Books & Publications

Discussion in 'Members Zone' started by UKCowboysFan, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. UKCowboysFan

    UKCowboysFan Member

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    Hi there, I was wondering if any of you guys or gals had any recommendations for good books about the Cowboys.

    I have recently read the "Boys will be Boys" book (by Jeff Pearlman), and also have a copy of the “Greatest Team Ever” which I bought from the Cowboys Pro-shop.

    It's sometimes difficult to buy these things on the net, without being able to pick them up & skim through first, so any personal recommendations would be most helpful.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    One of our members fgoodwin is the best source you will ever find for this answer.

    PM him from the link above and he will know every single book.
  3. UKCowboysFan

    UKCowboysFan Member

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    OK Thanks
  4. fgoodwin

    fgoodwin Well-Known Member

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    Thanx for the flattering recommendation, Hoss. UKFan, I will answer your question after a shameless plug:


    To anyone who reads Cowboy books: I have compiled a list of over 300 books about the Cowboys (of course most are long out of print). If anyone wants a copy, please PM me and include your email address.


    UKFan: the Pearlman book was one of the best I've read, and unlike reviews to the contrary (most of which haven't read the book but simply repeat the most salacious stories), it isn't a hack job on the Cowboys. I thought it was a realistic view of things that happened back in the '90s and shows how many of those guys have since redeemed themselves.

    But to answer your question: its hard to recommend specific titles w/o knowing more about what you're looking for. If you like to read team histories, you could do worse than "Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes" by Peter Golenbock (or his recent update, "Landry's Boys").

    If you like biographies, there are several about Tom Landry, and a few about Roger Staubach. Many players have written autobiographies: Walt Garrison, Tony Dorsett, Harvey Martin, Bill Bates, Preston Pearson & Drew Pearson. Bob Lilly's bio was released in 2008 and is titled "A Cowboy's Life". I have to admit I was looking for more "inside stuff" but it was good read nonetheless. Emmitt's bio was released while he was still playing, "The Emmitt Zone". As far as I know, Michael Irvin hasn't written a bio, although there is a child's book about him.

    Tex Schramm's bio was written by Bob St. John ("Tex!"; the paperback is exactly the same book but renamed "Never Just a Game"). Of course, Jerry has a couple of books already. Many of the OOP titles are available via online used bookstores.

    And I know what you mean about buying a book sight unseen. To address that problem, take a look at the reviews on (some of which I've written). Not all the books have customer reviews -- for those, you have to rely on the publisher's blurb, or you can post a specific title here and I'll tell you what I know about it.

    If there is something more specific you're looking for, please post here and I will reply.
  5. UKCowboysFan

    UKCowboysFan Member

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    Thank's for the info, I have ordered a copy of Landry's Boys.

    I have a copy of Bill Bates' bio.

    I would like a good biography of Tom Landry, is there one you would recommend?
  6. fgoodwin

    fgoodwin Well-Known Member

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    Let me list the ones I know of, with a blurb about each one:

    1979 (*) St. John, Bob. 'The Man Inside...Landry'. Waco, TX: Word Books. 1st of the many Landry bios, written while he was still coaching.

    1989 (*) St. John, Bob. 'The Landry Legend: Grace Under Pressure'. Dallas: Word Publishing. 2nd bio, 1st after the firing.

    1990 Bayless, Skip. 'God's Coach: The Hymns, Hype, and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry's Cowboys'. NY: Simon & Schuster. An irreverent view of the "man in the funny hat". Skippy is not a favorite among Cowboy fans and this book tends to get negative reviews, even from objective reviewers.

    1990 (*) Landry, Tom & Gregg Lewis. 'Tom Landry: An Autobiography'. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 4th bio overall; 3rd "post-JJ"

    2000 Kaski, Jennifer Briggs. 'The Book of Landry'. TowleHouse Publishing. Not a bio exactly; quotes and testimonials

    2000 (*) St. John, Bob. 'Landry: The Legend and the Legacy'. Thomas Nelson. 1st bio released after his passing, and probably the best.

    2001 Freeman, Denne and Jaime Aron. 'I Remember Tom Landry'. Sports Publishing LLC. Not a bio exactly; remembrances by those who knew him.

    2009 Snyder, Donnie and Ken Horton. 'Tom Landry: Man of Character'. Cross Training Publishing. Snyder worked with Landry at FCA.

    (*) These are "authorized" biographies, written either by or with Coach Landry, or with his cooperation.

    I'd say the best of the lot, if you can buy only one, is the 2000 Bob St. John book, 'Landry: The Legend and the Legacy'. Other fans may have a different view and are free to chime in. Its been a long time since I've read most of these, but that's the one I'd recommend. Before you make a final decision, take a look at each one on Amazon, read the customer reviews (if available) and the publisher blurbs also.

    Good luck; come back and tell us what you think after you get a chance to read them.
  7. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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  8. fgoodwin

    fgoodwin Well-Known Member

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    Whittingham's book is indeed awesome and one every book-loving Cowboy fan should have on his or her shelf. As bbgun said, it is long out of print, but used copies are available, for example, at Amazon.

    Before agreeing to buy a used copy, be sure to ask the seller if the copy is an 'ex-library' copy. 'Ex-lib' copies are usually in poor shape and many still have library tags, stickers, even pocket cards still attached to them. Some may be missing the dust jacket. Most decriptions go into very little detail about condition, because sellers have hundreds even thousands of items they are trying to move. So be sure to ask questions before buying. Other questions: does it smell of cigarette smoke (if that's an issue for you); is the spine cocked or cracked; are the boards warped; does it have a dust-jacket and is it in good condition with no tears; are the pages in good shape with no dog-ears; any high-lighting or underlining; any notes in the margins; have any photos been cut-out (you'd be surprised how many times this happens); any water damage; etc.

    Finally, ask if the purchase price includes putting the dust-jacket in a brodart sleeve (the clear plastic sleeves that libraries use to protect books and dust jackets). Many sellers will do this but you have to ask.

    In a word: buyer beware, but most used book sellers are happy to answer your questions.

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