The Best American Sports Writing of the Century


Product Details

Mariner Books
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 2.0 inches | 2.1 pounds
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About the Author

GLENN STOUT is a freelance writer, author, and editorial consultant and has served as series editor of The Best American Sports Writing since its inception. He is the author of Young Woman and the Sea and Fenway 1912, and has collaborated with Richard Johnson on Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, The Cubs and The Dodgers. Stout has lived in and around Boston for 20 years, and currently lives in Vermont.

David Halberstam was one of America's most distinguished journalists and historians, a man whose newspaper reporting and books have helped define the era we live in. He graduated from Harvard in 1955, took his first job on the smallest daily in Mississippi, and then covered the early civil rights struggle for the Nashville Tennessean. He joined The New York Times in 1960, went overseas almost immediately, first to the Congo and then to Vietnam. His early pessimistic dispatches from Vietnam won him the Pulitzer in 1964 at the age of thirty. His last twelve books, starting with The Best and the Brightest and including The Powers That Be, The Reckoning, and The Fifties, have all been national bestsellers. Thirty-eight years after Mr. Halberstam won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Vietnam, War in a Time of Peace was the runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. He died in April 2007.


"...there is much to surprise and delight the sports reader among the 59 pieces here." Boston Globe

"Making the choices for the annual edition of this series is daunting enough; picking the century's best seems impossible. However, what's here is universally excellent. There's late Chicagoan Mike Royko's jingoistic review of a book by a reviled New York Met; Al Stump's now-infamous, still disturbing account of baseball legend Ty Cobb's last days; Gay Talese's revealing mid-sixties profile of recently deceased icon Joe DiMaggio; and a 1975 remembrance of Casey Stengel by Wells Twombly that reveals more about the baseball manager than a half-dozen biographies. Other highlights include Hunter S. Thompson's predictably outrageous take on the Kentucky Derby; an insightful portrait of boxer Billy Conn by Frank Deford; and Jimmy Breslin's 1960 profile of jockey Billy Hartack. In addition, a section on Muhammad Ali offers some great writing by Dick Schaap, Murray Kempton, Norman Mailer, Jim Murray, and Davis Miller. Biographical sketches of each contributor as well as a list of the century's other notable sportswriters are included. This wonderful, delightfully eclectic volume is a must for every library." Booklist, ALA

"People who love sports...will have more fun with The Best American Sports Writing of the Century than anyone is supposed to have with a book." -- Bill Littlefield, host of NPR's "Only a Game" The Los Angeles Times

"...a strong collection that will send readers on a captivating trip through the diversity of styles and subjects that developed as sports became big business and big news." Publishers Weekly

"This a lot of pleasure." Library Journal

"Given the overall vigor and volume of sports writing in America throughout the 20th century, the idea of compiling a single collection dubbed the "best" requires a daring balancing act of boldness and delicacy. And that's just what it is. Sports fans--but why limit this sparkling, spirited, passionate prose to just sports fans?--will revel in the equilibrium of David Halberstam's and Glenn Stout's wide range of selections..."

"For those who love sports, and care about good writing, this is your collection." The Seattle Times

"Superb Sportswriting." The Arizona Daily Star

"[The Best American Sports Writing of the Century] demonstrates in a single, very large volume that sports writing is often much more than a trade for arrested adolescents. It has room, too, for poets and wits, for sharp-eyed reporters and world-weary wise men, for gifted stylists with a keen sense of the way we lived then and the way we live now. A lot of this stuff is as good as nonfiction writing ever gets." Fortune

"At last, the predictable millennial/centennial summing-up--our understandable urge to quantify human experience into silly best-of listings now that the end is near--has produced something of value. I speak, naturally, of The Best American Sports Writing of the Century." The Las Vegas Sun

"...[a] dazzling collection of writings." The Houston Chronicle

"David Halberstam has done yeoman work in collecting The Best American Sports Writing of the Century, and anyone who loves the American idiom should clear space on his bookshelf for this anthology...The book, in short, is a winner." American Way

"All the entries in this oversize volume are choice." Boston Magazine

" anthology that can be savored like a hole in one." Playboy

"Make room on your bookshelf for this anthology. It isn't necessary to be a sports enthusiast. Anyone interested in the popular culture of America since the turn of the century is likely to treasure it." Buffalo News