12/2/12

Big News: Jews Good at Sports

The New York Times knows that Jews is always news, and "Jews and Sports" is big time news. (Not exactly. Some might say, odd topic, odd book.)

See the review of 'Jewish Jocks,' Edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy -- Sporty Jews.

50 sports greats. Are they Jewish? If they are in the book, we should presume they are. But not all are Jewish and not all are Jocks. That's okay because the authors and publishers were not under oath when they put this book out there, these people, "they count!"

The suits tell us a bit about their really nifty book:
JEWISH JOCKS: AN UNORTHODOX HALL OF FAME is a timeless collection of biographical musings, sociological riffs about assimilation, first-person reflections, and, above all, great writing on some of the most influential and unexpected pioneers in the world of sports. Featuring work by today's preeminent writers, these essays explore significant Jewish athletes, coaches, broadcasters, trainers, and even team owners (in the finite universe of Jewish Jocks, they count!).

Contributors include some of today's most celebrated writers covering a vast assortment of topics, including David Remnick on the biggest mouth in sports, Howard Cosell; Jonathan Safran Foer on the prodigious and pugnacious Bobby Fischer; Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson writing elegantly on Marty Reisman, America's greatest ping-pong player and the sport's ultimate showman. Deborah Lipstadt examines the continuing legacy of the Munich Massacre, the fortieth anniversary of which coincided with the 2012 London Olympics. Jane Leavy reveals why Sandy Koufax agreed to attend her daughter's bat mitzvah. And we learn how Don Lerman single-handedly thrust competitive eating into the public eye with three pounds of butter and 120 jalapeño peppers. These essays are supplemented by a cover design and illustrations throughout by Mark Ulriksen.

From settlement houses to stadiums and everywhere in between, JEWISH JOCKS features men and women who do not always fit the standard athletic mold. Rather, they utilized talents long prized by a people of the book (and a people of commerce) to game these games to their advantage, in turn forcing the rest of the world to either copy their methods-or be left in their dust.
OK. So who else is in this adorable book? Here are the 50 chapter subjects and the authors.
  1. Daniel Mendoza: The King's Pugilist -Simon Schama
  2. Max Nordau: Philosopher of the Muscle Jews -Timothy Snyder
  3. Barney Sedran: Tiny Bailer -Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
  4. Benny Leonard: Mama Said Knock You Out -Franklin Foer
  5. Mose Solomon: The Hunt for the Hebrew -Ruth Robert Weintraub
  6. Whitey Bimstein: Cutman -Douglas Century
  7. Sidney Franklin: Matador from Flatbush -Tom Rachman
  8. Arnold Rothstein: American Shylock -Ron Rosenbaum
  9. Barney Ross: Kaddish for a Welterweight -Buzz Bissinger
  10. Marty Reisman: Ping-Pong Wizard -Howard Jacobson
  11. Hank Greenberg: The Plot Against Greenberg? Ira Berkow
  12. Helene Mayer: Fencing for Hitler -Joshua Cohen
  13. Al Rosen: I'm Not Greenberg -David Margolick
  14. Sid Luckman: Hebrew Mind, Cossack Body -Rich Cohen
  15. Grigory Novak: Soviet Strongman -David Bezmozgis
  16. Jack Molinas: The Point-Shaver -Chad Millman
  17. Dolph Schayes: Power Forward -Marc Tracy
  18. Red Auerbach: The Coach Who Never Paid Retail -Steven Pinker
  19. Shirley Povich: Conscience of the Capital -Noam Scheiber
  20. Sandy Koufax: Best Bar Mitzvah Guest Ever -Jane heavy
  21. Bennie Muller: Voetbal After Auschwitz -Simon Kuper
  22. Marvin Miller: Three Strikes and a Walkout -Dahlia Lithwick
  23. Jimmy Jacobs: Mike Tyson's Four-Wall -Rabbi Mark Singer
  24. Joel Silver: Ultimate Producer -Mark Oppenheimer
  25. Art Shamsky: Miracle Met -David Brooks
  26. Red Holzman: The Constant Gardner -Todd Gitlin
  27. Bobby Fischer: The Unnatural Jonathan -Safran Foer
  28. Yossef Romano: Martyrs of Munich -Deborah Lipstadt
  29. Ron Mix: The Righteous Tackle- Josh Levin
  30. Mark Spitz: Pool Shark -Judith Shulevitz
  31. Robert Lipsyte: Lippy and Me -Sam Lipsyte
  32. Howard Cosell: The Mouth -David Remnick
  33. Nancy Lieberman: Lady Magic -Kevin Amovitz
  34. Renée Richards: Cross-Court Winner -Emily Bazelon
  35. Shep Messing: Keeper of the Cosmos -David Hirshey
  36. Daniel Okrent: Every Man's Fantasy -Jonathan Mahler
  37. Harold Solomon: The Moon-Bailer- Lawrence Summers
  38. Al Davis: The Raider -Ben Wallace-Wells
  39. Harvey "Sifu" Sober: Harvey the Sensei -Shalom Auslander
  40. Mathieu Schneider: Lord Stanley's Kiddush Cup- Jonah Keri
  41. Bud Selig: A Defense -David Leonhardt
  42. Corey Pavin: Putting for Jesus -L. Jon Wertheim
  43. Kerri Strug: My Left Foot -David Plotz
  44. Bill Goldberg: Hezbollah's Favorite Wrestler -Jeffrey Goldberg
  45. Tamir Goodman: The Jewish Jordan -Avi Zvi Zenilman
  46. Eyal Berkovic: Soccer Sabra -Etgar Keret
  47. Don Lerman: The Ben Franklin of Competitive Eating -Liel Leibovitz
  48. Adam Greenberg: Once-Hit Wonder -Stephen J. Dubner
  49. Mark Cuban: The Twelve-Year-Old Owner -George Packer
  50. Theo Epstein: The Baseball Genius Who Didn't Save the World -Mark Leibovich
Mom, apple pie, puppy dogs, Jews and sport, how can we not recommend this book?


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