Back to Basics

It's been a season of editors removing their uniforms and donning their writer capes—John Glusman, Jake Morrisey, Doug Stumpf. The latest is legendary Basic Books editor Steve Fraser, known for his work with Robert Darnton, Orlando Patterson and Walter McDougall, as well as for editing a well-known book about The Bell Curve, signing back up with... Basic.

The serious nonfiction author, who hasn't worked at the house in a decade, will write AHistory of the Gilded Age for Lara Heimert. He jumps from Harper, which recently pubbed his Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life, an acclaimed look at the place of Wall Street in two centuries of American life. Of course, Basic is a very different place since Fraser left; it's now a central part of the growing mini-major Perseus instead of a more ancillary part of a struggling Harper, as it was then. Sandy Djikstra repped.

Gonzo at Gampel?

Big East coach Rick Pitino practically invented the sports-book-as-self-help-tome with his genre-defining Success Is a Choice. Now UConn coach Jim Calhoun is picking up the ball. Noah Lukemanhas sold the Huskie great's A Passion to Win: 7 Keys to Career Success to M. Evans. Newsweek's Richard Ernsberger Jr. will co-write the title, which the house is aiming to get out by next spring (March Madness?), and will draw on the coach's ability to manufacture a perpetual favorite out of a previously anonymous school. The coach went through a well-publicized battle with cancer last year and is said to have recovered.

The Briefing

Jonathan Burnham makes his biggest mark at Harper to date, bringing Miramax phenomenon Madeleine Albright on board for two books: The Mighty and the Almighty,about "the role of religion in America's approach to world affairs," and, improbably, "an illustrated book on Albright's collection of decorative pins of historical and personal significance."... Ed Victor has sold to Hyperion The Match,a follow-up to Mark Frost's nonfiction The Greatest Game Ever Played, which follows caddy Eddie Lowery as he grows up to be a mogul car dealer. Will Schwalbe and Gretchen Young acquired, and Young will edit.... Literary travel series Crown Journeys, which pairs famous writers with famous places, is an impressive rights coup, because unlike most series it requires separate high-level negotiations for each volume. The latest to sign up is Madison Smartt Bell, who, via Jane Gelfman, has agreed to write about Baltimore, in a book with editor Caroline Sincerbeaux.