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The Minority Quarterback: And Other Lives in Sports

Overview

"If there's anyone doing sports who is even close, I haven't read him."—Mike Royko. Ira Berkow's stories in the sports pages of the New York Times transcend what we know as "sportswriting." Mr. Berkow has a clear understanding of the games he reports, but he also has a sharp eye for the lives of the players, an appreciation of the larger social context, and–not least–an affinity for the well-turned phrase. The Minority Quarterback contains thirty-eight examples of his craft. His subjects have often been touched, transformed, enriched, or, in some ...
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Overview

"If there's anyone doing sports who is even close, I haven't read him."—Mike Royko. Ira Berkow's stories in the sports pages of the New York Times transcend what we know as "sportswriting." Mr. Berkow has a clear understanding of the games he reports, but he also has a sharp eye for the lives of the players, an appreciation of the larger social context, and–not least–an affinity for the well-turned phrase. The Minority Quarterback contains thirty-eight examples of his craft. His subjects have often been touched, transformed, enriched, or, in some cases, destroyed by circumstances that may have nothing to do with their sports connection. The centerpiece of the book is Mr. Berkow's widely admired story of a white quarterback who chose to play football at an all-black college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and what happened to him. Like most of his stories, it offers a surprising perspective and is certain to provoke. But Mr. Berkow can also capture the playfulness of Muhammad Ali, the dignity of Arthur Ashe, the intensity of Michael Jordan, or the buffoonery of Marge Schott. He can report engagingly on lunch at Lutéce with Chuck Norris, or describe the carnival atmosphere of Jake La Motta's wedding in Las Vegas. The Minority Quarterback is a book for anyone who loves good writing; for sports lovers especially, these pieces are candy treats–but without soft centers.
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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
Well documented and exhaustively detailed.
George F. Will
Sports at its best is a kind of music, and sports writing is a kind of libretto. Ira Berkow is among the best—a Sondheim of the sports page.
Mike Royko
If there's anyone doing sports who is even close, I haven't read him.
Jim Bouton
Ira Berkow is simply one of America's best writers, sports or otherwise.
Ann Landers
This collection of poignant stories establishes Ira Berkow as one of the most talented and multi-faceted sports writers of our time.
David Halberstam
Berkow over the years has regularly given us sportswriting of the most elegant kind—his work glistens with intelligence and sensitivity.
Saul Bellow
I follow Ira Berkow in the Times with unfailing interest.
Choice
Well documented and exhaustively detailed.
New York Times Book Review
Thought-provoking articles.... Berkow has the ability to capture his subjects at their most vulnerable.
Street and Smith's
It is rare for a sportswriter to illuminate more than scores and statistics...and that is what makes Ira Berkow...such a pleasant anomaly.
Booklist Starred Review
Few journalists on any beat...ply their trade with the skill, insight and empathy of Berkow....a wonderful collection.
Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times sports columnist Ira Berkow gathers some of his best recent reportage in The Minority Quarterback and Other Lives in Sports. His pieces focus on the exploits of everyone from Michael Jordan to high school athletes, dealing as often with issues like teen suicide, murder trials and drug use as with athletic prowess, game highlights or statistics. Standouts include The End of Gil McDougal's Silent Seasons, an emotional piece about the former Yankee's hearing loss, and The Minority Quarterback, a piece that details the experiences of a white quarterback at the traditionally black Southern University. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Berkow, a columnist for the New York Times for 20 years and the celebrated author of more than two dozen books, offers an engaging compilation of pieces about a variety of experiences that touch the ballpark, the boxing ring, the gridiron, and even a film studio. Also featured is an assortment of famous and not so famous people. What Berkow's stories have in common is his pursuit of the other side of an athlete his life away from the field. The title story tells the tale of Marcus Jacoby, a white football player who played at an all-black college in Baton Rouge, LA. There are also surprising encounters with Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali and the tragedy of former pitcher Ferguson Jenkins. A good read offering a unique perspective on contemporary sports. Larry R. Little, Penticton P.L., B.C. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566635028
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Pulitzer prize-winning author Ira Berkow has written sports and occasional features for the New York Times for more than twenty years. Among his other books are To the Hoop, Hank Greenberg, and Red: A Biography of Red Smith. He lives on Manhattan's East Side.
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