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There You Have It: The Life, Legacy, and Legend of Howard Cosell
     

There You Have It: The Life, Legacy, and Legend of Howard Cosell

by John Bloom
 

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This is the first full-length biography of the lawyer-turned-sports journalist whose brash style and penchant for social commentary changed the way American sporting events are reported. Perhaps best known for his close relationship with the world champion boxer Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell became a celebrity in his own right during the 1960s and 1970s-the bombastic

Overview

This is the first full-length biography of the lawyer-turned-sports journalist whose brash style and penchant for social commentary changed the way American sporting events are reported. Perhaps best known for his close relationship with the world champion boxer Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell became a celebrity in his own right during the 1960s and 1970s-the bombastic, controversial, instantly recognizable sportscaster everyone "loved to hate."

Raised in Brooklyn in a middle-class Jewish family, Cosell carried with him a deeply ingrained sense of social justice. Yet early on he abandoned plans for a legal career to become a pioneer in sports broadcasting, first in radio and then in television. The first white TV reporter to address the former Cassius Clay by his chosen Muslim name, Cosell was also the first sportscaster to conduct locker room interviews with professional athletes, using a tape recorder purchased with his own money. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, he not only defended the fisted "Black Power" salutes of American track medalists John Carlos and Tommie Smith, but he publicly excoriated Olympic Committee chairman Avery Brundage for "hypocritical," racist policies. He was also instrumental in launching ABC's Monday Night Football, a prime-time sports program that evolved into an American cultural institution.

Yet while Cosell took courageous stands on behalf of civil rights and other causes, he could be remarkably blind to the inconsistencies in his own life. In this way, John Bloom argues, he embodied contradictions that still resonate widely in American society today.

University of Massachusetts Press

Editorial Reviews

ForeWord

Bloom produces a compelling biography of the man dubbed 'the mouth that roared.'... Cosell wrote three books...in which he was anything but reticent about sharing his opinions of his profession and himself. Bloom gives a much more objective -- and ultimately sympathetic -- word portrait of this complex broadcasting legend.

Choice

Bloom emphasizes Cosell's support of protesting African American athletes at the 1968 Olympics and of Muhammad Ali; addresses the broadcaster's perceived abrasive personal and broadcasting style; and considers the relationship between Cosell's professional life and his personal history and self-image. Recommended.

Daily Beast - Robert Lipsyte

[A] superb explication of Cosell's Jewishness as the key to understanding how he juggled a passionate social conscience with an overweening ambition.

Midwest Book Review

This is a pick for a range of collections, from sports libraries to those specializing in media and broadcast history. It's a lively read for a range of audiences!

American Journalism - Ray Gamache

... Bloom effectively paints a realistic portrait by separating the chutzpah from the schlock, the crusader from the shill, the journalist from the windbag to reveal Cosell's complex character.

H-Net Reviews

Bloom aims to describe the contradictions of Cosell's life and career. The strength of There You Have It is its ability to place that career in the context of television's rapid growth in popularity and the tumult of his times.

New Books in Journalism

To say John Bloom liked Howard Cosell would be overstating it. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say Bloom was fascinated by Cosell, the charismatic, controversial and unconventional sports broadcaster who came to fame in the back half of the 20th Century for a remarkable two-decade run that felt so much longer.... There You Have It is a scholarly book with broad appeal, of interest to media scholars, social critics, and sports fans alike.

New Books in Sports

As one of the main points of historian John Bloom's biography There You Have It is that Cosell was an innovative, probing, and fearless reporter.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558498372
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
12/31/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Gena Caponi-Tabery

This fast-reading study makes an impressive contribution to sports history, cultural history, ethnic history, and media studies. I recommend it to sports fans, scholars, students, and Cosell haters alike-in a New York minute.

Meet the Author

John Bloom is associate professor of history at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. His previous books include To Show What an Indian Can Do: Sports at Indian Boarding Schools and Sports Matters: Race, Recreation, and Culture, coedited with Michael Nevin Willard.Bloom's blog, "Speaking of Howard Cosell... ," can be found at http://carlislejdbloo.wordpress.com/

University of Massachusetts Press

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