Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe by Kate Buford
The first comprehensive biography of the legendary figure who defined excellence in American sports: Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest all-around athlete in U.S. history.
With clarity and an eye for detail, Kate Buford traces the pivotal moments of Thorpe’s incomparable career: growing up in the tumultuous Indian Territory of Oklahoma; leading the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team to victories against the country’s finest college teams; winning gold medals in the 1912 Olympics pentathlon and decathlon; defining the burgeoning sport of professional football; and playing long, often successful—and previously unexamined—years in professional baseball.
At the same time, however, Buford recounts the difficulties Thorpe faced as a Native American. We also see the infamous loss of his Olympic medals, stripped from him because he had previously played professional baseball, an event that would haunt Thorpe for the rest of his life. We see his struggles with alcoholism and personal misfortune, and how he came to distrust many of the hands extended to him. We learn the details of his vigorous advocacy for Native American rights while he chased a Hollywood career, and the truth behind the supposed reinstatement of his Olympic record in 1982.
Here is the story of a complex, iconoclastic, profoundly talented man whose life encompassed both tragic limitations and truly extraordinary achievements.
Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe 4.2 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone seriously interested in Jim Thorpe. It will be THE definitive book on Mr Thorpe despite very strong previous books by Wheeler and Newcombe. Outstanding coverage of all areas of his life with excellent details. The quality of the photographs, many rarely seen, added to the value of this book. I have been a fan of Thorpe's for many years and have read all the books about him. I cannot recommend this book too highly!
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