Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. Click the Book to read the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.

Jimmy Carter Man From Plains (1/10):

by Tony Medley

Many people consider Jimmy Carter the worst President in the history of the United States. As proof, they cite the years 1977-81 and what happened; like, for instance, runaway rampant stagflation; like, for instance, giving away the Panama Canal. In response to the skyrocketing price of oil, Carter devised the most idiotic Federal Energy Policy ever conceived. It allowed, among other things, people like the notorious Mark Rich, who was infamously pardoned by Bill Clinton, to become oil brokers. They would change “old” oil, the price of which was frozen by Carter at around $3 per barrel, to “new” oil, which could be sold at market rates, which were then $40 per barrel. The result was that the oil companies made hundreds of millions of dollars by having the ability to sell what had been old oil as new oil as changed by these brokers and the brokers made millions themselves. I had a close acquaintance who did this in a smaller way than Rich. My acquaintance told me he was making over $1 million per month without risking a penny. Nobody was helped by Carter’s ill-advised Energy Policy except the oil companies and the brokers. When Carter left office, inflation was running away and the American economy was in a shambles. He was, in the eyes of the vast majority, an unmitigated disaster. Of course I'm sure that Mr. Rich and my acquaintance have very fond feelings for Mr. Carter, since he gave them the opportunity to make so much money at the expense of the American people.

As ex-President many feel he has been a disgrace, ignoring the unwritten rule that former Presidents do not criticize their successors when overseas. Instead, Carter is highly critical of his own country when he is in foreign countries. Further, he supports Islamic Fundamentalists in virtually everything they do, especially in their opposition to the existence of Israel. It takes a special kind of gall to mouth off about the people who followed him in a job that he performed worse than anyone in history.

So, how does director Jonathan Demme make a documentary about such a person? Easy, he ignores his Presidency and just follows him around on his book tour while Carter is promoting his new book that accuses Israel of taking part in Apartheid against Palestinians, even though Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the Palestinians are committed to its destruction, and the one million Palestinians who live in Israel are treated with respect and live lives the same as Israelis.

Demme’s cameraman, Declan Quinn, shot 16 hours a day, nonstop. He had two cameramen shooting while Demme was shooting, too. The result is lots of shots of Carter talking while riding in his limo. Naturally, much of what he says is self-serving.

To Demme’s credit, he does show Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz requesting to debate Carter at an appearance at Brandeis University, which Carter declined without any adequate reason. The conclusion, however, is clear: Jimmy only speaks with people who agree with him or toady to him. Demme gives Dershowitz a substantial amount of time to emphasize that Carter makes claims in his book that he is apparently unwilling to defend in an open forum against a knowledgeable opponent.

It was excruciating to have to sit for two hours and listen to this person who is so proud of himself and who refuses to accept any responsibility for his actions. This is not a documentary of Jimmy Carter. It’s a documentary about a man trying to sell a book while refusing to debate people who question its facts.

While it is probably apocryphal that Carter was the model for the role of the delusional Lars in the film “Lars and the Real Girl,” the resemblance is astonishing.

October 21, 2007