The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism
Following in the footsteps of Robeson, Ali, Robinson and others, today's Black athletes re-engage with social issues and the meaning of American patriotism
It used to be that politics and sports were as separate from one another as church and state. The ballfield was an escape from the world's worst problems, top athletes were treated like heroes, and cheering for the home team was as easy and innocent as hot dogs and beer. "No news on the sports page" was a governing principle in newsrooms.
That was then.
Today, sports arenas have been transformed into staging grounds for American patriotism and the hero worship of law enforcement. Teams wear camouflage jerseys to honor those who serve; police officers throw out first pitches; soldiers surprise their families with homecomings at halftime. Sports and politics are decidedly entwined.
The Best American Sports Writing 2017
For a quarter century, the annual Best American Sports Writing has showcased the greatest sports journalism of the previous year. This year’s guest editor, acclaimed author Howard Bryant, continues the tradition, seeking out writing that best captures the unpredictable journey of sports. Triumphantly and painfully, these stories reflect on that journey, asking difficult questions about who we are, as individuals and as a nation: What does it mean when a football player takes a knee during the national anthem, who decides where the remains of an American legend should rest, and how far will people go to reclaim dreams that have long slipped away? Spanning different sports, disciplines, and styles, these pieces are, above all, inspirational to readers, writers, and athletes around the world, proof of the bonds and breaking points that exist between and within us all.
The Last Hero: A Life Of Henry Aaron
In the thirty-four years since his retirement, Henry (Hank) Aaron’s reputation has only grown in magnitude. But his influence extends beyond statistics, and at long last here is the first definitive biography of one of baseball’s immortal figures.
Based on meticulous research and extensive interviews The Last Hero reveals how Aaron navigated the upheavals of his time—fighting against racism while at the same time benefiting from racial progress—and how he achieved his goal of continuing Jackie Robinson’s mission to obtain full equality for African Americans, both in baseball and society, while he lived uncomfortably in the public eye. Eloquently written, detailed and penetrating, this is a revelatory portrait of a complicated, private man who through sports became an enduring American icon.
Juicing The Game
A GROUNDBREAKING HISTORY OF STEROID USE IN
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Juicing the Game is the definitive account of both Major League Baseball’s steroid scandal and the era it has irreversibly tainted. Combining award-winning journalist Howard Bryant’s hard-hitting investigative reporting with revealing profiles of and interviews with the era’s crucial figures, Juicing the Game is the first book to look at the issue from all sides, tracing its history and plotting its future, while exploring the confluence of cultural, political and financial factors and the paralyzing lack of leadership that allowed the influence of drugs on the sport to get so far out of hand.
Shut Out: A story of race and baseball in Boston
WINNER OF SPITBALL MAGAZINE'S 2002 CASEY AWARD
FOR BEST BASEBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR
With a new introduction by celebrated baseball writer Roger Kahn and a new afterword by the author, updating John Henry's first year of ownership after nearly six decades of the Yawkey dynasty, the legacy of the late Will McDonough, and the author's return to his native Boston after a seventeen-year absence, Shut Out has reopened the discussion of baseball, race, and Boston with a new candor.
Young Adult, Middle-Grade And Young Readers
Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams
An inspiring picture book sports biography about two of the greatest female tennis players of all-time! Venus and Serena Williams: Best friends. Sisters. Champions.
Everyone knows the names Venus & Serena Williams. They've become synonymous with championships, hard work, and with shaking up the tennis world. This inspirational true story, written by award-winning sports journalist, Howard Bryant, and brought to beautiful life by Coretta Scott Kind Award and Honor winner, Floyd Cooper, details the sisters' journey from a barely-there tennis court in Compton, CA, to Olympic gold medals and becoming the #1 ranked women in the sport of tennis. Here is a worthy ode to Venus and Serena Williams, the incredible sister duo who will go down in history as two of the greatest athletes of all time.
Legends: The Best Players, Games And Teams In Basketball
Fast-paced, adrenaline-filled, and brimming with out-of-this-world athleticism, basketball has won the hearts of fans all across America—yet it is particularly popular among kids and teens. Giants of the game like Steph Curry, LeBron, and Michael Jordan have transcended the sport to become cultural icons and role models to young fans. From the cornfields of Indiana and the hills of North Carolina, to the urban sprawl of New York City, Chicago and L.A., love of the game stretches from coast to coast.
Featuring Top Ten Lists to chew on and debate, and a Top 40-style Timeline of Key Moments in Basketball History, this comprehensive collection includes the greatest dynasties, from the Bill Russell-era Celtics, to the Magic Jonson-led Lakers, to the Jordan-led Bulls, right up to the Tim Duncan-led Spurs. All the greats take flight toward the hoop in this perfect book for young fans who dream about stepping on an NBA court.
Legends: The Best Players, Games And Teams In Football
Recounting momentous stories of football's past and present, and accompanied by iconic photos, Top Ten Lists to chew on and debate, and a Top 40-style Timeline of Key Moments, this comprehensive collection details twenty of the greatest Super Bowls in NFL history—and expands on their relevance within the larger scope of dynasties, giants of the coaching world, and marquee players making history. From the upsets to the blowouts to the nail-biting finishes, this is the perfect book for young fans eager to kick off their football schooling.
Legends: The Best Players, Games And Teams In Baseball
This is no traditional almanac of mundane statistics, but rather a storyteller's journey through baseball's storied game. Told in fun, accessible chapters and accompanied by iconic photos, a slew of Top Ten lists for kids to chew on and debate, and a Timeline of the 40 Most Important Moments in Baseball History, this collection covers some of the greatest players from Babe Ruth to Hank Aaron; the greatest teams to take the field and swing the bats; the greatest social triggers, such as Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier; the greatest playoff rivalries, including the 2004 showdown between the Red Sox and Yankees that turned into an instant classic; and, of course, the edge-of-your-seat World Series moments that left some cheering while others wept. This is the perfect book for young fans eager to learn more about the sport that will stay with them for a lifetime.