Only the Strong Survive: Allen Iverson & Hip-Hop American Dream

Only the Strong Survive: Allen Iverson & Hip-Hop American Dream

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by Larry Platt
     
 

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Part sports star, part antihero, part hip-hop icon, Allen Iverson has managed to cross over into the mainstream of American culture -- without compromise. Defiantly tattooed, with his hair in cornrows, the six-foot Philadelphia 76ers point guard is one of the most recognizable and controversial stars of the sports world. His meteoric rise from a troubled childhood

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Overview

Part sports star, part antihero, part hip-hop icon, Allen Iverson has managed to cross over into the mainstream of American culture -- without compromise. Defiantly tattooed, with his hair in cornrows, the six-foot Philadelphia 76ers point guard is one of the most recognizable and controversial stars of the sports world. His meteoric rise from a troubled childhood in the ghetto to NBA superstardom has been marked by five straight playoff appearances, including a finals berth in 2001 and an MVP award. From his rap sheet to his rap album, fans and journalists alike hound his every move. But never before has a biographer presented a full portrait of this complicated and intensely private star -- a man whose loyalty to his family, the streets, and his friends trumps any other concern. Filled with exclusive interview material and unprecedented access to many of Iverson's inner circle, Only the Strong Survive is the first in-depth look at the truth behind this newly minted legend.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like his subject, Platt is at his best while running the court, his prose smooth and economical as he describes Iverson's explosive, creative playing style. A longtime journalist whose sports writings have been collected in New Jack Jocks: Rebels, Race and the American Athlete, Platt writes with an authority that Iverson fans will appreciate. But the compelling rags-to-riches biography of the controversial NBA superstar is bogged down by Platt's repetitive, heavy-handed critiques of the relationship between black athletes, their marketers and the media. Platt repeatedly outlines how white middle class America is not yet ready for Iverson's hip-hop persona, which is "too in-your-face, too black"-a provocative yet unoriginal insight that quickly grows old. Intent on portraying Iverson as a misunderstood truant with a heart of gold, Platt misses the opportunity to create a thorough, insightful portrait. In doing so, he succumbs to the very weakness he criticizes in so many of his fellow journalists: losing the player to the hype. 16-page color insert with b&w photos throughout. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers' enigmatic and brilliant point guard, has attracted a lot of attention from authors and sportswriters alike. Many of the books are for young adults (e.g., Mark Stewart's Allen Iverson: Motion and Emotion) and do not address the more interesting and important aspects of the Iverson phenomenon. Here is one of the first basketball books available to deal with race in a straightforward manner. Not only does Platt (New Jack Jocks: Rebels, Race, and the American Athlete) examine the various ways white players and National Basketball Association brass have reacted to Iverson's controversial style but he considers the reactions of older black players as well. The author's discussion of race and culture in the modern NBA is just as interesting as the nuanced and detailed story of Iverson's dramatic life and career. (With his father in prison for manslaughter, Iverson spent his childhood in such terrible poverty that he lived in a house without adequate running water until his late teens.) Platt had remarkable access to the most important people in Iverson's life as well as to the elusive man himself. Written in a lively style and with something meaty for anyone who reads it, this book is recommended for all sports collections.-James Miller, Springfield Coll., MA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061751332
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
296,214
File size:
0 MB

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