Synopses & Reviews
With Pulitzer Prize-winning editor Cramer at its helm, this collection brings together the best writing on sports from the past year. Not just for readers of the sports pages, this year's selections embrace the world of sports in all its drama, humanity, and excitement.
"This entertaining 14th installment in the annual series is as varied as its predecessors: the usual suspects (baseball, football, basketball) share space with less popular pursuits (fishing, running, bicycling) and downright peculiar ones (taxidermy). Yet most of the pieces share a particular focus. As in past editions, the editors look beyond actual sport the games, the scores, the strategies and instead home in on the personalities: athletes and their families, fans, coaches and, in one memorable column, groupies. 'It makes good sense to me that how a person is the conditions of his or her larger life explains, or at least illuminates, how that person plays and competes,' says Cramer (How Israel Lost; Joe DiMaggio; etc.) in his introduction. Standout entries include Steve Friedman's masterful 'The Race of Truth,' about an obsessive Scot's pursuit of cycling's little-known grail, the Hour Record; Michael Leahy's refreshingly honest portrait of Michael Jordan's last days with the Wizards; and three frank, gripping and completely distinct accounts of athletes (two of whom are lesser-known) and their families: Paul Solotaroff's 'Growing Up Mantle,' Peter De Jonge's 'The Leap of His Life' and Rick Telander's 'Playing Against the Clock.' Though some of the shorter columns suffer in comparison to the weightier magazine pieces, this edition is reliably compelling and surprisingly addictive, much like sport itself." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Since its inception in 1915, the Best American series has become the premier annual showcase for the countrys finest short fiction and nonfiction. For each volume, a series editor reads pieces from hundreds of periodicals, then selects between fifty and a hundred outstanding works. That selection is pared down to twenty or so very best pieces by a guest editor who is widely recognized as a leading writer in his or her field. This unique system has helped make the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind.
Cracker-jack writing from some of the countrys best-known sports journalists.” Publishers Weekly
With Richard Ben Cramer at the helm, this years selections embrace the world of sports in all its drama, humanity, and excitement, from swimming the Arctic Ocean to high school football. Todays foremost journalists shed light on Mia Hamm, Amare Stoudemire, and on sports underbelly as a professional baseball team scalps its own tickets and as women single-mindedly pursue million-dollar athletes. We witness the World Taxidermy Championships, the final days of the Michael Jordan Wizards, and much more.
About the Author
'Glenn Stout has been the series editor of The Best American Sports Writing since its inception and has written three illustrated biographies with Richard A. Johnson: Ted Williams: A Portrait in Words and Pictures, Joe DiMaggio: An Illustrated Life, and Jackie Robinson: Between the Baselines. He is a columnist for Boston Baseball, and the acclaimed author of Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, and The Dodgers. His work has appeared in many regional and national magazines and newspapers.Richard Ben Cramer is a Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and the author of the best-selling Joe DiMaggio, What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?, What It Takes, and most recently How Israel Lost.'