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The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s won an unprecedented and unmatched four Super Bowls in six years. A dozen of those Steelers players, coaches, and executives have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and three decades later their names echo in popular memory: Mean Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth. In ways exhilarating and heartbreaking, they define not only the brotherhood of sports but those elements of the game that engage tens of millions of Americans: its artistry and its brutality. In 1981, when the Steelers failed to make the playoffs for the first time in nine years, acclaimed author Gary M. Pomerantz, then a sportswriter for The Washington Post, interviewed them in training camp. At that time, Pomerantz asked himself, "What will life be like for these guys when they're sixty?" Without knowing it, he began writing his book.
The heroes of those days sat with Pomerantz for new interviews. Greene, in his living room, explained Super Bowl IX, when the Steel Curtain held the Vikings to 2.4 feet per carry. In his man cave, Count “Frenchy” Fuqua recounted the "Immaculate Reception." Dan Rooney came to the den of his childhood home to tell of the profound influences of his father, team founder Art Rooney, Sr., and of why he fired his brother Art Jr., mastermind of the NFL's most successful draft ever. In Hollywood, Bradshaw strained to explain his falling out with Coach Chuck Noll, his kinship with old teammates. The result is Pomerantz's richly textured story of a team and a sport. The book shows in full what the game gave these men, and what it took from them.
Intimate, poignant, and thrilling, Their Life's Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, Then and Now ($26.99) does for football what Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer did for baseball. It is a story of victory, fortitude, renown, and, above all, the brotherhood of players who said they'd do it again—all of it.
Gary M. Pomerantz is a nonfiction author and journalist and has served the past seven years as a visiting lecturer in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Pomerantz has written four books, including the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn.
With immersive reporting, respect, and honesty, Pomerantz tells the full story of the greatest dynasty in football history