All Those the Post: The 20th Cen­tu­ry in Sports From Famed Wash­ing­ton Post Columnist

Shirley Povich
  • Review
By – June 25, 2012
As a writer, Shirley Povich was pol­ished, direct and force­ful. He spent an astound­ing 75 years at the Wash­ing­ton Post, writ­ing most­ly about sports. This is the first col­lec­tion of his work. 

This book gath­ers a mere frac­tion of his writ­ing — 120 columns or so — but it does so admirably well. Its selec­tions span eight decades and the terms of 14 pres­i­dents, includ­ing War­ren G. Hard­ing, to whom the teenage Povich was intro­duced on the day he arrived in Wash­ing­ton. His last col­umn was print­ed June 5, 1998, in the same edi­tion as his obituary. 

The col­lec­tion has been weight­ed to empha­size cer­tain top­ics and themes, and one of them is Povich’s Jew­ish­ness — it hov­ers in and around columns about the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Ger­many, the mur­der of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and on a more cheer­ful note the careers of Hank Green­berg and Sandy Koufax. The essays that start and end the book call atten­tion to Povich’s life, which began as that of an immigrant’s son in Bar Har­bor, Maine, where a minyan might depend on who arrived on the next boat. 
David Cohen is a senior edi­tor at Politi­co. He has been in the jour­nal­ism busi­ness since 1985 and wrote the book Rugged and Endur­ing: The Eagles, The Browns and 5 Years of Foot­ball. He resides in Rockville, MD.; his wife, Deb­o­rah Bod­in Cohen, writes Jew­ish children’s books.

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