Picks and Pans Review: Sports Stars

updated 01/06/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/06/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Neil Leifer

In this big, colorful volume Carl Lewis leaps into the air against the background of the Statue of Liberty. An Egyptian athlete takes his discus stance in front of the Sphinx. A couple of Kenyans run past a pair of giraffes. These clever photographs prove that Leifer—who worked for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED until 1978, when he became a staff photographer for TIME—is a master of the setup shot. Even better are his spontaneous pictures of decisive moments, such as Ali's open-mouthed triumph over a prostrate Sonny Liston, or John McEnroe kissing his U.S. Open trophy after defeating Ivan Lendl. The tennis star's reflection in the silver cup is one of blissful self-adoration. This handsome collection of photographs, taken between 1960 and 1984, also includes Casey Stengel (looking both wise and cuckoo at the same moment), Mary Lou Retton (floating in air) and Julius Erving (up near the gym ceiling). (Doubleday, $35)

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