Friday, May 06, 2011

What is John J. Miller reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: John J. Miller, author of several books, including The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football.

His entry begins:
Next fall, I’m teaching a college course on the history of journalism, so I’m reading and re-reading a lot of material that will appear on the syllabus--including Innocents Abroad, the book that made Mark Twain famous and helped invent the genre of travel journalism. “I am not here to write Patent-Office reports,” promises Twain during an early stop on his European tour. Instead, he delivers scathing observations about everything: “The community is eminently Portuguese--that is to say, it is slow, poor, shiftless, sleepy, and lazy.” Ouch! Almost nobody escapes Twain’s mockery. When our correspondent arrives in Milan and sets his eyes on The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, he comments that the students who are copying it are producing versions superior to the original. Twain himself, of course, is...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Big Scrum:
“Football enthusiasts and Theodore Roosevelt admirers will both enjoy and learn from these little-known but important historic events that preserved from extinction one of America’s favorite sports.”
--Tweed Roosevelt, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Association

“In Miller’s hands, the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s love for, and defense of, ‘the great game’ has as much vigor and passion as Roosevelt himself. It’s a fascinating and thoroughly American tale.”
—Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt

“A worthy addendum to the story of football’s rise ... [and] a good yarn.”

“…[Miller’s] on target with a necessarily selective biography highlighting Roosevelt’s lifelong affinity for sports and physical activity, thereby providing context for understanding why a president would devote valuable time to what was then a minor sport. Enjoyable history of a seldom explored turning point in American sports history.”
Learn more about the book and author at John J. Miller's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Big Scrum.

Writers Read: John J. Miller.

--Marshal Zeringue