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Potomac Books


The John Lardner Reader, The John Lardner Reader, 0803230478, 0-8032-3047-8, 978-0-8032-3047-7, 9780803230477, John Lardner Edited and with an introduction by John Schulian Foreword by Dan Jenkins , , The John Lardner Reader, 0803234406, 0-8032-3440-6, 978-0-8032-3440-6, 9780803234406, John Lardner Edited and with an introduction by John Schulian Foreword by Dan Jenkins

The John Lardner Reader
A Press Box Legend's Classic Sportswriting
John Lardner
Edited and with an introduction by John Schulian
Foreword by Dan Jenkins

2010. 304 pp.
$19.95 t

This collection marks the return to print of John Lardner, one of America’s press box giants, a classic stylist whose wry humor and tireless reporting helped elevate sportswriting to art. The brilliant W. C. Heinz called Lardner “the best of us.” This book shows why.
Lardner applied his singular touch not only to his era’s icons—Joe Louis, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige—but to the scamps, eccentrics, hustlers, and con men in the shadow of sports. Whether in snappy columns or leisurely magazine pieces, Lardner held sport of every description up to the light, forever changing the way people wrote, read, and thought about their heroes, from superstars to scrappers. These forty-nine pieces represent sportswriting at the top of its game.

John Lardner (1913–60), the son of legendary humorist Ring Lardner, was a columnist for Newsweek; a frequent and much-honored contributor to the New Yorker, True, and Sport; and the author of It Beats Working, Strong Cigars and Lovely Women, and White Hopes and Other Tigers. John Schulian’s work has been included in Best American Sports Writing and Sports Illustrated’s Fifty Years of Great Writing. His Twilight of the Long-ball Gods: Dispatches from the Disappearing Heart of Baseball is available in a Bison Books edition. Dan Jenkins is the author of Jenkins at the Majors: 60 Years of the World’s Best Golf Writing, from Hogan to Tiger.

"If this collection of 49 sports pieces is a true measure of John Lardner's talent, it's almost scandalous that the work of Ring's oldest son has not appeared in book form for some 50 years. . . . A collection well worth the wait."—Alan Moores, Booklist

"In these days of chest-thumping anthropoids on ESPN, it does one's heart good to read Lardner (son of Ring) once again and to be reminded that there really was a golden age of sportswriting."—Henry Kisor,The Recluctant Blogger

"Fortunately for us, John Schulian, a distinguished sportswriter in his own right. . . has put together an invigorating sample of Lardner's best sportswriting, [The John Lardner Reader is] a generous and representative blend of Lardner's Newsweek columns, newspaper stories and freelance magazine pieces."—Alex Belth,

"While his fellow sportswriters were perfecting new techniques in the line of hero worship, Lardner was exploring sporting celebrity as performance, a way of hiding private obsessions and defeats, and a love, above all, of money and the high life. That he wrote about what he saw with such a light, clean touch doesn't diminish the basic darkness of his vision. Lardner, his mind on a time already past, saw LeBron James, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Alex Rodriguez coming. He was appalled."—Tim Marchman, Wall Street Journal

"Lardner, who unfortunately died 50 years ago a couple of calendars short of his 50th birthday, fortunately has Schulian in his corner and reintroducing his work to a generation of scribes who could benefit from the opportunity to step back and reassess their craft."—Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News

"The John Lardner Reader is a terrific book because the best of John Lardner is extraordinarily good. And nobody should dismiss even the worst of him. . . . It is a great joy to see his work recollected and republished."—Bill Littlefield, Boston Globe

Also of Interest

Paper Tiger
Stanley Woodward

Farewell to Sport
Paul Gallico

Twilight of the Long-ball Gods
John Schulian

Scoring from Second
Philip F. Deaver