Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “A Terrible Glory”

On a recent visit to the Little Bighorn site, a good friend asked the tour guides what was in their opinion the best historical book regarding the battle. “A Terrible Glory” by James Donovan is that book. There is more here than the history of the actual battle. We are taken in short form through the life of George Armstrong Custer. The “boy general” of ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Silk Roads”

So my broadcast partner, Mike Bordick, shows up one day with a tome of a book easily useable for weightlifting and says he really likes this work. That was all I needed to hear to start egging him on to join me on Hitting the Books and tell us all why he liked “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan, ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Color Blind”

There are unlikely stories, and “Color Blind” by Tom Dunkel is one of them. During the Great Depression, in of all places, Bismarck, N.D., a car dealership owner named Neil Churchill decided to put together the best baseball team he could with players from everywhere and nowhere. This was an age of town teams and Sunday doubleheaders that were taken very seriously. Churchill wanted to ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Markings”

Why would a middle school student become interested in Dag Hammarskjöld? I have no idea, but I was, and have through this life held this man and his work in the highest esteem. Hammarskjöld was the second United Nations secretary-general, appointed in 1953. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961, shortly after his death in a plane crash while he was on his ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt”

Dave Sims is the television voice of the Seattle Mariners. He has been so for a dozen years. Our friendship goes back to our days in New York when he was doing an NBC nightly sports talk show and I was doing the Mets and New Jersey Devils. I am very happy it is a friendship that has endured. When in Baltimore recently, he graciously ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Razor’s Edge”

“The Razor’s Edge” by W. Somerset Maugham was published in 1944 and sold over 3 million copies, remaining on the best seller list for a year and a half. Many consider this to be Maugham at his best. Maugham moved from fact to fiction in his stories effortlessly. So many of his works carry pieces of himself. That may be true for all writers, but ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Unwinding”

“The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America” by George Packer was published in 2013, but it is just as important now as it was then to understanding where our inner soul is as a nation. Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of other books that reflect on recent history in the U.S. In the prologue to this ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team”

Did you know that in 1951 the St. Louis Browns’ Ned Garver received a call from a reporter with the Washington Post to congratulate him on winning the MVP award? A day later it was announced that Yogi Berra won the award. Did you know that in the 1944, in the movie “Going My Way,” Bing Crosby wore a St. Louis Browns jacket and cap? ... read more