Ira Berkow’s autobiography is hardly earth-shattering, but it does provide ample evidence of his writing skills. The New York Times columnist, whose 16 previous books include adroit biographies of Hank Greenberg and Rod Carew, chronicles the path that took him from his youth on Chicago’s West Side — he was all basketball and no books — into the world of writing.
Berkow is affable and very funny, often taking a breezy tone except when he’s being passionate about justice and truth. There seem to be two main purposes to his book: He deals with the state of newspaper writing (particularly sportswriting) past and present, making use of some fascinating anecdotes taken from a long and distinguished career. He also confronts his mortality by looking back at his parents. In sections that open and close the book, he eulogizes his father, Harold. Index.