Donald Katz, Author
Donald Katz, Author . Random $15 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9152-9
Reviewed on: 05/14/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001

Katz, whose Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, has had a long, eclectic career as a journalist writing for the New Republic, Esquire, Sports Illustrated and Outside, along with being a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. This collection highlights 25 years of his most memorable profiles of people who have been in the spotlight because of their passion, creativity, commitment, knowledge, courage or even insanity. Katz pursues every one of his subjects, whether serious or amusing, with equal fervor and writes about them with equal skill. Even if readers are unfamiliar with some subjects, not one profile falls short of fascinating. With his profiles of the remarkable, including champion ferret legger Reg Mellor, draft-dodger-pushed-into-the-political-spotlight Fritz Efaw, famed political cartoonist Bill Mauldin, nature photographer and activist Peter Beard, fitness guru Jack LaLanne or the victims of the Long Island Railroad massacre of 1993, Katz leaves no question unexplored. He captures the eccentric yet human qualities of his subjects, centering on their dreams, frustrations, motivations and struggles. He even explores his own psyche in the final piece about his adventures in physical fitness on the verge of 40. Katz's writing seems effortless, as if his subjects do all the work, but this is only because his pen is as well trained to tell a story as his ear is to hear one. (On-sale date: May 29)

FYI: This title has also been issued by as an e-book, $9.95. will be coordinating all publicity with, an e-audio Web site that Katz founded.

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