Golenbock, Peter 1946–

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Golenbock, Peter 1946–

PERSONAL: Born July 19, 1946, in New York, NY; son of Jerome (an attorney and art dealer) and Annette Golenbock; married Rhonda Sonnenberg; children: Charles. Education: Dartmouth College, B.A. (with honors), 1967; New York University, J.D., 1970.

ADDRESSES: HomeSt. Petersburg, FL. Agent—The Literary Group International, The Stanford Bldg., 51 E. 25th St., Ste. 401, New York, NY 10010. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Sports columnist for newspapers in Stamford, CT, 1968–70, and in New York, NY, 1970; Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, editor in legal department, 1972; North Bergen Suburbanite, Englewood, NJ, political reporter, 1975; Bergen Record, Bergen, NJ, reporter and editor, 1975–78.

WRITINGS:

Dynasty: The New York Yankees, 1949–1964, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1975.

(With Sparky Lyle) The Bronx Zoo, Crown (New York, NY), 1979.

(With Ron Guidry) Guidry, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1980.

(With Billy Martin) Number 1, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1980.

The Boss: George Steinbrenner's Story, Crown (New York, NY), 1982.

Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodger, Putnam (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Graig Nettles) Balls, Putnam (New York, NY), 1984.

(With Pete Rose) Pete Rose on Hitting: How to Hit Better than Anybody, Perigee Books (New York, NY), 1985.

Bats, Putnam (New York, NY), 1986.

How to Win at Rotisserie Baseball: The Strategic Guide to America's New National (Armchair) Pastime, Vintage Books (New York, NY), 1987.

Personal Fouls, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1989.

Teammates, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1990.

The Forever Boys: The Bittersweet World of Major League Baseball as Seen through the Eyes of the Men Who Played One More Time, Carol Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1991.

Fenway: An Unexpurgated History of the Boston Red Sox, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.

American Zoom: Stock Car Racing, from the Dirt Tracks to Daytona, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1993.

Wild, High and Tight: The Life and Death of Billy Martin, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1994.

Wrigleyville: A Magical History Tour of the Chicago Cubs, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1996.

(Editor, with Greg Fielden) The Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1997.

Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes: The Definitive Oral History of America's Team, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1997.

The Last Lap: The Life and Times of NASCAR's Legendary Heroes, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1998.

The Superstar Hitter's Bible: Winning Tips, Techniques, and Strategies from Baseball's Top Players, Contemporary Books (Lincolnwood, IL), 1998.

(With Ernie Irvan and Debra Hart Nelson) No Fear: Ernie Irvan, the NASCAR Driver's Story of Tragedy and Triumph, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1999.

The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns, Spike (New York, NY), 2000.

Hank Aaron: Brave in Every Way, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2001.

(Editor, with Greg Fielden and Russ Thompson) Total Stock Car Racing, Sports Illustrated (Kingston, NY), 2001.

Go Gators!: An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends (St. Petersburg, FL), 2002.

Amazin': The Miraculous History of New York's Most Beloved Baseball Team, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Phil Esposito) Thunder and Lightning: A No-B.S. Hockey Memoir, Triumph Books (Chicago, IL), 2003.

(Editor, with Greg Fielden) NASCAR Encyclopedia, Motorbooks International, (St. Paul, MN), 2003.

NASCAR Confidential: Stories of the Men and Women Who Made Stock Car Racing Great, Motorbooks International (St. Paul, MN), 2004.

Red Sox Nation: An Unexpurgated History of the Boston Red Sox, Triumph Books (Chicago, IL), 2005.

Landry's Boys: An Oral History of a Team and an Era, Triumph Books (Chicago, IL), 2005.

(With Johnny Damon) Idiot: Beating 'The Curse' and Enjoying the Game of Life, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 2005.

Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Some of Golenbock's books have been published in foreign languages, including Spanish.

ADAPTATIONS: Several of Golenbock's books have been adapted for audio, including Bums: an Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Blackstone, c. 2000.

SIDELIGHTS: Peter Golenbock is a sports historian who has had many books appear on the New York Times bestseller list. Especially popular are his books on sports teams, such as Wrigleyville: A Magical History Tour of the Chicago Cubs and The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns. Golenbock is also highly successful as a ghostwriter, helping sports greats such as NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan and baseball legend Pete Rose put their thoughts down on paper.

Reviewing Wrigleyville in Booklist, Wes Lukowsky remarked: "The Chicago Cubs have had a 50-year reign as baseball's lovable losers, but this chronicle of their tear-stained history is a winner all the way." Golenbock covers the origins of the team, its early years when winning seemed easy, and its lapse into perennial-loser status after World War II. The shortcomings of chewing-gum millionaire Phil Wrigley and his family—former owners of the team—as well as the failings of the Chicago Tribune company, which later bought the team, are carefully detailed. "Baseball players are very good at remembering details, and few can draw them out like Golenbock," stated Lukowsky. Cubs fans, he wrote, "will find something to enjoy in this celebratory history of their team." Golenbock completed a similar undertaking in The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns, detailing the story behind the St. Louis Cardinals and their now-defunct crosstown rivals, the Browns. In another Booklist review, Lukowsky commented that Golenbock "makes good use of the traditional oral-history formula—letting the participants tell the story in their own words." Lukowsky added: "The result is a vibrant, seamless account."

Golenbock also wrote Hank Aaron: Brave in Every Way. The story begins with Aaron's humble youth and then follows him in the pursuit of his dream to play major league baseball after the color barrier had been broken by Jackie Robinson. Ilene Cooper observed in Booklist that the "pictures and text capture the excitement, determination, and impressive victory of Aaron's accomplishment." A Publishers Weekly contributor added appreciatively: "Golenbock's prose is straightforward but full of drama and poignancy."

Amazin': The Miraculous History of New York's Most Beloved Baseball Team focuses on the history of the New York Mets. The author traces the team's founding and the installation of the legendary Casey Stengel as its first manager. He also writes of their improbable victory in the World Series in 1969 and brings readers up to date on the early twenty-first-century Mets. "Not just for die-hard Mets fans, this will appeal to all readers who want to better understand the game and business of major-league baseball," attested a Kirkus Reviews contributor. GraceAnne A. DeCandido, writing in Booklist, commented: "No quote, anecdote, or story seems to be left out of veteran sportswriter Golenbock's saga of the Mets."

Golenbock collaborated with NASCAR stock-car driver Ernie Irvan to produce No Fear: Ernie Irvan, the NASCAR Driver's Story of Tragedy and Triumph. The book begins with an account of the horrific 1994 crash that almost cost the popular driver his life. According to Lukowsky in Booklist, the coauthors did a fine job of revealing the incredible amount of "preparation, research, and technology that goes into each race." The race-car driver's keen determination and skill are also well-drawn as Golenbock "deftly guides Irvan through his life and times." Lukowsky added: "As sports autobiographies go, this is an enjoyable ride with a man who is proud of his accomplishments but humble enough to share the glory."

In another car-racing book, Golenbock and legend Bobby Allison wrote Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang. In this probing biography, Allison and Golenbock chronicle Allison's career and the often tragic impact it has had on the driver's family. A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that the story is "told with thrusting energy, even while tragedy after tragedy sucks the air out of the room."

Golenbock told CA: "Who influenced my writing? When I was thirteen years old at summer camp in New Hampshire, I came upon James Michenor's Hawaii. I was mesmerized the rest of the summer. Later I picked up Exodus by Leon Uris. Over the years I read most of the books they wrote. I was aware that writers like Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald were such geniuses that I could never write like them, so when I found writers who wrote well, but who I felt I could aspire to become—Michener and Uris are two that come to mind—I read them exhaustively, hoping something might rub off. I was fascinated by the way they put words together, and I as I read their books, I would write down passages which appealed to me. I was also mightily impressed by the writings of Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin in newspapers, and Roger Kahn and Ed Linn in SPORT magazine. I collected their columns and articles for years.

"My greatest influence, for certain, was Dr. Joseph R. Kidd, the headmaster of St. Luke's School in New Canaan, Connecticut. I attended St. Luke's from the sixth grade until my graduation, and during that time Dr. Kidd made us write a composition every Monday in class, and he taught us the importance of grammar. We learned to diagram sentences, an art sadly lost to today's generation of writers. I took Latin at St. Luke's, another helpful tool in learning how language works.

"At Dartmouth College I wrote about sports for four years, and I became the sports editor my junior year. I also wrote about Dartmouth sports for the New York Times and the Boston Globe. It was here that I became confident that I could write professionally. After three years at NYU Law School, where I spent a lot of time at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium, I worked a law job for six weeks and then quit. My father and uncle were lawyers, but it just wasn't for me.

"In 1972 I got a job working for the legal department of Prentice-Hall. Six weeks later, I walked down to the trade book division of the company, knocked on the door of the top editor, and talked myself into a contract for my first book, Dynasty. I've lived a charmed live ever since."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Spectator, February, 1994, Brock Yates, review of American Zoom: Stock Car Racing, from the Dirt Tracks to Daytona, p. 97.

Booklist, February 15, 1992, Wes Lukowsky, review of Fenway: An Unexpurgated History of the Boston Red Sox, p. 1081; September 15, 1993, Wes Lukowsky, review of American Zoom: Stock Car Racing, from the Dirt Tracks to Daytona, p. 117; June 1, 1994, Wes Lukowsky, review of Wild, High and Tight: The Life and Death of Billy Martin, p. 1758; February 1, 1996, Wes Lukowsky, review of Wrigleyville: A Magical History Tour of the Chicago Cubs, p. 912; May 15, 1997, Wes Lukowsky, review of Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes: The Definitive Oral History of America's Favorite Team, p. 1538; December 15, 1998, Wes Lukowsky, review of No Fear: Ernie Irvan, the NASCAR Driver's Story of Tragedy and Triumph, p. 706; January 1, 2000, Wes Lukowsky, review of The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns, p. 859; February 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Hank Aaron: Brave in Every Way, p. 1153; February 15, 2002, GraceAnne A. De Candido, review of Amazin': The Miraculous History of New York's Most Beloved Baseball Team, p. 984; December 15, 2005, Wes Lukowsky, review of The Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang, p. 13.

Business Week, April 15, 1991, review of The Forever Boys: The Bittersweet World of Major League Baseball as Seen through the Eyes of the Men Who Played One More Time, p. 14.

Car and Driver, December, 1993, John Phillips, review of American Zoom, p. 135.

Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 1989, "Book's Charges against N.C. State U. Stir a Storm," p. A33.

Economist, September 14, 1996, review of Wrigleyville, p. S4.

Horn Book, May-June, 1990, Anita Silvey, review of Teammates, p. 349.

Insight on the News, August 15, 1994, review of Wild, High and Tight, p. 30.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2002, review of Amazin', p. 28; December 1, 2005, review of Miracle, p. 1265.

Library Journal, July, 1980, Morey Berger, review of Guidry, p. 1534; October, 1980, Morey Berger, review of Number 1, p. 2102; May 15, 1985, review of Pete Rose on Hitting: How to Hit Better than Anybody, p. 77; May 1, 1986, Jo DeLapo, review of Bats, p. 128; August, 1989, review of Personal Fouls, p. 137; December, 1990, review of The Forever Boys: The Bittersweet World of Major League Baseball as Seen through the Eyes of the Men Who Played One More Time, p. 130; February 1, 1992, review of Fenway: An Unexpurgated History of the Boston Red Sox, p. 96; July, 1993, Eric C. Shoaf, review of American Zoom, p. 87; May 15, 1994, William H. Hoffman, review of Wild, High, and Tight, p. 78; February 1, 1996, Paul Kaplan, review of Wrigleyville, p. 78; February 1, 2000, Morey Berger, review of The Spirit of St. Louis, p. 95; February 1, 2002, Paul Kaplan and Robert C. Cottrell, review of Amazin', p. 102.

Los Angeles Magazine, September, 1980, review of Number 1, p. 215.

Motor Trend, February, 1994, Gregory Von Dare, review of American Zoom, p. 26.

New Choices for the Best Years, June, 1991, Raelene Saal, review of The Forever Boys, p. 95.

Newsweek, April 23, 1984, David Lehman, review of Balls, p. 75; August 14, 1989, Harry F. Waters, review of Personal Fouls, p. 62.

New Yorker, November 26, 1990, Faith McNulty, review of Teammates, p. 143.

New York Times Book Review, March 9, 1980, review of The Bronx Zoo, p. 31; November 2, 1980, Judy Klemesrud, review of Number 1, p. 42; May 31, 1981, reviews of Guidry and Number 1, p. 55; December 30, 1984, review of Bums, p. 18; August 27, 1989, Tim Whitaker, review of Personal Fouls, p. 12; April 14, 1991, review of The Forever Boys, p. 14; April 5, 1992, Margaret E. Guthrie, review of Fenway, p. 18; September 19, 1993, Dennis J. Carroll, review of American Zoom, p. 24; April 7, 1996, review of Wrigleyville, p. 16; August 31, 1997, David Davis, No Fear, p. 15; November 2, 1980.

People, September 22, 1980, review of Number 1, p. 16; May 28, 1984, review of Balls, p. 14; June 3, 1985, Ralph Novak, review of Pete Rose on Hitting, p. 16; May 14, 1990, review of Teammates, p. 36; April 27, 1992, Ross Drake, review of Fenway, p. 39.

Publishers Weekly, August 3, 1984, review of Bums, p. 61; March 14, 1986, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Bats, p. 94; April 13, 1990, review of Teammates, p. 68; January 4, 1991, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Forever Boys, p. 66; January 1, 1992, review of Fenway, p. 44; June 28, 1993, review of American Zoom, p. 62; May 30, 1994, review of Wild, High and Tight, p. 44; January 15, 1996, review of Wrigleyville, p. 452; May 26, 1997, review of Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes, p. 72; December 20, 1999, review of The Spirit of St. Louis, p. 70; April 9, 2001, review of Hank Aaron, p. 74; March 11, 2002, review of Amazin', p. 62; February 7, 2005, review of Hank Aaron, p. 62.

School Library Journal, January, 1981, Carol J. Saunders, review of Number 1, p. 77; June, 1990, Elaine Fort Weischedel, review of Teammates, p. 112; August, 2001, Holly T. Sneeringer, review of Hank Aaron, p. 168.

Sporting News, January 14, 1985, review of Bums, p. 58; August 21, 1989, review of Personal Fouls, p. 45; February 18, 1991, Steve Gietschier, review of The Forever Boys, p. 37.

Sports Illustrated, May 4, 1984, Jeremiah Tax, review of Balls, p. 9; March 6, 1989, John Feinstein, "The Ordeal of Jim Valvano," p. 9.

ONLINE

Literary Group, http://www.theliterarygroup.com/ (October 8, 2006), brief profile of Peter Golenbock.

Peter Golenbock Home Page, http://www.golenbockbooks.com (October 8, 2006).