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The Immortal Bobby: Bobby Jones and the Golden Age of Golf 1st Edition
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"A thorough biography of Jones. Solid reporting." (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
"Bobby Jones' golf Grand Slam, achieved 75 years ago, ranks among sports' greatest accomplishments… He did it, but as Ron Rapoport discovered… not without a great deal of suffering, mental and physical." (USA Today)
"The Immortal Bobby is a well-researched and unvarnished biography of Jones by Ron Rapoport, a Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist and National Public Radio commentator. Rapoport excels at adding sociological context to Jones' achievements." (GolfWeek)
There are several Bobby Jones books out this spring commemorating the 75th anniversary of his 1930 Grand Slam, but none so far is better researched, or told with greater detail, than this one by Rapoport, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Rapoport recounts the more fascinating details of Jones' life after doing scores of interviews and poring over the golfer's many correspondences. Jones was a prolific writer; in fact, his own accounts of his golf matches occasionally appeared in the next day's paper. Rapoport says he "discovered a disparity between the man and the myth that was not always so simple." He recounts that despite his gentlemanly image, Jones could hold a fearsome grudge, as he did against fellow pro Chick Evans, whose every attempt at reconciliation was rebuffed. As for 1930, Rapoport brings much of the detail of the Grand Slam quest back to life. Forgotten, until now, are the numerous near-disasters and the internal turmoil that make Jones' ultimate triumph all the more admirable. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"If you want to learn a thing, or three about Jones and the defining times in which he lived, you should read this book."
--Brian Hewitt, TheGolfChannel.com
"The story of Bobby Jones' singular life is one of the most fascinating in sports history. Ron Rapoport's thoughtful, graceful is well suited to telling that story."
-- Bob Costas, Broadcaster, NBC Sports and HBO Sports
"Beyond the grainy newsreels and the confetti falling on Broadway and Peachtree Street, there was an essential Bobby Jones and Ron Rapoport reveals him splendidly in a portrait as graceful as the man. There’s more here than Grand Slam 1930―the jangling nerves and self-doubt, the towering modesty in response to fame, the complexity of an Atlanta patrician, a life richly lived."
-- Gary M. Pomerantz, author, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn
"The skills of writing and reporting that fans of Ron Rapoport, like me, have come to expect from him over the years―candor, thoughtfulness, insight, perspective, humor ―are once again demonstrated and illuminated in The Immortal Bobby. It is an important book about an important sports figure that, typically for Rapoport, goes beyond the confines of sports and fits firmly in the context of our culture."
-- Ira Berkow, sports columnist and author of Red: A Biography of Red Smith.
"Just when you think there is nothing new to be said or written on the subject of Bob Jones, Ron Rapoport comes along and proves that theory completely untrue. The Immortal Bobby is wonderfully reported and superbly written."
I haven't read a better golf book since Tiger Woods was a cub.
--Mike Downey, Chicago Tribune
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I was disappointed to see that Rapoport did not step up to the plate and call out Jones' scribe, O.B. Keeler, as a racist. Keeler is portrayed (page 27) as a compassionate reporter in the heavily racially biased Leo Frank murder trial. Few authors realize that Keeler was a blatant racist, even given the era in which he lived. Keeler was present at Leo Frank's lynching, although he failed to mention this in his newspaper reporting. There are heavily racist remarks in Keeler's autobiography, The Autobiography of An Average Golfer, of which I needed to look up in a dictionary as I had never heard these words before. Keeler also used heavily derogatory comments about Joe Louis.
Is it time for the game of golf to revise its journey and think about some of the traditions that drove fair play and personal excellence? Is it unrealistic to consider a return to days of "stymied putts", open galleries, more match play events, celebrations of amateur achievements and ultimately a more focused and strategic game. Perhaps then we would enjoy the surge in player and supporter numbers that are waiting for such outcomes.
A thoroughly enjoyable journey into a simpler, yet sometimes more complex era. I recommend this to any true lover of golf.