Tag Archive | "tom clavin"

Clavin Earns Spot on NY Times Best Sellers List

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Author, journalist, professor and Sag Harbor resident Tom Clavin has earned a spot on The New York Times best sellers list for his book, “The Heart of Everything That Is,” co-written by Bob Drury. The biography of Red Cloud, the influential Sioux leader, the book examines his life and military prowess as well as the Plains Indians’ changing way of life in the 1850s and ’60s. The book appeared in the number 10 position on The New York Times Print Paperback Best Sellers, non-fiction, on September 21. It was the book’s first week on the list.

Fridays at Five Continues at Hampton Library

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Mr. Clavin and Mr. Drury will discuss their latest collaboration, pictured above.

The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton will kick off its long-running Fridays at Five program with a discussion by Tom Clavin and Bob Drury on Friday, July 11.

Back for its 31st year, the Fridays at Five program is a series of book discussions that runs for eight weeks over the summer season.

Mr. Clavin and Mr. Drury will discuss their latest collaboration The Heart of Everything That Is; The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend, which recounts the history of the Sioux warrior-statesman who was the only American Indian to defeat a United States Army.

Mr. Clavin, the associate editor of The Medical Herald and The Spiritual Herald, has written for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Men’s Journal and Reader’s Digest. He also was the editor-in-chief for The Independent newspaper and currently writes for The Southampton Press. Mr. Drury is a contributing editor and foreign correspondent for Men’s Health magazine and is an award-winning journalist who has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair and GQ.

The hour-long discussion will begin at 5 p.m., but the gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served outside in the garden. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase and signing.

Admission is $15, but attendees can buy a pack of five tickets for $60.

For more information, call the Hampton Library at (631) 537-0015 or visit its website at www.hamptonlibrary.org.

A Special Anniversary for Fridays at Five

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By Stephen J. Kotz

For the past 29 years, you could set your watch to “Fridays at Five, which, as its name implies, began promptly at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoons on the back lawn of the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton.

So why not throw a little curve ball when it comes time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the long-running author lecture series sponsored by the Friends of the Hampton Library by holding the party at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday, May 10?

One thing’s for certain. If the series had been named “Saturdays at 4:30,” it probably wouldn’t still be around today.

This year’s eight-week lineup is made up of familiar faces including E.L. Doctorow, Gail Sheehy, Roger Rosenblatt, and Tom Clavin and Bob Drury, as well as newcomers Allen Salkin, Alexandra Styron, Kim Stolz, and Jon Robin Baitz.

The kickoff party will feature a roundtable discussion led by the author Steven Gaines that will focus on the past, present and future of publishing as well as the impact of “Fridays at Five” on the community. Joining Mr. Gaines in the discussion will be the authors Ms. Sheehy, Linda Bird Franke, Paul Goldberger, and publisher Bill Henderson, the owner of Pushcart Press.

“I’m hoping it will be like people sitting around the dinner table having a discussion,” Mr. Gaines said on Monday. “It’s definitely not going to be a lecture. I’m hoping it will be lots of fun and very loose.”

All the participants, he added, “have our apprehensions about where publishing is going.” That said, Mr. Gaines said he was not expecting doom and gloom.

Of the “Fridays at Five” series, at which he has appeared several times, Mr. Gaines was effusive in his praise.

“I don’t think there is anything else like in the world,” he said. “It’s just a great, great event where writers and readers come together. It’s up close, and very intimate in that beautiful backyard.”

Anne Marshall, the president of the Friends of the Hampton Library, said that “Fridays at Five” got its early start time, in part, because of a compromise reached with Elaine Benson, the owner of the eponymous gallery down the street, who typically held her own openings on Friday evenings. If the Friends held their gatherings at 5 p.m., the groups decided, Ms. Benson would hold hers at 6 p.m., allowing people to glide from one event to the next and have a pleasant way to start their weekends.

“It has developed a pretty solid following, Ms. Marshall said of “Fridays at Five.” “The time has been honored by a lot of other organizations” when they schedule their own summertime activities.

In organizing Saturday’s event, Ms. Marshall said the Friends decided to address a major issue addressing its writers. “Certainly, publishing has changed over the years,” she said. “Why not talk about what publishing has meant to them?”

All the participants, she added, have “presented at ‘Fridays at Five’ in different ways.’ We didn’t want to pick people who had only written a memoir. We wanted to concentrate on professional writers and we know Steven is a really good interviewer.”

This summer’s lineup of authors “looks great,” Ms. Marshall said. “There is a good variety of older and young writers.”

Tickets for Saturday’s anniversary event, which takes place at the library are $20 and can be purchased at the library. For more information call 537-0015.


The 2014 “Fridays at Five” Authors

July 11, Tom Clavin and Bob Drury, whose latest collaboration is “The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend.”

July 18,  E.L. Doctorow, the award-winning novelist, whose latest book is “Andrew’s Brain.”

July 25, Allen Salkin, the journalist, whose recent book “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network,” was named by NPR as one of the best books of 2013.

August 1, Alexandra Styron, the author of “Reading My Father: A Memoir,” which explores her life as the youngest daughter of the novelist William Styron.

August 8, Roger Rosenblatt, whose most recent book is “The Boy Detective.”

August 15, Kim Stolz, whose first book, “Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I’ll Never Do,” was recently published.

August 22, Jon Robin Baitz, the playwright who is the author of “Other Desert Cities.”

August 29, Gail Sheehy, the author of many books, whose most recent is a memoir, “Daring: My Passages.”

“Fridays at Five” Talks take place on the back lawn of the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton at 5 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $15. For more information, call 537-0015.

Speaking Up for Gil Hodges

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By Amy Patton

“He was a class act,” said Tom Clavin, a local author and journalist of the late baseball player Gil Hodges, the subject of Clavin’s latest non-fiction effort with co-writer Danny Peary; Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, The Miracle Mets and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend.

A class act, perhaps, and no doubt a talented player and manager who died tragically of a heart attack in 1972, just two days shy of his 48th birthday.

“Gil was an incredibly modest and humble guy,” said Clavin.

Hodges was a player, according to most reports, who shied away from fame and publicity and focused on his performance and contributions to his team. But in the minds of baseball fans of the 1940s and 1950s era of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the memory of Hodges’ true accomplishments may be, well, a little muddled.

“One of the interesting things about Gil Hodges is that he is still so undervalued as a great player,” said Peary.

Hodges’ name, no doubt, is not as easily recognizable as players from the famous “Boys of Summer” era, such as Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and “Pee Wee” Reese who commandeered the diamond on Brooklyn’s fabled Ebbets Field.

Although Hodges shares much in common with those star players, it’s somewhat distressing to the authors that Hodges has not yet been inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, an omission, they say, as equally tragic as the player’s own death at a relatively young age.

“It’s the baseball equivalent of a miscarriage of justice,” said Clavin.

Peary and Clavin are hoping their new book about Hodges’ life, particularly his little-known Bronze star-decorated service in World War II as a Marine gunner, will bring new light to what they describe as an exemplary sports career and life as a gentleman athlete.

It’s a life, they argue, that deserves induction and Hall of Fame recognition.

“It’s really the reason I wanted to write this book,” said Peary. “Today many people think of Gil Hodges as just a very good ballplayer. It’s a distortion of history that truly bothers me. He should get his due.”

Surprisingly, the man himself may not have put much stock into the accolade were he alive today, according to accounts in the book by his widow Joan Hodges.

“Joan told me when she asked Gil about it, he replied, ‘It’s just not that big a deal to me.’ And it probably wasn’t. He was just such an incredibly modest guy. But I think to his family (Gil is survived by his wife and four children: Gil, Jr., Cynthia, Irene, and Barbara) it would mean a lot.”

There are “certain milestones,” explained Clavin, that automatically transform a player into a Hall-of-Famer.

One, he said, is achieving a .300 lifetime batting average and the other a minimum of 500 career home runs.

“Gil didn’t have either one of those. But he played 16 seasons for the Dodgers and the Mets.”

Hodges, as a player and later as a manager of the New York Mets, was on three World Championship teams.

“He was really consistent in everything he did,” said Clavin.

Like many sports greats, Hodges had his roots in humble beginnings: His father Charlie worked for decades in the coal mines near Petersburg, Indiana. Passionate about sports, Hodges lettered in baseball, football, basketball and track during his high school tenure. His first season as a professional ballplayer came in 1947 when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers as the team’s catcher.

Hodges continued his career with the Dodgers after the franchise relocated to Los Angeles in April of 1958. In 1963, he moved into management with the Washington Senators and in 1969, coaxed the “Miracle Mets,” as they were dubbed in the press, into a world championship as manager, defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles.

Clavin and Peary are not strangers to collaborating on literary sports projects. In 2012, the writing team released “Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero,” which received a warm reception among critics and readers. Clavin also expects the debut of his upcoming book in October of next year, “The Heart of Everything That Is: The Life and Times of Red Cloud, the Most Powerful Warrior Chief of the West” with co-author Bob Drury.

The authors hold hopes that their new book will encourage reader interest that could spur an official nod to Hodges from Baseball’s Hall of Fame (HOF). That ambition nearly came to fruition last year when Hodges was considered for induction yet again by the HOF committee, which is composed of members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. In December of last year the committee voted on the matter “but he came up short,” said Clavin. Another vote regarding Hodges’ inclusion is slated to happen again in late 2013.

“Gil Hodges: The Brooklyn Bums, The Miracle Mets and the Extraordinary Life of a Baseball Legend” will be one of many books showcased by local authors – both Clavin and Peary are longtime Sag Harbor residents – at the celebrated annual Author’s Night at The East Hampton Library, which will be held on Saturday, August 11.