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There You Have It: The Life, Legacy, and Legend of Howard Cosell Paperback – November 24, 2010
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John's book delves into the impact Cosell made on this nation's social conscience in the 1960s. But, as the book readily points out, Cosell was a man of stark contradictions. --David Jones Harrisburg Patriot News
superb explication of Cosell's Jewishness as the key to understanding how he juggled a passionate social conscience with an overweening ambition -- Robert Lipsyte
"This fast-reading study makes an impressive contribution to sports history, cultural history, ethnic history, and media studies. I recommend it to sports fans, scholars, students, and Cosell haters alike-in a New York minute."―Gena Caponi-Tabery, author of Jump for Joy: Jazz, Basketball, and Black Culture in 1930s America
"Cosell―a lawyer by training―was as improbable a sports figure as can be imagined. With a penchant for social commentary, a bad toupee, New York arrogance, and a pretentious vocabulary, he nonetheless was part of great sports journalism during a period of social unrest in the U.S. Many of the contradictions of his character and the finer intricacies of his legacy are teased out in this carefully observed portrait."―Publishers Weekly
"Bloom produces a compelling biography of the man dubbed 'the mouth that roared.' . . . Cosell wrote three books...in which he was anything but reticent about sharing his opinions of his profession and himself. Bloom gives a much more objective―and ultimately sympathetic―word portrait of this complex broadcasting legend."―ForeWord
"Bloom emphasizes Cosell's support of protesting African American athletes at the 1968 Olympics and of Muhammad Ali; addresses the broadcaster's perceived abrasive personal and broadcasting style; and considers the relationship between Cosell's professional life and his personal history and self-image. Recommended."―Choice
"[A] superb explication of Cosell's Jewishness as the key to understanding how he juggled a passionate social conscience with an overweening ambition."―Robert Lipsyte
"This is a pick for a range of collections, from sports libraries to those specializing in media and broadcast history. It's a lively read for a range of audiences!"―Midwest Book Review
". . . Bloom effectively paints a realistic portrait by separating the chutzpah from the schlock, the crusader from the shill, the journalist from the windbag to reveal Cosell's complex character."―Ray Gamache, American Journalism
"Bloom aims to describe the contradictions of Cosell's life and career. The strength of There You Have It is its ability to place that career in the context of television's rapid growth in popularity and the tumult of his times."―H-Net Reviews
"To say John Bloom liked Howard Cosell would be overstating it. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say Bloom was fascinated by Cosell , the charismatic, controversial and unconventional sports broadcaster who came to fame in the back half of the 20th Century for a remarkable two-decade run that felt so much longer. . . . There You Have It is a scholarly book with broad appeal, of interest to media scholars, social critics, and sports fans alike."―New Books in Journalism
"As one of the main points of historian John Bloom's biography There You Have It is that Cosell was an innovative, probing, and fearless reporter."―New Books in Sports
From the Back Cover
This is the first full-length biography of the lawyer-turned-sports journalist whose brash style and penchant for social commentary changed the way American sporting events are reported. Perhaps best known for his close relationship with the world champion boxer Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell became a celebrity in his own right during the 1960s and 1970s -- the bombastic, controversial, instantly recognizable sportscaster everyone "loved to hate." Raised in Brooklyn in a middle-class Jewish family, Cosell carried with him a deeply ingrained sense of social justice. Yet early on he abandoned plans for a legal career to become a pioneer in sports broadcasting, first in radio and then in television. While Cosell took courageous stands on behalf of civil rights and other causes, he could be remarkably blind to the inconsistencies in his own life. In this way, John Bloom argues, he embodied contradictions that still resonate widely in American society today.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I grew up with Howard Cosell, Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, and Muhammed Ali. However I was not aware that behind the scenes of what, until I read this book, I considered to be simply sports entertainment programming, was a demonstration of social change at work. I was unaware that Howard Cosell was the first broadcaster to acknowledge Muhammed Ali's name change from Cassius Clay, nor did I ever stop to recognize Cosell's further support of civil rights. I was also unaware of the prejudices against Mr. Cosell's ethnicity that had to be overcome for him to rise to his position in sports broadcasting. Quite frankly, it never occurred to me that Howard Cosell was Jewish, or that it mattered. Things have certainly changed in the last forty years, and some credit can be given to Mr. Cosell.
John Bloom has expertly weaved together a work of popular sports history with academic social analysis. The best evidence I can provide is that the book lead to a lively discussion about 70's sports around my house. If it makes you talk about it, it must be a good book.