Jim Brown by Dave Zirin
Last Man Standing

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Zirin, who spent considerable time with Brown, deftly navigates this rocky terrain, providing ample room for Brown to tell his own story and for others to weigh in as well. A truly rounded, fully fleshed portrait of a significant 20th-century figure.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A unique biography of Jim Brown--football legend, Hollywood star, and controversial activist--written by acclaimed sports journalist Dave Zirin.

Jim Brown is recognized as perhaps the greatest football player to ever live. But his phenomenal nine-year career with the Cleveland Browns is only part of his remarkable story, the opening salvo to a much more sprawling epic. Brown parlayed his athletic fame into stardom in Hollywood, where it was thought that he could become "the black John Wayne." He was an outspoken Black Power icon in the 1960s, and he formed Black Economic Unions to challenge racism in the business world. For this and for his decades of work as a truce negotiator with street gangs, Brown--along with such figures as Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, and Billie Jean King--is revered as a socially conscious athlete.

On the most hypermasculine cultural canvases of the United States--NFL football, the Black Power movement, Hollywood's blaxploitation films, gang intervention both inside and outside prison walls--Jim Brown has made his mark. Yet in the landscape of the most toxic expression of "what makes a man"--numerous accusations of violence against women--he has left a jagged mark as well.

Dave Zirin's book redefines an American icon, and not always in a flattering light. At eighty-one years old, Brown continues to speak out and look for fights. His recent public support of Donald Trump and criticism of Colin Kaepernick are just the latest examples of someone who seems restless if he is not in conflict. Jim Brown is a raw and thrilling account of Brown's remarkable life and a must-read for sports fans and students of the black freedom struggle.
 

About Dave Zirin

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One of the UTNE Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World," Dave Zirin is a columnist for The Nation, SLAM magazine, and SI.com. He is the host of Sirius XM's popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPN's Outside the Lines and on MSNBC. His previous books include A People's History of Sports in the United States and Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love (both available from The New Press). He lives near Washington, D.C.
 
Published May 15, 2018 by Blue Rider Press. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Jim Brown
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 19 2018

Zirin, who spent considerable time with Brown, deftly navigates this rocky terrain, providing ample room for Brown to tell his own story and for others to weigh in as well. A truly rounded, fully fleshed portrait of a significant 20th-century figure.

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Sports Book Review Center

Above average
Reviewed by Budd Bailey on May 15 2018

This is a slightly one-sided but interesting look at the life of a star football player who has remained relevant 50 years after he left the game. This might work for those who like their sports and politics shaken together.

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