Wooden has long stood as a giant in the world of college sports. In revealing the real man behind the legend, Davis has done...

WOODEN

A COACH'S LIFE

A comprehensive and crisply written biography of a legendary coach.

John Wooden (1910–2010) may well be the closest the sports world has had to a secular saint in the last half-century. Widely venerated for both his accomplishments as an athlete and coach and for his stature as a human being, Wooden remained a universally admired figure for the remainder of his life. Sports Illustrated senior writer and CBS Sports studio analyst Davis (When March Went Mad: The Game that Transformed Basketball, 2009, etc.) delivers a massive biography that manages to bolster its subject while reminding readers that for all of Wooden’s greatness, he was a human being with human failings. Utilizing myriad interviews and an impressive array of published sources, the author traces Wooden from his humble childhood in Indiana through his overlooked playing career, which garnered him entry into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960, to the coaching career that brought him his greatest glory. Wooden began coaching (and teaching English, his first love) at the high school level and spent two years coaching at Indiana State before moving on to UCLA, where he became quite likely the greatest college coach in history. Davis admires his subject, which is apt, since Wooden was unquestionably admirable. However, a true biographer strips away legend as much as burnishes it, and Davis is unflinching in doing so where necessary. Early in his coaching career, Wooden, widely respected for his views on race during his UCLA tenure, still could have done more for his sole black player at Indiana State, who faced Jim Crow on a number of occasions with Wooden’s tacit acquiescence. Long lauded for his personal integrity, he nonetheless clearly turned a blind eye to boosters who flouted NCAA rules in providing benefits to UCLA’s star players.

Wooden has long stood as a giant in the world of college sports. In revealing the real man behind the legend, Davis has done honor to the legacy of a true gentleman.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9280-6

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

more