoppable and focuses on the work of a legendary trainer who has worked with such as Jordan, Wade, Bryant and enabled them, in the authors words, to become even greater than they thought they could be. Very interesting reading with applicable tips for all.
Going the Distance by Michael Joyce (SUNY Press, $24.95, 236 pages, paper) is a novel about baseball and those who love the game. It celebrates the sport, the New York landscape. It also gives us a winning new fictional character John Jack Flynn, pitcher filled with promise who must re-invent himself after an injury. Read on . . .
The World in the Curl by Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul (Crown, $26.00, 416 pages) is a fascinating and unconventional historical narrative of the history of surfing. We are there from the Polynesian settlement of Hawaii all the way through the present times industry of global surfing. The book reveals the ins and outs, the magic and mystery of a fascinating sub-culture.