Stephen Amidon's lively work of history puts the spotlight on the athlete as cultural icon. From Roman gladiator to the modern savants of the court, the track and the gridiron, the body at play retains the power to inspire. An exploration of the athlete's evolving role through time and our fascination with the ultimate physical expressions of power and grace.
Perched on the border across from El Paso, Ciudad Juárez has been buffeted by Mexico's narco war for years, but that hasn't stopped the city from embracing its hometown soccer team, the Indios, and their fervent fanbase, El Kartel. In this gritty account of a single season, Robert Andrew Powell travels the country with the team and reflects on a nation torn asunder by drug-related violence -- yet united in its love of sport.
The Shanxi Brave Dragons were among China's worst basketball teams when team owner Boss Wang hired NBA coach Bob Weiss to help them improve. Wang promised Weiss he would be able to employ his American methods, but things didn't exactly play out that way. This illuminating book by former New York Times Beijing bureau chief Jim Yardley reveals as much about China and America as it does about the sport at its heart.
The one-hundredth anniversary of the construction of Boston's Fenway Park inspires this glowing, vivid account by Glenn Stout of the first Red Sox season in their new, architecturally cutting-edge headquarters. Never the biggest or most glamorous of fields, Fenway nonetheless has sheltered its share of glory and prowess, all of which emerge in this rich rendition of the 1912 season that culminated in the Sox facing World Series rivals the New York Giants.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was not only a pioneer of golf and a founder of the LPGA. She also excelled in basketball and took home gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics. But her outsized Texas personality rivalled her physical gifts, and her perserverance in the face of terminal cancer won the country's collective heart. Don Van Natta captures this larger-than-life beauty -- and the era in which she lived -- with zest and humor and in this charming biography.
There is no better reading in the run-up to the Super Bowl than this riveting diary of the 1967 football season by then Green Bay offensive lineman Jerry Kramer, who played a pivotal role in the Packers' dramatic NFL championship win against the Dallas Cowboys. Jonathan Yardley has called it "the best inside account of pro football, indeed the best book ever written about that sport"—and both assertions are still true.
Sports Illustrated writer Mark Bechtel covered NASCAR for the magazine for nearly a decade. His book tells the story of the sport's emergence, beginning with a dramatic telecast of the Daytona 500 in February 1979. With a terrific cast of characters -- Bobby and Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, A. J. Foyt -- and lots of fast cars!
June 19: On this day in 1816, the Shelleys, Lord Byron, and entourage gathered at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva to tell the ghost stories that would trigger Frankenstein. This most legendary of storm-tossed evenings inspired…