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Jim Dent Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Undefeated: The Oklahoma Sooners and the Greatest Winning Streak in College Football (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
King of the Cowboys: The Life and Times of Jerry Jones (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Junction Boys: How 10 Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Champion Team (With: Gene Stallings) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Monster of the Midway: Bronko Nagurski, the 1943 Chicago Bears, and the Greatest Comeback Ever (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Resurrection: The Miracle Season That Saved Notre Dame (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story (With: Mack Brown) (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kids Got It Right: How the Texas All-Stars Kicked Down Racial Walls (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Manziel Mania (With: Cathy Hutzler,Louis DeLuca) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mighty Mites (With: Cathy Hutzler) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hops and History: American History and Folklore as Remembered by American Breweries and Beers (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jim Dent is a sports writer who has written more than nine bestselling novels in his career. Dent grew up in Arkansas and perhaps his love for sports comes from the fact that he played high school football during his time living in Little Rock. He was a decent player playing fullback but he could not make it into the big leagues given his 5 11’ 198-pound frame and a bad knee that made it impossible for him to continue playing. As such, when he arrived at Southern Methodist University, he decided to pursue sports writing since he could not play. He proved to be quite the asset to “The Daily Campus” – the school’s student newspaper and had quite a reputation for getting some big scoops. His biggest scoop which got his name recognized outside campus was when he exposed a golf coach that denied a scholarship to a great student and athlete because of his skin color. The following year, he teamed up with Michael Cranberry now of “The Dallas Morning News” and together exposed a mutiny at the college’s basketball program. His reporting on possible violations in the SMU football program was so relentless that he was soon made the school papers sports editor.

After graduation and internship at “The News,” Dent lived in Beaumont for a few months before moving on to bigger things. He became a sportswriter for the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram” and the “Times Herald” where he reported on the Dallas Cowboys which was one of the most prestigious beats. The early years of his tenure were when the team was led by Tom Landry before Jerry Jones his fellow Arkansan bought the team in 1989. He liked Landry and wrote a lot of good things about him but he did not like Jones. In 1991, the “Times-Herald” shut down and Dent found a job as a talk show host on radio where he was so successful that he became a nationally syndicated host. He also started writing books and published “King of the Cowboys” that was an unauthorized and unflattering biography of Jerry Jones. This is the work that would establish his reputation as an author and had publishers beating down his door asking for more. Jim Dent also excelled in the writing of period sports stories sand was very good at telling a story even though other writers and some of his subjects asserted that he had the predilection for embellishment.

Since he had so much pressure from all the work he was required to publish, he began drinking heavily and picking up a slew of drinking while driving court cases. While he was having problems with drinking, it was during this time that he penned his biggest hit in the “Junction Boys,” a novel that was published in 1999. The book earned the author more than $500,000 including the money paid for the movie rights by ESPN. “Courage Beyond the Game” has also been made into a movie directed by Rudy and Hoosiers’ director Angelo Pizzo. Given how much money Jim Dent made from his novels, he lived the grand life in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York bouncing from swanky hotels and partying with celebrities. While he was living the high life, he continued writing scoops that fascinated his readers and earned him a reputation. Later in his career, his drinking problem caught up with him, and with 10 drunk while driving convictions, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2015. He continues to write from prison.

“The Junction Boys” by Jim Dent tells of the legendary training camp ran by Coach Paul Bryant often referred to as “Bear.” He lives in the small Texan town of Junction from where he puts his Texas A&M football team through a rigorous training program never before seen. Out of the 115 players that started the program, only a handful came out after the ten days. The ten had persevered the burning passion of the “bear” and the intense Texan sun to turn a floundering team into something unbeatable. It is more than a story of young men going for hours without water breaks during grueling practice sessions. But the mind-numbing pain was well worth it as it forged an extraordinary fellowship of players. The team had become ferocious and like no other team in the nation as the knowledge they got from the training and what they subsequently believed about themselves lived with them for life. In powerful and vivid images reminiscent of The Last Picture Show, Hoosiers and Friday Night Lights, the driven coach and his young charges come alive. The novel is a classic sports tale that combines an amazing story of triumph and perseverance and the love of college football that pervades all strata of American society.

Jim Dent’s “Twelve Mighty Orphans” tells the story of a school in Fort Worth Texas. More than 100 years ago, it has been constructed and designed to provide education and housing to the orphans of the Freemasons of Texas. It had been a humble school that stood quietly on the side of town until Rusty Russell, a bespectacled and lean coach arrived to change everything. He is a driven man who in no time beamed the story of the orphans to American homes almost single-handedly. In the 30s and 40s, the Masonic Home Mighty Mites were the biggest thing in high school football in the state of Texas. Despite being lightweight boys who could easily be outweighed by almost any other team, they were the meanest football team on the circuit. When the coach arrived in town they did not even have a football but within a few years, they were at the highest levels and playing for the championship. Their story is a tribute to the courage of underdogs who give their all in the American spirit of big dreams and hope. The Mighty Mites are some of the most inspirational teams in the history of high school football and provide an insightful lesson in clinging to faith and fighting back.

“Courage Beyond the Game” by Jim Dent is the story of an undersized and scrappy young man. He had joined the University of Texas in Austin in 1967 and tried to join the football team only to be rejected. Most of the coaches believed he was too small to play at college level, even though he refused to stop training, vowing to make the list of the first team. By 1969, he was making quite a name for himself not only on the college circuit but on the national state. However, he had also developed severe pain in his thigh and Linda his girlfriend started getting worried about him. Despite the crippling pain, he continued playing, helping his team rip through any opposition put in front of them. In 1969, he played at the national championships and helped his team win the “Game of the Century” against Arkansas. Tragically, he had to leave the playing field as his bone cancer worsened. But nothing could keep him away from the game or extinguish his fighting spirit. While his fight with cancer would be short, his spirit inspired thousands of cancer victims as well as the entire nation and this earned him a presidential citation.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jim Dent

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