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Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame Hardcover – October 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; First Edition edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455516139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455516131
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Marc Tracy and Franklin Foer have compiled JEWISH JOCKS: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame, essays on 'the most influential Jews in sports,' from athletes, coaches, and owners to broadcasters and statisticians. David Remnick, David Brooks, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jane Leavy, and Steven Pinker are among the heavyweight contributors. You'll laugh, you'll cry."—Publishers Weekly, Top 10 Sports Books Fall 2012

Editor's Choice: "Fifty well-written brief portraits."—The New York Times Book Review

"Jewish Jocks' ends up convincing you of its theme: The history of Jews in sports is, in important ways, the history of sports."—Will Leitch, Wall Street Journal

"A must for the bookshelf of any Jewish sports fan."— Kirkus Reviews

"Belies the cheap punch line [to] prove that the Jewish sporting tradition is as rich as it is varied. Jewish Jocks features notable writers in peak form."—Sports Illustrated

"A skillful collection... through its sheer comprehensiveness, JEWISH JOCKS also makes the argument that the Jewish athlete isn't an anomaly."—Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Franklin Foer is editor of the New Republic and a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at the New Republic. Previously, he was a staff writer at Tablet magazine; the blog he edited there, The Scroll, won the 2011 National Magazine Award.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Jewish Jocks" is the perfect formula for all that is special in modern Jewish literature... history past and present... more sorrow than any one people deserve to be burdened with... denigration that many don't... won't... and shouldn't put up with... writing that from paragraph to paragraph can range from poetic... to humorous... to agonizingly emotional if you are a true member of the tribe... role models in areas you may not have thought to look for them in... and the beautiful sense of family and pride over the centuries... and yes... more and more Jewish idols and role models in sports!

The very short stories that range from Sid Luckman to Sandy Koufax... and from Mose Soloman (whose signing by John McGraw and the Giants led to the following headline in the Sporting News: "McGRAW PAYS 50K FOR ONLY JEWISH BALLPLAYER IN CAPTIVITY.") to boxing champion Barney Ross whose story written by Buzz Bissinger is probably the most powerful six page story you'll read in many a year!

The multiplicity of authors with subjects ranging from boxers from over 250 years ago to ping pong players to a basketball coach named Auerbach who never paid "retail" for the stars he acquired through trades, in what history has proven to be almost always one-sided in *THE-RED*... also include members of the tribe of Israel that are infamous as well. Including Arnold Rothstein who was part of the throwing of the 1919 World Series as well as Jack Molinas who helped throw basketball games from all sides of the court. What makes each short story provide a larger impact to the reader than the mere total of the pages... is that you can feel the personal heartfelt feelings in almost every writer's story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Jewish Jocks" is a compilation of short essays about Jews in the sports world. While the famous athletes - Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Mark Spitz - are accounted for in the book, editors Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy add many less acknowledged Jewish sportspeople, including gambler Arnold Rothstein, fantasy-baseball founder Daniel Okrent, and Jack Molinas, a basketball "point-shaver" from the early 1950's.

Each of the 50 or so essays highlight a part of the subject's life. Most are based on their careers in sports or collateral industries, but a few concentrate on their lives outside sports. All the essays tie their subjects to their religion. The writing is uniformly good throughout; the only exception was Buzz Bissinger's essay on boxer Barney Ross. He writes in a stream-of-concienceness way, which may be how he normally writes. I don't know but I found it basically unreadable. Many of the authors have personal ties to the subject they're writing about; Jane Leavy writes about inviting Sandy Koufax to her daughter's bat mitzvah, for instance.

"Jewish Jocks" is basically a thought-provoking look at many Jewish sportspeople. I was prompted to look up many of the subjects to find out more about them. And, in a few cases, I looked on them in a different light than before I read the book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By diamonddon on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A quick and delightful read. Well written pieces by top notch and interesting writers, many with a new perspective. I.e. Bobby Fischer by Jonathan Safran Foer, Jane Leavy on Sandy Koufax coming to her daughter's bat mitzvah, Olympians Kerry Strug, Mark Spitz, and, by Deborah Lipstadt: one of the Munich wrestlers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By seahorse 50 on November 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a rich and erudite review of Jews as citizens as well as athletes. Not all of the Jews are jocks and not all of them are white hats (Arnold Rothstein). This is a work of history and anthropology. The heroes here had to overcome bigotry and stereotypes, yet were allowed to walk with Kings. We are also reminded that Jews were not truly emancipated until well into the middle of the 20th century. It suggests that Sports is The Great Emancipator.
Take a look at Kinsler playing second base for the Texans: a five skill athlete. Then look over into the dugout at his boss. Then look at the Dallas NBA franchise. The individual struggles of Jewish Jocks have had societal impacts far beyond their intentions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jakela on January 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My brother has everything and is the hardest person in the world to shop for. I looked high and low before I discovered this book and sent it to him a birthday gift. He loves it and what's more, he actually is reading it.
Thanks to those who dreamt this one up and published it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By john p. zucker on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book, Each author is a good writer. About numerous people I had not heard of. I highly recommend.
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By Lily Kliot on February 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We bought a bunch of these for gifts---got zero response from recipients. Don't really know if it was good or bad.
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By Nancy on January 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written and about more than sports, lots of sociology of the place sports has played in the American experience for Jews throughout the last century. Great choice for Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts and for the parents, as well.
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