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"The Rivals: Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova"


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"In her entertaining and well-researched book, "The Rivals", Johnette Howard makes the convincing case that, for "excellence and longevity, import and drama, no other great individual sports rivalry" has equaled that between Chris Evert, the icy, exacting ladylike baseliner, and Martina Navratilova, the expressive, erratic, athletic server and volleyer....Howard makes us long for the weekends when these two remarkable athletes reliably locked horns and afterward locked in an embrace." -- The New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“Howard deftly probes the decades-long friendship between competitors who, singly and together, wiped out stereotypes about women in sports." -– Oprah magazine

“Two stories that, with thrilling inevitability, become one. Beautifully constructed…vivid and enthralling.”
-- The Times of London

"Howard nimbly alternates Evert and Navratilova's stories like a riveting baseline rally…This book is as gripping as the action at center court." -- People magazine Critic's choice,

"Chris Evert was the pretty one, right? Sweet, adorable and as American as apple pie. Martina Navratilova, on the other hand, was the tough one, hard as nails as she battled her way up the tennis ladder. Wrong, Johnette Howard says in her brilliant new book, "The Rivals."
   "The Evert nobody knows once showed up at a transvestite bar with Vitas Gerulaitis. She dated actors and rock stars and admits she spent a significant portion of her 20s "making up for lost time." Navratilova, by contrast, was the sensitive one, fighting for acceptance...and battling her personal demons. Did you hear about the time her girlfriend Rita Mae Brown was chasing her around with a pistol?
    "These very different women forged a friendship that transcended their remarkable matches...That relationship never has been described with greater authority or verve than by Howard in her remarkable book."  -- Chicago Sun-Times

"Finally, here is the definitive, inside-out look at one of the most gripping rivalries and relationships in sports. Johnette Howard's insightful and writerly book is the story of friendly enemies, and enormous friends -- two women who were alternately competitors and confidantes. It places Evert and Navratilova alongside Palmer and Nicklaus, Magic and Bird, and Ali and Frazier, but it also, rightly, sets them apart, historically inseparable and unique."  -- Sally Jenkins, coauthor with Lance Armstrong of It's Not About the Bike

The most fully realized of books … This ongoing duel pitted the two best players of their generation against each other over a staggering 16-year period…For sustained drama, nothing else in sports comes close. -– Washington Post Book World

"Howard captivatingly tells the story of how these two women came together from disparate worlds and founded a complicated though lasting friendship….A fine contribution to the history of women in sports."  -- Publisher's Weekly

"Sizzling reportage…Highly recommended for anyone looking to understand the essence of a champion." -- Booklist

“Splendidly written…Reads like a short cultural history of the 1970s and 1980s –- Los Angeles Times

"For all our seeming familiarity with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, Johnette Howard takes us deep inside the greatest rivalry in tennis history to reveal how it took the two champions the length of their twenty-year tennis war to truly know and love each other and themselves. With diligence and skill Howard chronicles their magnificent battles on the court, their turbulent times off the court and the civil wars they waged within their own fragile psyches. -- Mary Carillo, CBS Sports

"With Chrissie and Martina as the leading ladies, Johnette Howard insightfully takes us on a marvelous tour through the panorama of the rise of professional tennis. She digs well below the surface of a tennis court to probe celebrated psyches as never before."  -- Bud Collins,  Boston Globe/NBC

"Whether you were a Chris or Martina fan, Howard points out, said something about who you were; it was "something akin to identifying oneself as a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative."  But whoever you happened to support, it was impossible to see one of them to the exclusion of the other.
     "The Rivals" convincingly evokes the social and political temper of those tumultuous times…The Martina-Chris rivalry is an enduring symbol that prefigured the sense of spectacle, mass appeal and sexiness that are so much a part of the women's game today." -- Sports Book of the Month, The Observer

"Howard, a columnist for Newsday and a former Sports Illustrated staff writer, has played this stirring double-biography like a great tennis match, volleying back and forth between the two women's lives on and off the court. As their rivalry progresses, so does the suspense Howard creates." -- Ms. magazine

Author Johnette Howard unravels a lot of mythology about the two champions, presenting the reader with two fleshy, complicated personalities who still very much deserve their place on a pedestal. Howard masterfully dissects the fixed images of the two, revealing the lovable vulnerability in the physically powerful and politically outspoken Navratilova and underscoring Evert's ferocious ambition. -– San Francisco Chronicle

"Few  rivalries in sports were as fiercely contested as that of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova… Johnette Howard's chronicle of their competition, which helped lift women's tennis to new levels of popularity while creating a close friendship, makes for an uplifting read." -- Chicago Tribune, Books to be Discovered and Devoured

Johnette Howard reveals the ways in which women’s tennis was changed for the good by the thrilling competition between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. –- Vogue, Summer’s Most Provocative Reads

"Howard, a columnist for Newsday, has written a rollicking, ntertaining and insightful account… I am not much of a  tennis fan…but this did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying "The Rivals," a tribute to Howard's skills as a writer and chronicler…Populated with wonderful anecdotes that stay with the reader…Howard has served up an ace." 
-- Outsports/PlanetOut.com

 

 
 
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