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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

This will be the fourth debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
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“Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend” is a must-read for Jewish athletes

The book cover shows Glickman doing what he loved most; commentating on New York sports games. Photo from Amazon.com
The book cover shows Glickman doing what he loved most; commentating on New York sports games. Photo from Amazon.com

“Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend” written by Yeshiva University Professor Jeffrey S. Gurock, is an amazing and important read for any Jew, but especially for Jewish athletes. Although it is a particularly touching story for a Jewish reader, it was so inspiring and emotional that I would highly recommend it for everyone to read, no matter their religion. 

Published in 2023, the book dives deep into the life and difficulties of an American Jewish runner and football star, Marty Glickman, who lived from 1917-2001 and faced a tremendous amount of antisemitism, but was able to persevere.

This biography follows up Glickman’s 2001 autobiography, but differs as it focuses on the Jewish aspect of Glickman’s life and takes a deep dive into the hard times and high moments of his incredible career.

Glickman was a former collegiate athlete at Syracuse University in both football and track and field. He turned his athletic career into a career of radio and television broadcasting for college basketball, college football, NFL, NBA, NHL and other sports for the state of New York. He announced for the Jets, Giants, Knicks, Rangers as well as the pre and post-game coverage for the Yankees and Dodgers. He was the first ever television announcer for the NBA. He is now remembered as the voice of New York sports.

Gurock’s book goes into incredible detail about Glickman’s experiences and shows the reader the challenges of an American Jew during this time period. 

For example, Glickman’s rejection from the 1936 Olympics solely because he was Jewish is an impactful and important story. Glickman and his teammate Sam Stoller made the 1936 U.S. Olympic team for running, but were ultimately forced not to compete in their one assigned race, the 400m relay, because the Olympics were occurring in Nazi Germany. The U.S. coach didn’t want to embarrass the U.S. by having Jews compete on the national team in front Hitler and possibly lead to Hitler pulling them from the competition. 

Gurrock did an incredible job describing the life of Glickman and the antisemitism he faced in a way that makes the reader feel the pain that Glickman endured as a Jewish athlete. When I read that Glickman was unable to stand up against the antisemitism in his career becuase he was not given a say, I felt the frustration that Jewish athletes of that era felt and felt further connected to the story. 

I would highly recommend reading this book as a Jewish student because it will give you the perspective of an American Jew before and after Nazi Germany and how different antisemitism was from the antisemitism we see today. This book shows the determination of an incredible athlete and man who took his passion for sports and turned it into a career, even though he was faced with so many obstacles. 

Gurrock’s writing perfectly portrays the challenging moments of Glickman’s life and showed how he coped with it in a unique way. Overall, this book is a must for anyone interested in sports – Jewish or not – and I would highly recommend giving it a read.

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