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17 Works 637 Members 14 Reviews

About the Author

Journalist Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to Ailes and his family, friends, and Fox News colleagues. The result is a candid, compelling portrait of a fascinating man. We hear from Fox News stars he's nurtured, including Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly, as well as liberals Ailes has somehow show more managed to charm and befriend, including Barbara Walters, Rachel Maddow, Jesses Jackson, and the Kennedy clan. We also discover the heart of his sometimes surprising political beliefs: his profane piety and his unwavering belief in the values of his small-town Ohio boyhood. show less
Image credit: JewishJournal.com

Works by Zev Chafets


Common Knowledge

Places of residence
Pontiac, Michigan, USA
University of Michigan



Well-written, even-handed description of What Is Wrong with Detroit. Some chapters are a little cultural-touristy, others a little sentimental, and the information is only current through the 1989 mayoral election. That said, history is history, and this book should be required reading in every high school in metro Detroit. As a native Grosse Pointer, I'm a little ashamed that some of the content of this book was news to me in my mid-twenties. The author grew up in Pontiac and approaches the tensions in Detroit--racial, economic, cultural--as both an outsider and an insider; he has the sophistication of a writer-anthropologist, but the diligence of his study is fueled by the fierce loyalty of a man trying to understand and protect his childhood home. His perspective is authentically suburban, and he takes this unique opportunity to ask the questions we all want to ask of the people who should have had the best answers.… (more)
jostie13 | 1 other review | May 14, 2020 |
Not a big fan, well not really a fan at all but not a hater either. I thought I would check out this bio on the El Rushbo. This author took a more or less neutral stance on Rush not bashing him or licking his boots. Kind of a middle or the road take. He highlights his enormous influence on the political scene while pointing out his foibles as a human.

Much of it gets caught up in the political squabbles that Rush so relishes and really makes him what he is. The talk back in your face that appeals to quite a number out there. The personal side of the guy's life is hit at in small doses and paints a fellow who is just as controversial there and a strange mix particularly in his love life.

So Rush is portrayed here as the political animal that he is, and will be. The material is dated as it ends about half way through Obama's tenure. An update with the Trump era would be a good sequel.
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knightlight777 | 2 other reviews | Jun 22, 2018 |
In his first baseball-related book, Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Zev Chafets reveals the American institution's inner workings and complex history through a 21st century lens of favoritism, racism, and institutionalized privilege. A lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, Chafets skillfully tracks seven decades of hypocrisy in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

From the very beginning, it required no professional criteria beyond a ten-year career for admission. Founder Stephen Clark and then current baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was installed by the owners after the 1919 Black Sox scandal, unofficially insisted that inductees be “men of integrity, virtue, and character.” Even with such criteria, the first class of inducted players included two racist cheaters (Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker), a notorious womanizer (Babe Ruth), a legendary drunkard (Grover Cleveland Alexander), and a key figure in baseball's strict segregation rules (Cap Anson). The character ruling became official in 1944, though that never stopped the inclusion of later players of questionable morality such as Gaylord Perry, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Dizzy Dean and Leo Durocher. Considering this band of cheats, drunks, bigots, and hedonists, Chafets successfully argues for Hall inclusion of steroid-era stud hitters Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and the banned-for-life, all-time hits leader Pete Rose.

Through fascinating stories and interviews with players and baseball experts, Chafets masterfully exposes a system fraught with favoritism and political wrangling, and supported by institutionalized bias. Insightful sequences highlight the Hall's often shoddy treatment of African-American, Hispanic, and other minority ball players.

Even while revealing baseball's flawed soul, Zev Chafets manages to maintain a nostalgic, almost spiritual sense of reverence. A worthy addition to any baseball library, Cooperstown Confidential ultimately exposes the unacknowledged, ugly truths of American society that the Hall as much as the game it celebrates reflects.

This review originally appeared in The Geek Curmudgeon, August 10, 2010.
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rickklaw | 5 other reviews | Oct 13, 2017 |


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½ 3.7

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