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Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont Hardcover – May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Hardcover; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451229878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451229878
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reigning in a narrative with so many plotlines is no gimme, but Schlossman, a history professor at Carnegie Mellon, and Lazarus, his former pupil, take on the challenge with aplomb. Through extensive research and interviews, they can easily loop the tales together, and the momentum they build en rote is palpable, an achievement, certainly, since the outcome is no secret. In the end it's the cast of characters themselves- their dramas, comedies, and motives inside the ropes and beyond- that heighten this chase and keep it moving through a series of biographical codas that extend decades past the trophy presentation."
-Sports Illustrated

"There's a reason Johnny Miller never gets tired of reminding us about his final round in the '73 Open: It was that good. But his staggering 63 in the pressure cooker is only one of the compelling storylines that historian Schlossman and his former student Lazarus- a pretty good story right there- weave together in their meticulously detailed narrative of an Open filled with genuine thrills, dramatic subplots, and, in Oakmont itself, the most feared location in the game"
-Golf.com

"The 1973 U.S. Open had everything: the most terrifying golf course in the land; an aging but still fiercely competitive Arnold Palmer; Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Gary Player at the top of their games; a brilliant but troubled golfer named John Schlee making his one bid for immortality; and Johnny Miller's final round 63 that remains the Everest of major championship lore. Now that tournament has a chronicle worthy of it, Chasing Greatness, a prodigiously researched, elegantly written, myth-debunking eagle from the fairway by Adam Lazarus and Steven Schlossman. Fore!"
-Ron Rapoport, author of The Immortal Bobby: Bobby Jones and the Golden Age of Golf

"In 1973, Oakmont was the stage for one of the most riveting sports stories of the 20th century, and in Chasing Greatness Adam Lazarus and Steven Schlossman deliver a grand re-telling of a U.S. Open finish like no other. A week after Secretariat made history at the Belmont, Johnny Miller's final turn of 63 shocked the world, denied the hometown hero, Arnold Palmer, a magical punctuation to his prime, and left an impossibly difficult game looking downright vulnerable. This is a must read for fans of golf, and for fans of the human spirit."
-Ian O'Connor, author of the New York Times bestseller Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry

"Informative, engaging, and entertaining... captures the excitement of the 1973 U.S. Open and explains why it was so special in the history of golf."
-George B. Kirsch, Professor of History, Manhattan College, and author of Golf in America

"Authors Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman recreate the 1973 U.S. Open with a drama worthy of the event itself... Every sentence here is rich with detail, all woven into an intimate play-by-play. Four days of golf changed lives and careers, and in this precise account, you understand why."
-Chico Harlan, Washington Post staff writer

"If you want the most thorough history of a most memorable championship, this is it."
-Al Barkow, former PGA broadcaster and author of Golf's Golden Grind and Gettin' to the Dance Floor: An Oral History of American Golf

About the Author

Adam Lazarus is a freelance sports journalist.
Steve Schlossman is a professor of American social and cultural history at Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches a course on the history of golf. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Perfect fathers day book and amazing read in general.
Michael Johnson
Great book about Johnny Miller's unbelievable 63 in the last round of the 1973 US Open at Oakmont Country Club!
joelliii
This is a very compelling telling of a great moment in golf history.
Lyle Slovick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Johnson on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Perfect fathers day book and amazing read in general. I'm not a huge golf fan but I'm a sports fan and a lover of competitive drama, and I can't think of anybody who this book wouldn't appeal to. So well written, I flew through it. I've never even been compelled to write a review on amazon but this is a great, great book. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MEN on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Fantastic.

Steve and Adam did terrific research on every facet of this memorable event. Great background, super history, enjoyable color and commentary. Puts heart and soul into the rigors of professional golf and then ties a neat bow with the deep-seated feelings shared in all of their player interviews.

Too much fun as a golf history lesson, a drama, and personal stories all wrapped together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SunDevil1 on July 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had the great fortune to find this book just before leaving for Pittsburgh to caddie for a competitor in the 2010 U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont last week.

As a page-turner, it's a wonderful read, and some will find it enjoyable and entertaining on that level. The personalities involved in the story and the background Lazarus and Schlossman provide as to those personalities' characters, motivations, and perhaps of most interest, fears and frustrations are fascinating. Who could've guessed from afar, for example, that Lee Trevino craved privacy? I would think that writing of that nature would be interesting not only for golf devotees such as me, but also those fascinated by the relationship between human nature and competitive sports. What other sport is so conducive to prompting a competitor to speak as openly, as Johnny Miller apparently did at the time, about "choking" and being afraid to shank a critical shot? What other singular athletic endeavor is played out so openly in front of fans and now millions watching on television or over the intenet? It was not so true in the 70s when these events unfolded - no one who wasn't there ever saw Johnny Miller making birdie on the first four holes. The authors here do a terrific job in giving us the flavor of those moments.

The story itself, though known to just about every golf fan over the past 20 or more years, still sparkles in their retelling.

However, more than being a good story populated by fascinating characters, I think the authors set a very intriguing backdrop, one about which I wish, frankly, to have had even more. The tournament story is a great one, but it could only have come to life on a golf course like Oakmont.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary R. Davis on May 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Chasing Greatness is a great book that weaves the profiles of several of the most famous golfers in history into a fascinating narrative of the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

For better or worse, I am a fan of the show Lost. In a similar vein as Lost, Chasing Greatness begins at the 1973 U.S. Open, describing the lead-up to the event and flashes back to past events and stories each of the major characters. These "flashbacks" help to illuminate the personalities, career paths, and individual quirks of all the major players, and enable the reader to build a relationship with every character and even to choose sides as the drama continues to build throughout the book.

Chasing Greatness is also better researched than the vast majority of sports books. Kudos to this tandem of authors who found a way to apply the best of their academic traits into a story that is a remarkably accessible, engaging, and thought-provoking read for both the seasoned golfer and the casual observer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Douglas Bragdon on June 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a casual golf fan, and Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and Lee Trevino were pretty much indistinguishable to me before reading this book. The best thing this book does is bring them to life. Schlossman casually & skillfully locates the reader in the middle of these golfers' personal & professional lives, all while setting the stage for this amazing tournament.

Have you ever tried to watch a TV show or movie that was halfway finished, with a fanatic friend? And they pause to catch you up to speed at different points? That is what Schlossman accomplishes here, except that while your friend will usually ruin the event for you, Schlossman is able to capture your attention all the way through to the season finale: the greatest round of golf ever played.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Lee on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best players of the 70's were would have competed in any era. Authors did a nice job on the bios of Nicklaus, Trevino, Palmer, Player, Weiskopf, Floyd (Schlee) and Miller who were the significant player of this time period and the 1973 U.S. Open. Having read a few golf books I learned some new and interesting things about these significant players.

Miller was a good guy and wonderful talent whose peak years were far too few.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aunt on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating. Reads like a chick lit. Researched as a McCullough. Oakmont, the likes of which confounds us. Chasing Greatness is a must have primer for every golfer, spectator and fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Seadoc on May 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an enjoyable read! A history and sports book in one. Regardless of one's interests, such a superb reading experience should not be missed.
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