Barney Polan's Game: A Novel of the 1951 College Basketball Scandals

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Seven Stories Press, 1998 - Fiction - 336 pages
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Rosen's new book, Barney Polan's Game, is a fictional account of the college basketball scandals of 1950-51, when players, coaches, bookies, and gangsters conspired to fix the outcomes of games. Their exposure affected the basketball world the same way the 1919 Black Sox scandal affected baseball. For all sports fans, the game was irrevocably corrupted by power and big money. Each principal character in Barney Polan's Game speaks directly to the reader, giving his or her perspective as events unfold. The most prominent voice is that of Barney Polan himself - the veteran sportswriter. Dubbed the "verse of the peepul" by a colleague, he borrows from Shakespeare and Brooklynese for his columns in The Brooklyn Sentinel. Each of the characters - coaches, bookies, players, family members - desperately tries to control the uncertain events around them in whatever way he or she can. Unsettling aspects of postwar America loom in the background: racism, class injustice, fears of nuclear annihilation, and the McCarthy hearings.

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Barney Polan's game: a novel of the 1951 college basketball scandals

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Basketball writer Rosen's eighth book is a novelization of the notorious point-shaving incident recounted in his Scandals of '51: How the Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball (1978). A fine ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

A native of the Bronx and longtime pal of basketball guru Phil Jackson, CHARLEY ROSEN led the league in technical fouls during each of his six years as a coach in the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association. Since then he has become the world's foremost writer of fiction and nonfiction on the subject of basketball, chronicling the drama that takes place both on and off the court. His many novels include The House of Moses All-Stars, a New York Times Notable Book, and Sammy Wong: All-American. His non-fiction works include The Scandals of '51: How the Gamblers Almost Killed College Basketball and More than a Game, with Phil Jackson. Rosen is an analyst for hoopshype.com and a devotee of the Triangle Offense. He lives in Accord, NY.

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