Best Selling Books by Don Yaeger

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release date: Oct 24, 2017
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Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America's Destiny
Another history pageturner from the authors of the #1 bestsellers George Washington's Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.

The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of the war in the North, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country.

Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans.

If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed before they really got off the ground.

So Jackson had to convince President Madison and his War Department to take him seriously, even though he wasn’t one of the Virginians and New Englanders who dominated the government. He had to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans,Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world—in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous.

In short, Jackson needed a miracle. The local Ursuline nuns set to work praying for his outnumbered troops. And so the Americans, driven by patriotism and protected by prayer, began the battle that would shape our young nation’s destiny.

As they did in their two previous bestsellers, Kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with a riveting true story that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll finish with a new understanding of one of our greatest generals and a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that America could one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.”
release date: Oct 24, 2017
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Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History
The mass market edition of the New York Times Bestseller. This is the little-known story of how a newly independent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America's third president decided to stand up to intimidation.
 
When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute far beyond what the new country could afford.
 
Jefferson found it impossible to negotiate with the leaders of the Barbary states, who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy, so President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy's new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli--launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America's journey toward future superpower status.
 
As they did in George Washington's Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Among the many suspenseful episodes:

· Lieutenant Andrew Sterett's ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli.
· Lieutenant Stephen Decatur's daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates' hands.
· General William Eaton's 500-mile march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.
release date: Oct 18, 2016
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George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
When George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied—thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. He realized that he couldn’t defeat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York.

Drawing on extensive research, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger have offered fascinating portraits of these spies: a reserved Quaker merchant, a tavern keeper, a brash young longshoreman, a curmudgeonly Long Island bachelor, a coffeehouse owner, and a mysterious woman. Long unrecognized, the secret six are finally receiving their due among the pantheon of American heroes.
release date: May 09, 2017
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Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Packed with "compelling inside stories" (Chicago Tribune), Teammate is the inspiring memoir from "Grandpa Rossy," the veteran catcher who became the heart and soul of the 2016 Chicago Cubs championship team.


In 2016 the Cubs snapped a 108-year curse, winning the World Series in a history-making, seven-game series against the Cleveland Indians. Of the many storylines to Chicago's fairytale season, one stood out: the late-career renaissance of David Ross, the 39-year-old catcher who had played back-up for 13 of his 15 pro seasons.

Beyond Ross's remarkably strong play, he became the ultimate positive force in the Cubs locker room, mentoring and motivating his fellow players, some of them nearly twenty years his junior. Thanks to Cubs Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, "Grandpa Rossy" became a social media sensation. No one, however, could have predicted that Ross's home run in his final career at bat would help seal the Cubs championship.

Now, in Teammate, Ross shares the inspiring story of his life in baseball, framed by the events of that unforgettable November night.
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release date: Jul 19, 2016
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Great Teams: 16 Things High Performing Organizations Do Differently

There is nothing more magical than watching a team come together, to manage adversity as a group, selflessly give to others, to find common purpose. Inspiring that to happen year-in and year-out is what keeps us in leadership. Don Yaeger has studied the best of the best. Now it is our turn to study this book.—Mike Krzyzewski, five-time NCAA Tournament Champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medal Winning Basketball coach, Duke University Men’s Basketball

What makes a team great? Not just good. Not just functional. But great?

Over the last six years, long-time Sports Illustrated associate editor Don Yaeger has been invited by some of the greatest companies in the world to speak about the habits of high-performing individuals. Delivering an average of 80 keynote speeches per year, Don was approached by his most consistent client, Microsoft, to develop a talk on what allowed some teams to play at a championship level year after year. From Microsoft and Starbucks to the New England Patriots and San Antonio Spurs, what do some organizations do seemingly better than most all of their opponents?

Don took the challenge. He began building into his travel schedule opportunities to interview our generation’s greatest team builders from the sports and business worlds. During this process, he has conducted more than 100 interviews with some of the most successful teams and organizations in the country. From those interviews, Don has identified 16 habits that drive these high-performing teams.

Building on the stories, examples, and first-hand accounts, each chapter in Great Teams comes with applicable examples on how to apply these characteristics in any organization. Great Teams is the ultimate intersection of the sports and business worlds and a powerful companion for thought leaders, teams, managers, and organizations that seek to perform similarly. The insight shared in this book is sure to enhance any team in its pursuit of excellence. 

  • Great Teams Understand the “Why”
  • Great Teams Allow Culture to Shape Who They Recruit
  • Great Teams Run Successful Huddles
  • Great Teams Manage Dysfunction, Friction, and Strong Personalities
  • Great Teams See Value Others Miss
  • Great Teams Know How to Win in Critical Situations
  • Great Teams Embrace Change
  • Great Teams Build a Mentoring Culture
  • Great Teams Have a Rallying Cry

It takes a special formula to construct championship quality teams and in this book by Don Yaeger you will be able to see how great teams are formulated. Don Yaeger is Awesome, baby, with a capital "A"! –Dick Vitale, Hall of Fame broadcaster, ESPN

 

Everyone wants to work on or play on a Great Team. The differentiator I’ve noticed is that the best teams pay close attention to and protect their culture and their people. Don Yaeger shows in this book that the same lessons are true on the sporting fields. There’s much to be learned within these pages and I know you’ll enjoy.  –Gary Kelly, CEO and Chairman of Southwest Airlines

 

There are so many parallels between building a great sports team and building a corporate one, not the least of which that great culture makes amazing things possible. Great Teams by Don Yaeger provides a roadmap for all of us...in either of those worlds.—GJ Hart, CEO, California Pizza Kitchen

release date: Mar 01, 2011
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A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring

After eight books, many of them bestsellers, A Game Plan for Life was the one closest to John Wooden's heart: a moving and inspirational guide to the power of mentorship. The first half focuses on the people who helped foster the values that carried Wooden through an incredibly successful and famously principled career, including his father, his college coach, his wife, Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. The second half is built around interviews with some of the many people he mentored over the years, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. Their testimony takes readers inside the lessons Wooden taught to generations of players, bringing out the very best in them not just as athletes but as human beings. In all, this is an inspiring primer on how to achieve success without sacrificing principles and how to build one of the most productive and rewarding relationships available to any athlete, businessperson, teacher, or parent-that of mentor and protégé.

Praise for A Game Plan for Life:

"My time learning from Coach Wooden-sitting and asking him questions, soaking up his answers-has provided some of the most significant lessons in my life. Any way that you can be mentored by a giant like him, including reading A Game Plan for Life, will provide great lessons for you, too."-Pat Summitt, women's basketball coach, University of Tennessee

"Few coaches have affected their players' lives so fully as John Wooden, so here's a natural question: Who mentored the mentor? Well, John Wooden is glad we asked."-Bob Costas

release date: Sep 08, 2009
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Running for My Life: My Journey in the Game of Football and Beyond

Pro Bowl star running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons, Warrick Dunn tells his extraordinary story in Running for My Life, a poignant and inspirational true tale of tragedy, success, depression, denial, and ultimately, hope. One of the most gifted players in the NFL, Dunn talks about his remarkable career and accomplishments while sharing the pain of his lifelong battle with depression, a result of losing his  mother—a police officer killed while off-duty—when Dunn was 18 Thought-provoking and uplifting, Running for My Life is the story of an exceptional athlete’s secret torment and inspiring courage.

release date: Sep 11, 2001
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Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton
"Never die easy. Why run out of bounds and die easy? Make that linebacker pay. It carries into all facets of your life. It's okay to lose, to die, but don't die without trying, without giving it your best."

His legacy is towering. Walter Payton—the man they called Sweetness, for the way he ran—remains the most prolific running back in the history of the National Football League, the star of the Chicago Bears' only Super Bowl Championship, eleven times voted the most popular sports figure in Chicago's history. Off the field, he was a devoted father whose charitable foundation benefited tens of thousands of children each year, and who—faced with terminal liver disease—refused to use his celebrity to gain a preferential position for organ donation. Walter Payton was not just a football hero; he was America's hero.
        Never Die Easy is Walter Payton's autobiography, told from the heart. Growing up poor in Mississippi, he took up football to get girls' attention, and went on to become a Black College All-American at tiny Jackson State (during which time he was also a finalist in a Soul Train dance contest). Drafted by the Bears in 1975, he predicted that he would last only five years but went on to play thirteen extraordinary seasons, a career earning him regular acknowledgment as one of the greatest players in the history of professional football. And when his playing days were over, he approached business and charity endeavors with the same determination and success he had brought to the football field, always putting first his devotion to friends and family. His ultimate battle with illness truly proved him the champion he always had been and prompted a staggering outpouring of love and support from hundreds of thousands of friends and admirers.
        Written with veteran journalist and author Don Yaeger in the last weeks of Walter Payton's life, Never Die Easy presents Walter's singular voice—warm, plainspoken, funny, self-aware—along with the voices of the friends, family, teammates, and business associates who knew him best at all stages of his life, including his wife, Connie, and their children, Brittney and Jarrett; his teammate and friend Matt Suhey; former Bears head coach Mike Ditka; and many, many others.
        Walter made Don Yaeger promise that his book would be "inspirational and leave people with some kind of lesson . . . and make sure you spell all the words right." Never Die Easy keeps all those promises.
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release date: Mar 26, 2013
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Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur
Like many entrepreneurs, Ryan Blair had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and, above all, a "nothing to lose" mindset. His middle-class childhood ended abruptly when his abusive father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned the family. Blair and his mother moved to a rough neighborhood, and soon he was in and out of juvenile detention, joining a gang just to survive. Then his mother fell in love with a successful entrepreneur who took Ryan under his wing. With his mentor's guidance, Blair started his first company, 24/7 Tech, at age twenty-one. He has since created and sold several companies for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is an inspirational guide full of powerful stories and lessons and a road map for entrepreneurial success.
release date: Mar 26, 2013
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Starting and Closing: Perseverance, Faith, and One More Year

John Smoltz was one of the greatest Major League pitchers of the late twentieth / early twenty-first century—one of only two in baseball history ever to achieve twenty wins and fifty saves in single seasons—and now he shares the candid, no-holds-barred story of his life, his career, and the game he loves in Starting and Closing.

A Cy Young Award-winner, future Baseball Hall of Famer, and currently a broadcaster for his former team, the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz  delivers a powerful memoir with the kind of fascinating insight into game that made Moneyball a runaway bestseller, plus a heartfelt and truly inspiring faith and religious conviction, similar to what illuminates each page of Tim Tebow’s smash hit memoir, Through My Eyes.

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