Use whatever winning sports analogy you want to describe this smashing bio of Althea Gibson--who was easily one of America's most important tennis and golf players ever. In addition to a fascinating account of Althea's life story, Jacobs serves up a damning commentary on how the economic structure and inherent racism in both competitive tennis and golf in the 1950s and 1960s prevented Althea from being the kind of household name the Williams sisters have been---or, for that matter, Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods or any other of the many recent and reigning stars of the court or green.
Kara Goucher’s marathon best is only a few minutes slower than the half marathon I ran a few days ago, so it goes without saying that I am in awe of her. But along with tales of making Olympic teams and taking world championships, Kara’s memoir details the rampant harassment and exploitation that ripples out from Nike’s inner circle to its best athletes. Running takes guts--and so does exposing corruption; if I didn’t think this athlete was great before, I certainly do now.
If you are a football fan, like I am, you know that David Goldblatt's new book is a must read. His vast knowledge of the game and extensive research goes beyond what's happening within 90 minutes between twenty-two players on the football field. To the fans it is so much more: it's passion, sense of belonging, dedication, religion - and Goldblatt manages to capture that and so much more. Football has gotten into every aspect of today's world and every aspect of our lives. Exploring socio-economic, political, national and global implications of the game throughout continents, teams and competitions, Goldblatt will take you on a journey - through football and the world in the 21st century - that you won't regret taking.