Review of Katharine Whitney Curtis: Mother of Synchronized Swimming

Whitney-Wei, Jordan. Katharine Whitney Curtis: Mother of Synchronized Swimming. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2020. Pp. 185. Notes, bibliography, and index. $39.95 paperback. Reviewed by Vicki Valosik In 1912, Katharine Curtis (nee Whitney) became the first woman to swim across Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin. Under the headline “Madison has a youthful Annette Kellerman,” a…

Review of Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original

Nathanson, Mitchell. Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original. University of Nebraska Press, 2020. Pp. 407. Acknowledgments, bibliography, epilogue, index, notes, photographs, prologue, $34.95 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo. Jim Bouton’s diary of the 1969 major league baseball season may seem tame today, but Ball Four’s release 50 years ago caused a furor. A book…

Review of Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola

Gryzbowski, David. Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola. Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 2019. Pp 181. Foreword by Bill Raftery, introduction, appendices. Reviewed by Murry Nelson Mr. All-Around: The Life of Tom Gola is a pleasant little book. However, David Gyrzbowski’s biography of Gola is more geared to general readership, especially those with Philadelphia interests,…

Review of The Wax Pack

Balukjian, Brad. The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball’s Afterlife. University of Nebraska Press, 2020. Pp. 280. Author’s note, prologue, epilogue, photographs, notes, $27.95 hardback. Reviewed by Bob D’Angelo Books about players dealing with life after baseball have provided some memorable reading. The genre has been blessed with Lawrence Ritter’s The…

A Tribute to Kobe Bryant

Editor’s note: Please accept our apology for any inconvenience: The draft copy was posted last night instead of the final version which now appears on our blog. This post is a tribute to Kobe Bryant and first appeared in 2013 as an entry about his life and career in American Sports: A History of Icons, Idols,…

Review of Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports, 1969-1974

Sarantakes, Nicholas Evans. Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports, 1969-1974. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2019. ix+349. Appendix, notes, timeline, bibliographical essay, sources, and index. Reviewed by Russ Crawford Nicholas Evans Sarantakes has written a comprehensive analysis of President Richard M. Nixon’s interaction with the sporting world in Fan in Chief. It is…

Review of Patty Berg: Pioneer Champion of Women’s Golf

Kenny, Kevin.  Patty Berg: Pioneer Champion of Women’s Golf.  North Carolina: McFarland, 2019.  Pp. 205.  Appendix, Chapter Notes, Bibliography, and Index.  $45.00 softcover. Reviewed by Erica J. Zonder In November 2019, the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) season-ending event, The CME Group Tour Championship, was won by Korean golfer Sei Young Kim.  First place was…

Review of Women and Bicycles in America, 1868-1900

Segrave, Kerry.  2019. Women and Bicycles in America, 1868-1900. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing Company, 2020. Pp. 230. 146 photos, notes, bibliography, index. $55.00 paperback. Reviewed by Leslie Heaphy In Women and Bicycles in America, 1868-1900, author Kerry Segrave examines the growing bicycle craze in the late-nineteenth century and its effect women. Although the tricycle started…