Fall Into These Reads

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The cool autumn season may send us indoors, but not without plenty of new book titles to pursue. Here is a roundup of new books, from sports to biography to recent history and fiction that you should get comfy with this fall.

In the Name of the Father: Family, Football, and the Manning Dynasty

By Mark Ribowsky (Liveright)

With Eli Manning’s New York Giant career winding down, the time is right for another book on football’s First Family, in this case, In the Name of the Father by Mark Ribowsky. No one who ever saw Archie Manning play at Ole Miss could forget this phenom who could run and pass for yardage with equal skill. Archie’s career in the NFL was spent with mediocre New Orleans Saints teams, but he toughed it out for 13 years in the pros. His sons also had great college careers, but better luck in the NFL. Archie could run and pass. His son, Peyton was a drop-back quarterback and probably the greatest offensive force the game has ever seen. The forgotten Manning is Cooper, Peyton’s older brother, whose budding career as a wide receiver at Ole Miss was cut short by injury. Along came the third son, Eli. Peyton shocked college football fans by choosing the University of Tennessee, but Eli, as with Cooper, signed up for Ole Miss. After a stellar college career, Eli won two memorable Super Bowl wins for the New York Giants. For many fans, it remains a scandal that neither Archie or Peyton ever won a Heisman Trophy. This is a timely book, but the author lets anger get the best of him when confronting the crossroads between sports and politics.

Basketball: A Love Story

By Jackie MacMullen, Rafe Bartholomew and Dan Klores (Crown)

An oral history and a labor of love, in which one great after another tells both their story and the story of the game itself, this book follows a standard history: Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, Julius Erving and George Gervin to the Golden Age of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan to finally, the era of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Space also is given to the college coaches who dominated: John Wooden, Frank McGuire, Dean Smith, Bobby Knight and his star pupil, Mike Krzyzewski. The book covers the game in the postwar era. A nod to the rowdy, New York City-dominated game of the 1920s and ‘30s would have been helpful.

From Cold War To Hot Peace

By Michael McFaul (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

From Cold War To Hot Peace is an account of a diplomat who was a child of the Cold War who also held a lifelong yearning for relations between the United States and Russia. McFaul was the architect of the Obama Administration’s “reset” policy with Moscow. That policy yielded an arms control agreement during the reign of Dmirty Medevev. However, once Vladimir Putin regained the president’s office, things went sour. Putin apparently felt his hold on power was tenuous and so, the author contends, he looked for a nation to blame. This book is a blow-by-blow account of disagreements with Washington and Moscow over human rights and Syria, with the 2014 Russian invasion of the Ukraine blowing the reset policy to pieces. McFaul predicts another long winter of relations between the two nuclear giants.

Clock Dance

By Anne Tyler (Knopf)

Novelist Anne Tyler returns to Baltimore once again for Clock Dance, a fiction novel about an elderly woman who has survived the deaths of loved ones, only to be pleasantly surprised by the discovery of a new family life and a sense of community in her hometown.

Young Washington

By Peter Stark (Ecco)

The French and Indian War mattered greatly in that restless colonials realized that the mighty British Empire could be confronted and maybe defeated. The Revolutionary War was around the corner. The young George Washington wore the British red during his ill-fated battle at Fort Necessity. Young Washington is a scholarly biography that once again introduces the reader to the man’s great ambition and the influence his older half-brother, Lawrence, had on Washington.

The Improbable Wendell Willkie

By David Levering Lewis (Liveright)

Recent biographies include The Improbable Wendell Willkie, a spirited attempt to resurrect Willkie, the long-forgotten Indiana businessman who became the Republican Party’s losing presidential nominee in the pivotal 1940 election. Willkie matters. Going into 1940, the GOP was America First, but its Wall Street donors were internationalist. Willkie won the nomination over Robert Taft and the GOP was never the same. After losing to Franklin Roosevelt, Willkie helped to steer the GOP further into the internationalist column, forging both a World War II and Cold War bipartisan consensus that held for a good 70 years.

The Children Act

By Ian McEwan (Random House)

Ian McEwan’s work of fiction, The Children Act, is a paperback reprint of a 2014 novel about a family court judge who gets involved with a young patient, a novel that is now being made into a major motion picture.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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