The Genius is the gripping account of Bill Walsh’s career and how, through tactical and organizational skill, he transformed the San Francisco Forty Niners from a fallen franchise into a football dynasty. Along with his right-hand man John McVay, Walsh built the foundation for this success by drafting or trading for a durable core of stars, including Joe Montana, Fred Dean, and Hacksaw Reynolds. (Walsh would later restock the team with such players as Jerry Rice, Steve Young, and Charles Haley.) The key to Walsh’s genius perhaps lay in his keen understanding of his athletes’ psyches–he knew what brought out the best in each of them. With unmatched access to players, fellow coaches, executives, beat reporters, and Walsh himself, David Harris recounts the whole story–including Walsh’s pre-Niners odyssey, the demons that pushed him throughout his career, and the scope of his impact on the game beyond the field and locker room. In the end, Harris reveals the brilliant man behind the coaching legend.
About the Author
David Harris is an independent curator and photographic historian, specializing in nineteenth-century and contemporary architectural and landscape photography. Author of numerous essays and reviews, Harris wrote "Gabor Szilasi: Photographs, 1954-1996" (1997), and, with Eric Sandweiss, "Eadweard Muybridge and the Photographic Panorama of San Francisco, 1850-1880 "(1993). Lyman P. Van Slyke taught modern Chinese history at Stanford University until his retirement in 1994. He is the author of five books and numerous articles and essays.
“Exemplary . . . the rare biography that lives up to its subtitle’s lavish claims.”—New York Times Book Review
“[David] Harris illustrates [Bill] Walsh’s incredible passion for the game, his competitive drive, and even his whimsical sense of humor. Walsh was one of the NFL’s greatest coaches, and Harris’s book does him justice.”—Booklist
“The personal drama of Walsh’s career is told with such verve that even nonfans will be riveted.”—Publishers Weekly
“Because of [Harris’s] exhaustive reporting, the reader feels in good hands.”—Wall Street Journal
“Recommended.”—Library Journal, starred review