The Spillane biography is a good book, if only to remind us of how important Mickey Spillane was to American Letters and American popular culture. Now, if only someone would write a solid biography of Frank Yerby.
Page by Page: Book Reviews
Howard Bryant, a senior writer at ESPN, has examined baseball’s tangled racial history in books such as Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston and The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron. Like these books, Rickey combines impressive journalistic legwork, clear narrative writing, and sensitive analysis of the unique burdens endured by Black athletes.
Telling the story of bald eagles in America is like telling the environmental history of our nation. Jack E. Davis tells it well in The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird, skimping on no details.
Favorites of the Gods is a solid collection of short fiction from Louisiana’s Creoles of color written during the most chaotic and perilous decades of the nineteenth century. This collection gives contemporary readers access to these short stories for the first time in English.
To Irwin F. Gellman, Nixon deserved higher marks for the operation and substance of his campaign. He sees Kennedy as more expedient as well as superficially more attractive. However, somehow, this volume does not capture the excitement of a very close contest nor how each candidate tried to increase his support.
Rise of the Black Quarterback is a fascinating book, with tales of hope and heartbreak, and men determined to give it their all to achieve their dream and, for many years, not being given a fair chance even to try.
You Are Looking Live! is a lively and informative book for anyone who wants to know more about the history of television and sports. Not only does Podolsky give an account of the on-air personalities, but one learns about the producers and directors of The NFL Today, about the men who became the heads of CBS Sports division, and the competition between the networks over sports.
Eric Nusbaum’s Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between weaves together the historical narratives, biographies, and accounts of various stakeholders whose lives were impacted by the planning and construction of a modern day American sports cathedral: Dodger Stadium.
Pop culture will forever remember Tommy Morrison for two things: his unanimous-decision win over George Foreman in 1993 for the WBO Heavyweight Championship, and for his co-starring role with Sylvester Stallone in Rocky V. What writer Acevedo makes certain in this book is that Morrison will also be remembered for his fantastic lies and crazed behavior.
In the end, what is clear is that all autobiographers are, alas and inevitably, the heroes or heroines of their own text. As every reader should know, every autobiography, in its own way, subtle or blatant, settles the scores it needs to settle while disguising its subject’s insecurities.