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Everything They Had: Sports Writing from David Halberstam

Overview

"Sometimes sports mirrors society, sometimes it allows us to understand the larger society a little better. But mostly, it is a world of entertainment of talented and driven young men and women who do certain things with both skill and passion."
—David Halberstam

David Halberstam was a distinguished journalist and historian of American politics. He was also a sports writer. Everything They Had brings together for the first time his articles from newspapers and magazines, a wide-ranging collection edited by Glenn ...

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Overview

"Sometimes sports mirrors society, sometimes it allows us to understand the larger society a little better. But mostly, it is a world of entertainment of talented and driven young men and women who do certain things with both skill and passion."
—David Halberstam

David Halberstam was a distinguished journalist and historian of American politics. He was also a sports writer. Everything They Had brings together for the first time his articles from newspapers and magazines, a wide-ranging collection edited by Glenn Stout, selected over the full scope of Halberstam's five decades as one of America's most honored journalists. These are dazzling portraits of some of the most compelling sports figures of our era, the superstars of popular sports like basketball, football, and baseball, but also fishing, soccer, and rowing, and the amateur athletes who play for the love of the game.

In "My Dinner with Theodore," Halberstam recounts his long anticipated—and unforgettable—meeting with Red Sox legend Ted Williams. Against the backdrop of 1960s Nashville, he beautifully recounts a lifelong love of football in "How I Fell in Love with the NFL." And "Men Without Women," set on a fishing expedition in Patagonia, is more than a hunt for giant brown trout—it is a story of fishing, friendship, and fellowship. These and many more stories exemplify the breadth and depth of David Halberstam's devotion to diverse sports and his respect and fascination for the men and women who play them so well.

The result is an intimate and personal collection that reveals the issues and the ideals David Halberstam cared about—racial equality, friendship, loyalty, and character—and creates a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the author himself. Everything They Had takes its rightful place alongside Halberstam's bestselling sports titles, which include The Breaks of the Game, The Amateurs, Summer of '49, and The Education of a Coach.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
What made David Halberstam a great sportswriter, indeed a great writer, was perhaps best expressed in what he called his "backup catcher theory": "Most other people doing a book want the top guy. My belief is, you probably learn more from the backup catcher on a baseball team than from the star. Because the backup catcher's smart. He watches the game, he's into the game, he always has to be read, and when it's over, twenty years later, he has a lot of time to talk because not a lot of other people come to see him." In this posthumous collection of his sports pieces, the author of The Best and The Brightest, The Coldest Winter, and Breaks of the Game writes about baseball, football, basketball, soccer, fishing, and the Olympics.
Edward Lewine
At book length, Halberstam could use sports to trace the expansive narratives of American history that always fascinated him. This is much harder to pull off within the confines of a magazine or newspaper article. Halberstam didn't always succeed, but it's to his credit that he always tried to think big, even when he was writing small.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401309909
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Halberstam was one of America's most distinguished journalists and historians. After graduating from Harvard in 1955, he covered the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement, then was sent overseas by the New York Times to report on the war in Vietnam. The author of fifteen bestsellers, including The Best and the Brightest, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his Vietnam reporting at the age of thirty. He was killed in a car accident on April 23, 2007, while on his way to an interview for what was to be his next book.

Biography

A journalist, historian, and biographer, David Halberstam brought his idiosyncratic and stylistic approach to heavy subjects: the Vietnam War (in 1972's The Best and the Brightest); the shaping of American politics (in 1979's The Powers That Be); the American economy's relationship with the automobile industry (in 1986's The Reckoning); and the civil rights movement (in 1998's Freedom Riders).

His books were loaded with anecdotes, metaphors, suspense, and a narrative tone most writers reserve for fiction. The resulting books -- many of them huge bestsellers -- gave Halberstam heavyweight status (he won the Pulitzer for international reporting in 1964) and established him as an important commentator on American politics and power.

Halberstam was also known for his sports books. In The Breaks of the Game, which a critic for The New York Times called "one of the best books I've ever read about American sports," he took on professional basketball.

In The Amateurs, he examined the world of sculling; in Summer of '49 and October 1964, he focused on two pivotal baseball events: the Boston Red Sox's exasperating near victory over the New York Yankees for the 1949 pennant, and the 1964 season, when the Yankees lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1999's Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made, Halberstam documented the making of a legend.

Always happy to extend his reach well beyond the subject at hand, Halberstam packed his books with social commentary as well as sports detail.

His writing routine was as strenuous and disciplined as that of any of the athletes he wrote about. To sustain his steady output of extensively researched, almost-always-massive books, he allows no unscheduled interruptions: "Most of us who have survived here [New York] after a number of years have ironclad work rules. Nothing interrupts us. Nothing," he once wrote in The New York Times. "We surface only at certain hours of the day."

Good To Know

David Halberstam's first job was as a reporter for a small-town Mississippi newspaper.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 10, 1934
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      April 23, 2007
    2. Place of Death:
      San Francisco, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., Harvard, 1955

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2008

    Perfect for my Dad

    This is the perfect Father's day gift. My Dad loves to fish and loved 'The Teammates.' This book has some great fishing stories by Halberstam I had never read before and a quite a few Red Sox and Yankees baseball stories, so it will be perfect. I'm sure he'll bring it to the summer house. In fact, I had hardly read any of the stories in this book before - it is NOT full of exceprts from his previous sports books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2010

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    Posted January 13, 2011

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