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Communication & Media

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New Paltz professor, legendary sports journalist to read excerpts from new book

02/22/2005

NEW PALTZ -- For more than five decades, author and journalist Roger Kahn has written about some of the most famous people in America - from Willie Mays to Muhammad Ali to Robert Frost. Now the best of Kahn's observations and insights, taken from his books and magazine articles, has been collected in an anthology that has been edited and organized by State University of New York at New Paltz journalism professor Robert Miraldi.

The book is titled "Beyond the Boys of Summer: The Very Best of Roger Kahn" and will hit bookstores in March. The anthology, from McGraw-Hill Publishers, showcases Kahn's work from his days as a star newspaper reporter in New York City; his years as an award-winning magazine columnist; and his third life as one of America's most highly regarded writers of nonfiction books.

Miraldi and Kahn will read excerpts from the new book at 7 p.m. on March 5 at Ariel Booksellers in the Village of New Paltz.

Miraldi, a New Paltz faculty member since 1982, has written two books of his own and edited a third. The latest book, which includes his long essay on Kahn's life and work, began in part when Miraldi collaborated with Kahn who was the college's James H. Ottaway, Sr. Endowed Professor of journalism last year.

Included is a new segment by Kahn on "The Wonder of Writing," as well as the first-ever bibliography of Kahn's works, showing the breadth of his reportage and writing. Kahn is most famous for his best-selling 1972 book, "The Boys of Summer," which Sports Illustrated named the best baseball book of all time. It stamped Kahn as one of America's foremost literary journalists. However, Kahn is also the author of 18 other books, including "The Era," which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. While Kahn has often been called the dean of American sports writers and the best baseball writer in the country, his work - as this new book shows - goes well beyond sports.

"Assembling Kahn's work was a labor of love," Miraldi said. "Kahn's writing is lyrical, poetic and often highly political and social."

More information about the SUNY New Paltz James H. Ottaway, Sr. Endowed Professorship is available at www.newpaltz.edu/ottaway.