Born in a log cabin in the Ozarks, Alvin "Titanic" Thompson (1892-1974) traveled with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. He won and lost millions playing cards, dice, golf, pool, and dangerous games of his own invention. He killed five men and married five women, each one a teenager on her wedding day. He ruled New York's underground craps games in the 1920s and was Damon Runyon's model for slick-talking Sky Masterson.
On the 50th anniversary of her murder, Kevin Cook presents the real Kitty Genovese. She was a vibrant young woman - unbeknownst to most, a lesbian - a bartender working (and dancing) her way through the colorful, fast-changing New York of the ’60s, a cultural kaleidoscope marred by the Kennedy assassination, the Cold War, and race riots. Downtown, Greenwich Village teemed with beatniks, folkies, and so-called misfits like Kitty and her lover. Kitty Genovese evokes the Village’s gay and lesbian underground with deep feeling and colorful detail.
"Myths aside, still a fascinating story."
When The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970, black faces were still rare on television, black hosts nonexistent. So how did Clerow “Flip” Wilson go from Jersey City grade-school dropout to national celebrity, heralded on the cover of Time as “TV’s first black superstar”? Flip is a candid, entertaining biography of a consummate comedian who changed the face of American popular culture. Kevin Cook chronicles Flip’s meteoric rise through the Chitlin’ Circuit of segregated nightclubs to his breakthrough on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show to his hit variety show, on which he created outrageous and hilarious characters.
"Flip, what a life..."
The inside story of the most colorful decade in NFL history - pro football's raging, hormonal, hairy, druggy, immortal adolescence. Between the Immaculate Reception in 1972 and The Catch in 1982, pro football grew up. In 1972, Steelers star Franco Harris hitchhiked to practice. NFL teams roomed in skanky motels. They played on guts, painkillers, legal steroids, fury, and camaraderie. A decade later, Joe Montana's gleamingly efficient 49ers ushered in a new era: the corporate, scripted, multibillion-dollar NFL we watch today.
"Nothing New for Me"
Bret Boone made history in 1992 as the first third-generation major leaguer in baseball history. A five-foot-ten firecracker who was spurned by scouts for his small size, supposed lack of power, and temper tantrums (one scout called him a "helmet-throwing terror"), Bret didn't care about family legacy; he wanted to make his own way. He did just that, building a 14-year career that included three all-star appearances, four Gold Gloves, a bout with alcoholism, and the ignominy of being traded for the infamous "player to be named later."
"Good stories, but bad story teller"