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Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry Hardcover – April 11, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (April 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618754466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618754465
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this lengthy and occasionally slow-going read, sports columnist O'Connor documents the decades-long rivalry between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. The two men couldn't have been more different, both on the field and off. Palmer, several years Nicklaus's senior, was an effortlessly charming man, a self-made champion from humble Pennsylvania roots who bashed line drives with astounding force. Nicklaus, meanwhile, was more introverted and endured endless taunting from those who saw him as a cheerless striver caring only about winning. The two men rode their rivalry as golf grew from a sleepy amateur-only sport through its postwar boom into one of America's leading pastimes. Along the way, the men (whose wives became fast friends, and who themselves got along reasonably well) also accrued massive fortunes through an endless string of endorsements, business deals and golf-course building. As rivalries go, Nicklaus and Palmer's is more interesting than some, and O'Connor's account will likely appeal to hardcore golf fans. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Thrillingly dramatic depictions… Comprehensive interviews humanize the two legends while contextualizing their roles in the game's history… Exemplary.
Kirkus Reviews

"Finely written, intricately researched and smartly reported." -- YahooSports.com

"Superb...Arresting." New York Post

"You can't go wrong writing or reading about those two guys, and O'Connor certainly got it right." Newsday

"Fascinating . . . A nice mix of golf history and interpersonal dynamics." Booklist, ALA

"A considerable amount of original research... Recommended." Library Journal

"Refreshing and captivating." Tampa Tribune

"O’Connor’s chronicle...gives readers a picture-perfect view of how they made the sport what it is today." — John Feinstein

“…THE definitive book on [Arnie and Jack’s] often complicated but honorable relationship.” — Gene Wojciechowski

“O’Connor explains the most complicated of human relationships in the simplest of terms…the fascinating journey…should not be missed.” — Bill Plaschke

“A classic work…the most riveting personal moments...[it] is the best thing I’ve read in a long while.” — Edwin Pope

“O’Connor, reporting in rich detail … while lifting golf to the big leagues of American sports.” — Dave Kindred

". . . an exceptional read." USA Today

"O’Connor's book is great because it reminds you how much fun and how ferocious golf used to be." Kansas City Star

More About the Author

Ian O'Connor is a nationally acclaimed columnist and author of "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter," which the Library Journal called "excellent" and the "most complete account" of Jeter's iconic career with the New York Yankees.

O'Connor is also the author of The New York Times' bestseller "Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry," a columnist with ESPNNewYork.com, and a radio host on 1050 ESPN in New York.

Three times O'Connor has been named the No. 1 columnist in America in his circulation category by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and seven times he has placed among the top five nationally. O'Connor's work has earned dozens of national and regional awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists' prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

O'Connor has won contests conducted by the Golf Writers Association of America, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Basketball Writers Association of America, and the Football Writers Association of America.

O'Connor has been a columnist for The New York Daily News, USA Today, Foxsports.com, The Journal News and The Record, and has written for The New York Times and Star-Ledger.

A 1986 graduate of Marist College, O'Connor is a frequent guest on national ESPN TV programs. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 48 customer reviews
The author used gratuitously vulgar language throughout the book.
Mark Wilsonwood
If you like golf and are fascinated with how Jack and Arnie interacted with each other, this is a great book.
Bob W.
It explores their very complicated relationship in a very interesting way.
Howard Wexler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By tides24 on May 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up a member of Jack's Pack, having been born a little too late to be a soldier in Arnie's Army. It's funny how sports moments can stay with you. As I watched the Masters this year, in my mind's eye, I could see the Golden Bear prowling those greens. Ghosts of Augusta.

This book tells the tale of two of Golf's titans, both their individual stories, and the story of their complicated relationship, from the first time they met, to the present day. Arnold Palmer, muscular arms bulging out of his short-sleeved shirts, cigarette hanging from his lips, going for every pin, with that wild looking swing of his. Jack Nicklaus: once Fat Jack, before he transformed himself. Picture perfect on the course, but not with the galleries, never getting the love that they showered on Palmer, the King. To say it was love/hate would be an understatement. They competed to the death in everything, but cared about each other much more than they would let on. Ironically, each wanted to be the other. Arnie wanted all those Majors, and the title of Greatest Golfer ever. Jack wanted the popularity and love that Arnie always had. But as Arnie said, "You can only be so many things in life."

The book is wonderfully written. You almost feel like you were there, as the author describes so many memorable Arnie/Jack duels. There is also a fascinating look at their wives. Winnie Palmer & Barbara Nicklaus were fast friends from the moment they met, even as their husbands were trying to beat each other's brains out. When I finished this book, I remember thinking, "I really enjoyed that." I think you will,too.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By An old time wrestling fan on April 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mr. O'Connor has done a fine job with his work on the Palmer-Nicklaus rivalry. No matter which side of the fence you may be on (Arnie's Army or Jack's Pack), there are enduring lessons to be learned here as well as a lot of inside information about two of the all time greats of the game so many of us love. If you have any memories of either of these guys in, or even close to, their primes, you can purchase this book with confidence knowing you have a wonderful read ahead of you.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Hutton on April 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Fifty years ago, the greatest rivalry in golf began. By forty years ago, it was all over, with the domination of Jack Nicklaus over Arnold Palmer. So for those who didn't live through it (and for those who did), Mr. O'Connor chronicles the the rise of Big Golf with these two men. Mr. Palmer with his come from behind wins and self-taught style came of age with the TV set and was golf's first superstar. Mr. Nicklaus was not the risk-taker on the golf course that Mr. Palmer was --which is why Arnie had his "Army" and Jack had all the major championships. Their rivalry continued in the business arena after their golfing days. Mr. O'Connor interviewed everyone who knew them and used every cliche to describe them. Other than that, the book is fun to read and a joy to every golfer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By marketing maven on April 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Always an Arnie fan, reluctantly a Jack fan, Ian O'Connor has allowed me to go back to a wonderful time in my life. I cut school to watch these two men duel at Baltusrol. I remember seven kids jumping into the pond of the fourth green to recover a misplayed Palmer shot during the 67 US Open. Palmer's charisma has never been replicated, while Jack eventually earned the respect he deserved. Arnie and Jack reveals captivating insights into these two golfing warriors' lives and accomplishments. I had to send copies to my all my golfing buddies, even before Christmas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Woolf on March 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I grew up watching golf with my father. As a child of the '70's, however, I never knew Arnold Palmer at the top of his game. Jack Nicklaus was all but worshipped in our house, so it was inconceivable to me that the golf world had ever disliked him. "Arnie & Jack" gave me the history between the two great men in the sport, and so much more insight into what life on the tour was like with these two giants battling each other.

Perhaps most interesting to me was seeing that the reaction of Arnie's Army to the young upstart Nicklaus was almost exactly the same way my father reacted to Tiger Woods when he burst upon the scene (and started breaking Jack's records!).

I've never played a round of golf in my life (unless you count miniature), but have greatly enjoyed John Feinstein's books on the game. This is right up there with "A Good Walk Spoiled" and "The Majors", and anyone who appreciates the sport should enjoy this greatly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By coachtim on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book "Arnie and Jack" by Ian O'Connor is equal parts fascinating, overblown, profane, and enlightening. O'Connor, does an outstanding job chronicling the almost 50-year rivalry between two of golf's greatest icons. I was fascinated to read of their first major golfing encounter in Ohio when Jack was a brash teenager and Arnie, a budding superstar. This meeting at a function to honor PGA pro Dow Finsterwald was certainly the start of something big.

O'Connor tends to drag through some of the duo's earliest PGA action and almost makes the reading want to skip ahead to pair's halcyon days on tour. Equally frustrating for this reviewer were the seemingly gratuitous "F-bombs" that O'Connor used as part of almost every celebrity quote attributed to Nicklaus or Palmer. I don't think the use of the vulgarity was necessary, nor accurate.

With that said, however, I think the majority of golf fans, both young and old, will enjoy "Arnie and Jack". I would have like to have heard more from Jack and Arnie contemporaries such as, Player, Trevino, Floyd, and Watson, but that's probably quibbling. Fans of either superstar will definitely want to pick up a copy and keep the fires of this rivalry burning.
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