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Most famous for his classic work The Boys of Summer, Roger Kahn is widely regarded as one of the greatest sportswriters of our time. The Roger Kahn Reader is a rich collection of his stories and articles that originally appeared in publications such as Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, Esquire, and the Nation.
Kahn’s pieces, published between 1952 and today, present a vivid, turbulent, and intimate picture of more than half a century in American sport. His standout writings bring us close to entrepreneurs and hustlers (Walter O'Malley and Don King), athletes of Olympian gifts (Ted Williams, Stan Musial, “Le Demon Blond” Guy Lefleur), and sundry compelling issues of money, muscle, and myth. We witness Roger Maris’s ordeal by fame; Bob Gibson’s blazing competitive fire; and Red Smith, now white-haired and renowned, contemplating his beginnings and his future. Also included is a new and original chapter, “Clem,” about the author’s compelling lifelong friendship with former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Clem Labine.
Written across six decades, this volume shows Kahn’s ability to describe the athletes he profiled as they truly were in a manner neither compromised nor cruel but always authentic and up close.