His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir

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Overview

From Dan Jenkins—one of America’s most respected and acclaimed sportswriters and author of the bestselling novels Semi-Tough and Dead Solid Perfect—comes a colorful, sentimental, hilarious, and cantankerous memoir about his lifelong journey through the world of sports.

“Sometimes, I envy my own childhood,” says Dan Jenkins. Many can say that about Dan’s whole life. In His Ownself, we follow him from his youth in Texas, where being a sports fan meant ...

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His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir

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Overview

From Dan Jenkins—one of America’s most respected and acclaimed sportswriters and author of the bestselling novels Semi-Tough and Dead Solid Perfect—comes a colorful, sentimental, hilarious, and cantankerous memoir about his lifelong journey through the world of sports.

“Sometimes, I envy my own childhood,” says Dan Jenkins. Many can say that about Dan’s whole life. In His Ownself, we follow him from his youth in Texas, where being a sports fan meant understanding a lot about religion, heroes, and drinking; to his first job at the Fort Worth Press working alongside all-time journalistic greats like Blackie Sherrod and Bud Shrake; to the glory days of Sports Illustrated. One of a handful of writers to establish SI as the most important sports magazine ever, Dan refocused the magazine’s college football coverage and covered the game’s greatest players and coaches. Beyond football, Dan is in the conversation about the best golf writers of all time. Having covered every Masters, U.S. Open, PGA, and British Open for the past fifty years, he takes us behind the scenes to capture the drama—as well as the humor—of these tournaments as he brings us up close and personal with the likes of Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods.
     From his friendship and the rounds played with Ben Hogan, to the stories swapped with New York’s elite, to the corporate expense accounts abused, Dan lets loose on his experiences in journalism, sports, and showbiz. An honest, one-of-a-kind look at politics, hypocrites, political correctness, the past, the present, Hollywood, money, and athletes, this is a sports fan’s dream book. It’s a touching, laugh-out-loud tribute to the romanticism of sportswriting and the glory days of sports, told straight from the mouth of the man who saw it all his ownself.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Dwight Garner
I woke up with a smile on my face every morning during the two or three days I spent reading His Ownself. It's a casual and sly sportswriter's memoir…one of those books that reminds you that good stories happen only to people who can tell them.
Library Journal
10/15/2013
This memoir by high-profile sportswriter Jenkins isn't just a nostalgia trip from Depression-era childhood through his high school paper days to work at Sports Illustrated and play at New York City's nightlife venues. It's also an account of sportswriting itself.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-22
Acclaimed sportswriter and best-selling novelist Jenkins (The Franchise Babe, 2008) writes about golf, his upbringing and how "everything was better in the '30s." The author credits his sheltered and untroubled upbringing (he brags that his childhood was untouched by the Great Depression or World War II) for his choice of career path: writing sports stories and "all those darn novels with happy endings." He strikes resonant chords with sports fans when he states, "A sports event is the true showbiz--it's real" and, "Every kid should have two big sports events in his life." A 1935 college football game and the 1941 U.S. Open golf championship created indelible memories and strengthened his bond with his largely absent father. However, Jenkins assumes readers will be familiar with many other severely dated references--e.g., actress Joan Fontaine (her film debut was in 1935), The Guns of Navarone (released in 1961) and Toots Shor's restaurant in Manhattan (shuttered in 1971). Throughout the book, the author is scornful of contemporary culture, expounding on "the folly of political correctness" and calling those who have objected to his opinions as among the "long lines of people in our midst who live in Victimhood." When he tells how college students stare uncomprehendingly when he shares his influences and books he enjoys rereading, he actually says, "Kids today." It's also surprising that a veteran sportswriter believes that Tiger Woods--the most prodigious, heralded and important professional golfer of the late 20th century, who brought multiracial and -cultural inclusion to professional golf, the exclusive province of WASPs for more than a century--doesn't measure up to Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. Such a narrow-minded view from a celebrated contributor to Golf Digest makes one wonder for what he is also nostalgic. A good book for the reactionary on your gift list.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385532259
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 35,283
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Jenkins is one of America's most acclaimed sportswriters as well as a bestselling novelist. A native Texan, he has spent a lifetime at the typewriter and computer. He might best be known for his twenty-four years of stories in Sports Illustrated and now Golf Digest. Three of his bestselling novels, Semi-Tough, Dead Solid Perfect, and Baja Oklahoma, were made into movies. His sportswriting has won him many awards. In 2012 he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame—one of only three writers to be honored thus far—and was given the PEN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing. He is also the 2013 winner of the Red Smith Award, the highest honor in his profession.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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