Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-7751-9 • Hardback • May 2017 • $41.00 • (£32.00)
978-1-4422-7752-6 • eBook • May 2017 • $39.00 • (£30.00)
Lee Congdon is professor emeritus of history at James Madison University. He is the author of five books, the most recent being Baseball and Memory: Winning, Losing, and the Remembrance of Things Past (2011).
Chapter 1: The Poet: Grantland Rice
Chapter 2: The Wordsmith: Red Smith
Chapter 3: The Empathizer: Shirley Povich
Chapter 4: The Novelist: W. C. Heinz
Chapter 5: At Toots Shor’s
About the Author
Congdon’s ability to demonstrate effectively why these sports writers were so captivating makes Legendary Sports Writers for the Golden Age a worthwhile contribution to the history of American sports and sports journalism. By bringing to life some of the most iconic and significant moments in sports history through the eyes of its most talented scribes, Congdon’s work encourages the types of debates among readers that fueled the successes of Rice, Smith, Povich, and Heinz.
— Journal of Sport History
Congdon pays tribute to the mythic influence of four sports scribes, Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Shirley Povich, and W.C. Heinz, whose readers followed their colorful commentary from the roaring twenties to the space age. Rice, a Tennessee native whose literate columns appeared in more than 80 U.S. newspapers, became the most famous and highest-paid of all sports writers at the time. The lofty Rice standard shaped the precision of Smith, the sensitivity of Povich, and the imagination of Heinz. Highlights include Smith’s coverage of the savage series of Tony Zale–Rocky Graziano fights, Povich’s depiction of the 1958 NFL Championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants as 'an art form,' and Heinz’s novel The Surgeon, which inspired the 1970 Robert Altman film, MASH. Congdon’s slender but informative homage to this quartet of newspaper legends gives readers a sense of a print world where words really mattered.
— Publishers Weekly
Any book that features the sportswriting and stories of legends such as Grantland Rice, Red Smith, Shirley Povich and W. C. Heinz deserves to be read.
— George Solomon, Director, The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, University of Maryland