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George Plimpton

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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff Writer | March 5, 1995
"The X Factor: A Quest for Excellence," by George Plimpton. 170 pages. New York: W. W. Norton. $18.95George Plimpton, like Ecclesiastes, has noticed that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.Mr. Plimpton thinks he knows why that is so. Successful people, he says, have access to what athletes call the "X Factor," a fundamental psychological component that carries one beyond the limits of one's natural gifts. The athletes and business people he consults in his quest to describe that factor believe in it and describe it variously: Moxie, grit, singleness of purpose, toughness, refusal to give up, controlled rage, detachment, a sense of invincibility and even unselfishness figure in their explanations.
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FEATURES
By Nancy Pate and Nancy Pate,THE ORLANDO SENTINEL | September 27, 2003
As a writer, George Plimpton lived other people's fantasies - playing professional football with the Detroit Lions, pitching to Willie Mays, even swinging on a trapeze for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus. Then he turned his experiences into books such as Paper Lion and Out of My League that delighted millions. "There are people who would perhaps call me a dilettante, because it looks like I'm having too much fun," Plimpton once said. "I have never been convinced there's anything wrong with inherently having fun."
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | October 8, 2000
"Pet Peeves, or Whatever Happened to Doctor Rawff?" by George Plimpton, illustrated by Edward Koren (Atlantic Monthly Press, 80 pages, $14.95). Dr. Rawff is a fictional vet, a pet- advice columnist who apparently was driven insane by unanswerable questions from readers. Plimpton, who has done and written about everything in life except writing a pet-advice column, offers up a compendium of such queries -- the most troubling of them gloriously illustrated by Koren, also a comic genius. Example: A Labrador named Jones who retrieved a lighted dynamite stick during a duck hunt and dropped it under his master's waiting van. Jones escaped, but traumatized.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | October 8, 2000
"Pet Peeves, or Whatever Happened to Doctor Rawff?" by George Plimpton, illustrated by Edward Koren (Atlantic Monthly Press, 80 pages, $14.95). Dr. Rawff is a fictional vet, a pet- advice columnist who apparently was driven insane by unanswerable questions from readers. Plimpton, who has done and written about everything in life except writing a pet-advice column, offers up a compendium of such queries -- the most troubling of them gloriously illustrated by Koren, also a comic genius. Example: A Labrador named Jones who retrieved a lighted dynamite stick during a duck hunt and dropped it under his master's waiting van. Jones escaped, but traumatized.
NEWS
By Lisa Schwarzbaum and Lisa Schwarzbaum,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 28, 1997
"Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career," by George Plimpton. Talese/Doubleday. Illustrated. 498 pages. $35.OK, so remarks aren't literature. Still, had Gertrude Stein encountered the literary techniques of George Plimpton, she might have amended that famous bon mot once lobbed to Ernest Hemingway. Remarks are, in fact, biography. Or at least they are when choreographed by the old-pro writer, Paris Review editor, commercial pitchman, actor and literary personage-about-town whose concept of "participatory journalism" is to round up a parade of fellow personages and get them jawing.
FEATURES
By Nancy Pate and Nancy Pate,THE ORLANDO SENTINEL | September 27, 2003
As a writer, George Plimpton lived other people's fantasies - playing professional football with the Detroit Lions, pitching to Willie Mays, even swinging on a trapeze for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus. Then he turned his experiences into books such as Paper Lion and Out of My League that delighted millions. "There are people who would perhaps call me a dilettante, because it looks like I'm having too much fun," Plimpton once said. "I have never been convinced there's anything wrong with inherently having fun."
NEWS
By Gilbert Sandler | January 28, 1991
A NEW YORK LIFE: Of Friends & Others. By Brendan Gill. Poseidon Press. 348 pages. $21.95.IF YOU ARE one of the cultists unrepentantly in love with the New Yorker, you are going to love this book. In a collection of 48 profiles, you are introduced to the rich and the famous, the artistic, the eccentrics, the patricians and the poseurs in the New York world of Brendan Gill.In the course of his long career with the New Yorker, Gill has written "Profiles" and "Reporters at Large," as well as book, movie and play reviews and scores of "Talk of the Town" pieces.
FEATURES
By Dan Cryer and Dan Cryer,Newsday DTC | September 9, 1993
The rise and fall of Willie Morris is a wonderfully rich if terribly sad piece of Americana. In 1967 at age 32, this whiz kid out of Mississippi was named editor of Harper's and transformed that venerable journal into the country's most exciting, best-written magazine. Month after month the reportage and essays from the likes of Norman Mailer, David Halberstam, Alfred Kazin, Larry L. King and Irving Howe cast startling and unconventional light on those turbulent times. Willie Morris, who had arrived in New York "a presumptuous and callow impostor," stood at the red-hot center of the culture.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | June 5, 1998
Filled with talky, self-conscious characters culled from the East Coast plutocracy of old, white money, Whit Stillman's films ask the audience to care about a group of spoiled young people who sit around examining their own cosseted navels -- and they actually succeed."
NEWS
April 17, 1995
Maria Gorbachev, 84, the mother of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, died Saturday in Moscow. She had been hospitalized since suffering a stroke last month.William M. Smith, 79, a civil rights activist and retired bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, died Wednesday in Mobile, Ala. For several years, he was listed among Ebony magazine's 100 most influential blacks in the United States. He was a former state president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and delivered the opening invocation at the 1988 Republican convention in New Orleans.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | June 5, 1998
Filled with talky, self-conscious characters culled from the East Coast plutocracy of old, white money, Whit Stillman's films ask the audience to care about a group of spoiled young people who sit around examining their own cosseted navels -- and they actually succeed."
NEWS
By Lisa Schwarzbaum and Lisa Schwarzbaum,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 28, 1997
"Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career," by George Plimpton. Talese/Doubleday. Illustrated. 498 pages. $35.OK, so remarks aren't literature. Still, had Gertrude Stein encountered the literary techniques of George Plimpton, she might have amended that famous bon mot once lobbed to Ernest Hemingway. Remarks are, in fact, biography. Or at least they are when choreographed by the old-pro writer, Paris Review editor, commercial pitchman, actor and literary personage-about-town whose concept of "participatory journalism" is to round up a parade of fellow personages and get them jawing.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,Sun Staff Writer | March 5, 1995
"The X Factor: A Quest for Excellence," by George Plimpton. 170 pages. New York: W. W. Norton. $18.95George Plimpton, like Ecclesiastes, has noticed that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.Mr. Plimpton thinks he knows why that is so. Successful people, he says, have access to what athletes call the "X Factor," a fundamental psychological component that carries one beyond the limits of one's natural gifts. The athletes and business people he consults in his quest to describe that factor believe in it and describe it variously: Moxie, grit, singleness of purpose, toughness, refusal to give up, controlled rage, detachment, a sense of invincibility and even unselfishness figure in their explanations.
FEATURES
By Dan Cryer and Dan Cryer,Newsday DTC | September 9, 1993
The rise and fall of Willie Morris is a wonderfully rich if terribly sad piece of Americana. In 1967 at age 32, this whiz kid out of Mississippi was named editor of Harper's and transformed that venerable journal into the country's most exciting, best-written magazine. Month after month the reportage and essays from the likes of Norman Mailer, David Halberstam, Alfred Kazin, Larry L. King and Irving Howe cast startling and unconventional light on those turbulent times. Willie Morris, who had arrived in New York "a presumptuous and callow impostor," stood at the red-hot center of the culture.
NEWS
By Gilbert Sandler | January 28, 1991
A NEW YORK LIFE: Of Friends & Others. By Brendan Gill. Poseidon Press. 348 pages. $21.95.IF YOU ARE one of the cultists unrepentantly in love with the New Yorker, you are going to love this book. In a collection of 48 profiles, you are introduced to the rich and the famous, the artistic, the eccentrics, the patricians and the poseurs in the New York world of Brendan Gill.In the course of his long career with the New Yorker, Gill has written "Profiles" and "Reporters at Large," as well as book, movie and play reviews and scores of "Talk of the Town" pieces.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kevin Cowherd and Kevin Cowherd,Sun Staff | August 8, 2004
Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness: Modern History from the Sports Desk, by Hunter S. Thompson. Simon & Schuster. 243 pages. $23. It's sad to see how far the good doctor of gonzo journalism has fallen. I thought Hunter S. Thompson was pretty far gone the last time I saw him, in the early '90s, when he was flacking his latest book (Songs of the Doomed) and appeared at a bar in Fells Point filled with hundreds of howling drunks who paid $10 each to slur questions at him. As was his habit, Thompson was hitting the Chivas Regal pretty good and was barely coherent as he rambled on about the Persian Gulf war, the evil George H.W. Bush, what a dope Michael Dukakis was and how Armageddon was right around the corner.
NEWS
By Compiled from the archives of the Historical Society of Carroll County | November 17, 1996
25 years ago George Plimpton, the unquenchable amateur, tries his hand as a rookie quarterback for the Baltimore Colts on "Plimpton! The Great Quarterback Sneak," a one-hour ABC television network special at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26 on WJZ-TV. From the start of the training season, at the Colts' camp in Westminster through all the classes, scrimmages, calisthenics and inevitable trips to the infirmary, George observed and, whenever humanly possible, participated. He had donned football helmet and shoulder padding before to do research for a book, the best-selling "Paper Lion."
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