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. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their 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. Also available on Kindle.

The Help (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 137 minutes.

OK for children.

This is a pretty good film, even if it is a chick flick, and even though it's almost unbearably heavy-handed. Actually, I thought it was pretty excruciating to sit through. Emma Stone gives another magnificent performance as the writer of the novel "The Help," about black maids in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963.

Based on Kathryn Stockett's big-selling novel of the same name, the film is basically told from the POV of all the black maids who worked for middle to upper class white families in Jackson. Although Stockett claims that her impetus was her relationship with her family's black maid, Demetrie, Stockett was born in 1969, six years after the setting for her novel, so she could really have no personal knowledge of what happened then. Stockett, however, is a wide-eyed ingénue. In 2009 she said, "I have never been more proud of the United States than I am this year. We have elected an African-American president. We have the stellar Michelle Obama setting the standard for American women." Clearly she is one of the millions of people who support Obama, a man without credentials, qualification, or accomplishment, solely because of his race, which is just as racist as the women about whom she writes in The Help.

The villains are all the women of Jackson's Junior League and their bridge club. Bridge players (and I'm one) might have a defamation lawsuit because they are not shown in a sympathetic light, to say the least.

Emma Stone plays the protagonist, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who returns from college to be outraged at the way her family maid, Constantine (Cicely Tyson), the alter ego for Demetrie, was apparently summarily fired by Skeeter's mother, Charlotte (Allison Janney). She establishes a relationship with Aibileen (Viola Davis), the maid for her friend Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard, who gives a stunning performance as the heavy), and gets her to start talking for the record about what her subservient life is like. It's ultimately a feel-good movie with the oppressed blacks getting their revenge.

This is clearly a political movie. While most people will probably see this and say, tsk, tsk, wasn't life awful then, if they were to think a little, what Aibileen and Constantine had to endure is what illegal Hispanics must endure today. I kept thinking of Tom Tancredo, the boneheaded former Republican Congressman from Colorado who wanted to throw all 13 million of them out of the country, even though probably 12 million of the 13 million illegals are good, God-fearing people, who just want to earn a good life for their family by doing jobs American citizens eschew, like being housemaids and gardeners. Only a dope (and there are obviously a lot of them in Washington, D.C., mostly in Congress and The White House) would think the solution is to throw all 13 million out of the country when the Federal Government all but invited them to cross the border illegally.

But to get back to the movie, the acting is superb throughout. True, the script (by director Tate Taylor) is clumsy and lacking in ingenuity, but this is a movie and he apparently felt he had to make the junior league ladies (and Skeeter's mother) caricatures in order to create the good guy-bad guy dichotomy. A more nuanced script and story would have been far more effective.