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 stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Thumbnails Nov 17

by Tony Medley

Cries From Syria (10/10): Evgeny Afineevsky is one of a kind. He is a ground-breaking director who brings war straight into everyoneís laps and shows its heart-breaking horror. Showing the carnage and brutality of the civil war in Syria ignored by the MSM, this is not an easy film to sit through. It shows people getting shot, dying, bleeding, and crying as it is happening. There are scenes of war and the horrific deeds of the Assad Government never before seen, shot with whatever was available including mobile phones. It brings the bestiality of Assad and ISIS out into the open and shows the devastating losses they inflict on innocent people. It documents the cold-hearted violence rained down on hospitals by the Russians, indiscriminately and intentionally targeting and killing women and children in hospitals. This is as accurate a picture of war in the Middle East as you will ever see without enduring it yourself. HBO

Thank You For Your Service (9/10): A tense, gut-wrenching true story of what itís like for U.S. servicemen returning from action in the war-torn Middle East and trying to resume a normal life. This sympathetically details the causes of and battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the strains put on wives who try to cope. Eye-opening, itís extremely well-directed and written with exceptional acting by a fine cast.

Only the Brave (8/10): All a movie should be, entertaining and educational, graphically showing the guts and workings of a forest fire and the heroism of those fighting it on the front lines. The way the fires seen in the film were created is an example of wonderful movie magic, because they certainly appear real, especially the Granite Mountain Fire. It vividly shows how a fire can explode and travel as much as 4 miles in 20 minutes (in track terms, thatís a 5 minute mile), which is faster than you can run away from them.

American Made: Based on a True Lie (8/10): The ďlieĒ is that this is history, which it isnít, even though it uses real names. Its politically active left-wing director deviously cut the film in an effort to smear President Reagan. All that is balderdash; but as a purely fictional movie itís entertaining as all get-out and Tom Cruise gives a fine performance.

Marshall (8/10): Chadwick Boseman, who did such a marvelous job portraying Jackie Robinson in ď42Ē (2013), now takes on Justice Thurgood Marshall, also portraying him as a young man rather than the crusty, unsmiling Supreme Court Justice that is in most of our memories, at least mine. Even though this is pretty much like what one sees on the TV series Law and Order, and is as entertaining, I shrink from accepting Hollywood versions of factual events, knowing that todayís filmmakers lean over backwards to insert every bit of bias into their films that they can get away with.  From what little Iíve been able to discover about the case, though, the story is pretty much in line with the facts that Iíve been able to uncover and combines education with entertainment well. 

The Mountain Between Us (7/10): This is a feeble attempt at ďGuess Who's Coming to DinnerĒ (1967) updated for the 21st Century. While this story strains credulity beyond the breaking point with incidents that are beyond ridiculous, itís pure Hollywood schmaltz; a feel-good, heart-warming tale that even has a loveable dog in almost every scene.

The Snowman (5/10):  This movie from a book that was very good is so poorly done itís insulting. There is no nexus between the crimes and the way they are solved by the protagonists. The acting is mundane at best, except for Rebecca Ferguson. Star Michael Fassbender sleepwalks through the role, barely hitting his marks and mumbling his lines. If he is trying to play a drunk (his character, detective Harry Hole, is an alcoholic), he has failed miserably. And what in the world is Val Kilmer doing in there? If you can understand what heís saying (or why) youíre a better man than I am.