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Customer Review

"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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4.2 out of 5 stars
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