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Library Journal★ 06/01/2014
Lazenby's thoroughly enjoyable biography is an impressive portrait of a man consumed by his competitive ambitions. It is also by far the most complete book on Michael Jordan to date, covering every aspect of his life (b. 1963) from his North Carolina ancestors to his current ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats. The number of interviews Lazenby appears to have conducted is particularly admirable. Of special note are long quotes from former Chicago Bulls guard Steve Kerr and from longtime Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach. Both men seem to understand Jordan very well and are alert to his foibles and his considerable charms, making for the most delightful reading. Lazenby also deserves praise for the attention he devotes to Jordan's impact on the economics of professional sports, endorsement contracts, and advertising. That much of this was owing to circumstance and Jordan's likable personality—not strictly his athletic skills and accomplishments—is not surprising but nonetheless revealing. The author's take on the story of Nike and Jordan is the most thorough and fascinating version yet. VERDICT Essential reading for all sports fans and particularly for those interested in American cultural history and popular culture.