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Jesse Owens: An American Life

Jesse Owens: An American Life

From Publishers Weekly

The 10th and last child of an Alabama sharecropper, James Cleveland Owens was taken to Ohio as a child. There, while still in junior high school, he encountered a white coach who recognized his phenomenal talent and loved him like a son, a relationship that figured significantly in the athlete's racial attitudes throughout his life, according to Baker, a historian at the University of Maine. After successes in high school and college, Owens scored his greatest triumph at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, winning four gold medals. For some years after that he tried to parlay his fame into Money, an attempt made onerous by the difficulty of marketing running skills and the prevailing racial feelings of the '30s and '40s. Eventually, however, he became an Illinois state official and a respected spokesman for Republicanism. As his fame persisted, notes Baker, he began to make through endorsements, dying in comfortable circumstances. History Book Club alternate.
Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Owens's athletic prowess is best remembered because of his winning four gold medals in the in Germany. Although this feat was tied by Carl Lewis in the 1984 Olympic Games, Owens had a more spectacular day than is likely to occur in his sport. In the space of one hour, he broke three world records and tied a fourth. His long-jump record set that day stood for a quarter century. Baker's scholarly, critical appraisal of the famous athlete focuses on Owens's life, both in athletics and in private. Tax evasion, political dealings, extramar- ital affairs, and frequent job changes are brought to light. Although the writing is not fluid, it is concise, and the treatment is evenhanded. The book is well researched and well organized. Recommended. See below for a of Duff Hart-Davis's Hitler's Games. David L. Mills, Brooklyn P.L., New York
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Track and field's premier athlete finally has a monument worthy of him. -- Sports Illustrated

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