How NY Times Bestselling Nonfiction Author Andrew Maraniss Writes: Part One

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling narrative nonfiction author, Andrew Maraniss, stopped by to chat about what it was like to grow up around so many famous journalists, why he chooses to weave social issues into sports history, and some age-old wisdom on how to beat writer’s block.

“Just get started.” – Andrew Maraniss

Andrew is the son of Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post journalist and author, David Maraniss, so it’s no surprise that he has writing in his blood (and a touch of impostor syndrome).

His winding path to bestseller started out as a history writing assignment at Vanderbilt University that only years later became his award-winning book Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.

His lauded basketball biography went on to become a bestseller, and received the 2015 Lillian Smith Book Award for civil rights and the RFK Book Awards’ Special Recognition Prize for social justice, the first sports-related book to ever receive either honor.

The author’s latest, Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany, is a Young Adult title that chronicles “…the remarkable true story of the birth of Olympic basketball.”

The book has been called “An insightful, gripping account of basketball and bias,” and investigative journalist and No. 1 bestselling author Bob Woodward called it, “Shocking and triumphant.”

Andrew is a Visiting Author at Vanderbilt University Athletics and a contributor to ESPN’s He has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, NBC’s Meet The Press, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Show, ESPN Radio, and many others.

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In Part One of this file Andrew Maraniss and I discussed:

  • His circuitous path to a full time writing career
  • The untold story of the origins of the first U.S. Olympic basketball team and the young men who played on it
  • Why they were overshadowed by the atmosphere surrounding the Berlin Olympic Games in Nazi Germany
  • The importance of this story (and so many stories like it) in today’s political climate

Show Notes:

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