Customer Reviews for

Jim Brown: A Hero's Life

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    More an intro to the life of Jim Brown than a sentimental recollection of his career. Brown refused to cooperate with the author. Good not great sports bio of a great but flawed person that tried to improve the lives of others.

    I'll start by stating a bias that few sports superstars lead lives worthy of a biography. Jim Brown is an exception. However, be warned that this book is more a bio of Jim Brown the man than a sports biography. Much of the book covers Brown¿s childhood, the years of his professional & collegiate football career and his College HOF lacrosse career. However, the book only intermittently chronicles Jim Brown¿s extraordinary on-field accomplishments. He led the NFL in rushing 8 of his 9 seasons, retiring with most single season $ career rushing records. However, don¿t expect much sentimentality or gridiron reminiscences. The book covers the many other facets of Jim Brown¿s life - his civil rights activism, his work to help inner city youth/gang members, his acting career, his legal troubles related to physically abusing women & his time in prison. <BR/><BR/>The book is a balanced portrait of Brown presenting good & bad, professional & personal. The author sees Brown as a hero not for his on-field accomplishments where he excelled due to a dominating combination of power, size & speed. He often outweighed anyone on defense & was always one of the fastest men on the field. Instead, Freeman finds Jim Brown to be a hero for boldly, consistently confronting racism & because he sought to live a life of purpose by helping others after his football career ended. Brown¿s activism is something that athletes with significant clout such as Michael Jordan & Tiger Woods could easily do. Brown believes that if modern athletes pooled only a fraction of their wealth & influence they could change the fortunes of thousands of young poor people. Brown¿s activism started early. He paved the way for integrating the football program at Syracuse in the 1950s which helped Ernie Davis who followed him in the Syracuse backfield to become the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. Jim Brown helped recruit Davis to Syracuse. He respected Davis because he ¿transcended racism¿ as Davis was liked by both blacks & whites. Brown not only proactively addressed racism but since retirement from Football has put his money to work to improve the financial conditions of African Americans. Freeman discusses a paradox of Jim Brown who stridently fought racial oppression, but who displayed a lack of respect for & physically abused women. <BR/><BR/>Freeman notes that athletes commonly experience the situation where the traits which helped them succeed on the field often lead to their downfall off the field (O.J. Simpson & Pete Rose as notable examples). The author believes Brown benefited & suffers from supreme arrogance, violent anger, & an intensely strong will to dominate. As one legal prosecutor stated it, Jim Brown could abide by football rules but needed to equally abide by the rules of society.<BR/><BR/>An unexpected highlight of the book is an 11-page mini biography of Coach Paul Brown. Before there was Vince Lombardi or Bill Walsh or Bill Belichick there was the football innovator Paul Brown. Evidence of Coach Paul Brown¿s greatness is that his teams played for the league championship in each of Coach Brown¿s first 6 years in the NFL.<BR/><BR/>The book serves more as an introduction to Jim Brown than a sentimental recollection of his career or an insightful analysis of his life. Jim Brown accomplished much based on where he started & the racism he faced, but in the end his legacy is diminished by char

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2007

    Long on drama - short on documentation

    Lots of fluff here. Very short on documentation. Many errors throughout the book. Court records not validated.Story was loosely put together with no flow. Disappointing to say the least.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2006

    Not a Total Picture

    While the author claims to show both sides of Jim Brown, he doesn't. He clearly glosses over the negative aspects of his life. There is very little about his football career in this book, and the true story of his life still needs to be written. He is a fascinating icon, but he is more flawed than the author lets on. All you need to know is that he gives praise to Jim's acting career. We all know he was a great player, but his acting was truly bad. Disappointing in every way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jim Brown is Relavent to Our World

    For better or worse, Jim Brown has been relevant to this world. Not only is he the greatest NFL running back in history, but you learn he is probably the greatest lax player ever, and also played basketball at Syracuse University. That may not surprise people, but will surprise people of my generation or later, those born in the 1970's onward is that Brown was a ground breaking actor, his views on race are not the "standard" civil rights era beliefs, and that he, and helped bring soem peace to gang ridden L.A. Very worth the price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    Informative

    As someone who has followed Jim Brown's career I looked forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. What I liked the most was how the writer presented a great deal of facts and made Brown's complicated life flow very easily from page to page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    Jim Brown: The Fierce Life of an American Hero

    I thought I knew a lot about Jim Brown until I purchased this book. I'm a huge fan of Brown's career and this work is the centerpiece of my Brown collection. A job well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    Jim Brown: The Fierce Life of an American Hero

    This was one of the better sports biographies I have ever read. It's extremely thorough and covers every aspect of Brown's life. I particularly enjoyed some of the really interesting stories about Brown's days in Cleveland.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

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