By Drew Olson Special to Published Jul 24, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Maraniss appears at 7 p.m. tonight at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, 4093 N. Oakland Ave., in Shorewood.

Maraniss, a Madison native, is promoting his latest book, "Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World." In the book, he looks at some of the memorable figures from those games -- Wilma Rudolph, Cassius Clay, Rafer Johnson and others -- and explores how their exploits were shaped by the political, social and cultural forces at work at the time.

Maraniss' other books include "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi," "First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton," "They Marched Into Sunlight -- War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967," and "Clemente -- The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero."

Maraniss got the idea for "Rome 1960" while researching his book about the late Pittsburgh Pirates star Roberto Clemente.

"His first great season was 1960, when the Pirates won the National League pennant and then the World Series against the Yanks," Maraniss said. "I was researching that book, looking through old sports sections from august and September of that year, I kept seeing these amazing names -- Wilma Rudolph, Cassius Clay, Abebe Bikila, Rafer Johnson, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.

"That drew me to it. Then when I realized that through those games in Rome I could illuminate history and sociology at the same time and put together everything I love, that's when I dug into the book."

Look for a more in-depth interview with Maraniss in the coming weeks at

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.