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Atlas Paperback – May 2, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060542403
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060542405
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,438,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Boxing trainer and ESPN commentator Atlas ruminates on fighting as a form of masculine psychotherapy, from his own youthful street brawling to his stints training a young Mike Tyson and heavyweight champ Michael Moorer. His theme is the male psyche's craving for paternal approval, evinced in his juvenile acting out against an emotionally distant dad and his ringside relationships with a succession of surrogate sons. With them, Atlas's mentoring toggles between fatherly tenderness ("I care about you. You're important to me") and tough-love harangues ("hit him in the fuckin' balls and become a fighter or you get on the next train and you get the fuck out of my life!"). He also becomes a spiritual guide to celebrity clients like Twyla Tharp, whom he lectures on the need to face one's fears, and Willem Dafoe, with whom he discusses the nature of truth. Atlas's exhaustively transcribed motivational sermons can be wearisome, and in his self-serving accounts of boxing industry intrigues he is always loyal and principled. But he and amanuensis Alson tell his story with plenty of atmospherics, Runyonesque characters and an illuminating focus on the boxer's internal battle. Photos. (May 9)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“The book is a winner, on all cards, from the first to the final bell.” (Boston Globe)

“A work of cumulative, powerful impact: [Teddy Atlas] doesn’t allow anyone, readers included, to evade life’s tough questions.” (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

This book is a must read for any fans of boxing.
Anthony Clune
The name "Teddy Atlas" is synonymous with "Tough" and as you read in the book, you learned how he got the scar on his face.
Aunt Ibit
A great sports story and a look into the life of boxing .
Richard T. Hubiak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Pitterrier on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Teddy Atlas wrote the ideal book for men struggling to find the truth about fear, loyalty, friendship, honor, commitment and even forgiveness. Being a "stand-up" guy has never been easy and most have gone the easy route by acting tough, instead of honestly confronting and over coming one's fears. Atlas isn't a preachy lightweight, because every chapter smacks the reader in the head with the powerful truth that we all have our fears and look for the easy way out of difficult situations. His advice comes not from some pinhead with a psychology PhD, but from a life full of terrible irony.

This book should be required reading for every young guy embarking on life's dangerous journey.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on June 7, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are so many "autobiographies" dumped into the market from the latest icon in pop culture that it is easy to now dismiss the genre as a viable means to really learn about a person.

Teddy Atlas doesn't sugarcoat one item from his life in his battle with finding who he really is. Atlas writes about his struggles as a street tough that could had led to an early death or long incarceration. And with many kids from urban settings, Atlas found himself - as it were - through boxing. And, ironically, it is through his work developing fighters as much mentally as physically that propelled Atlas into his popular role as analyst on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.

The story is one that should be read in high schools throughout this country, his message is that important. In a time when so much autobiography is seemingly developed through public-relation's firms, Atlas keeps it real.

For that alone, it should be a must read, even if you aren't a boxing fan.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By railroad guy on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
In a sport full of crooks, liars and thugs, Teddy Atlas stands out as a beacon of honesty. Much like his performances on ESPN's fight series, Teddy pulls no punches in his book. You might miss Teddy's weekly TV malaprops in the pages of his life story, but the unvarnished truth never sways off target.

If there was a national boxing commission, Teddy Atlas would be the perfect commissioner ... impartial, brutally honest and incorruptible. For all of his struggles to validate himself in the eyes of his father, Teddy has certainly validated himself in the eyes of boxing fans everywhere. And I'd bet that his father is proud of the man he ultimately became.

Buy the book; in addition to a fascinating read, you might unearth some previously undiscovered secrets of your own journey through life.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MC on May 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you've ever read boxing autobiographies you know they can get tedious. If you're very lucky they remain entertaining enough to hold you attention until the last chapter. The problem has always been that athletes in general are just not all that interesting! After the opening chapter the average sports personality starts to resemble the dullard you perhaps thought they were all along (replete with boring anecdotes about money, groupies and the pitfalls of success).

Thankfully, Teddy Atlas provides us with a book that is not only consistently interesting, but one that transcends the sport its pages are dedicated to. Those already familiar with Atlas now him as the pull-no-punches commentator on ESPN with the exhaustive insight. If the fight game still holds any secrets, Teddy is unlocking them.

In "From the Streets to the Ring" we are introduced to many famous (and near famous) boxers Teddy has worked or interacted with, but it's not WHO Teddy knows, but WHAT he knows. Make no mistake however; this book does not contain gossip on high profile athletes. What Teddy provides us with is a unique glimpse into the psyche of elite athletes. He doesn't just critique a fighter's style, he examines the personality quirks, pet-pet peeves and psychological forces that drive some of the toughest men on the planet. With more than a passing interest in psychology & philosophy, Mr. Atlas explores archetypes of masculinity, Freudian themes and how the soul deals with hurt, loss, pain and most importantly, fear. What's best is that this analysis is not limited to those he's worked with, Teddy reflects carefully (and critically) on his own shortcomings, his history and what makes him "tick."

A highly recommended book - not just for sports fans but for anyone interested in a profile of a unique, fascinating individual.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Stull on October 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Richard Arlin (Dick) Stull.

Truths about Fathers, Fear, Fighting and Fate

Fight-trainer Teddy Atlas touched on a universal and
culturally timely issue in his book, Atlas: From the
Streets to the Ring: A Son's Struggle to Become a
Man. His father was a loved, admired, and respected
New York City doctor but, nonetheless, emotionally
distant from his family and, in particular, from
Teddy, his oldest son, the one who wanted nothing more
than his father's approval.

To this end, Atlas, who did not grow up on the mean
streets, wound up there in his desperate quest to
wrestle with fear and the lack of his father's (and
his own) approval. Along the way, Atlas chronicles
his violent street fights, his terrifying bus ride to
Riker's Island, his undeserved second and third
chances, and the scar he received in a knife fight,
extending from scalp to jaw. The wound, from which he
almost bled to death, required 200 stitches on the
outside and 200 on the inside. That visible and
invisible scar on his face is the central metaphor for
Atlas's life - it was, in reality, Atlas's heart that
received the 400 stitches that ultimately healed, but
was still scarred inside and out.

After a number of scrapes with the law and a stay on
Riker's Island, Atlas was introduced to boxing's own
pugilistic Socrates, Cus D'Amato. D'Amato, who was
revered as a trainer and motivator of champions
(former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson, for
example), became a surrogate father to Atlas. But,
like Atlas's own father, D'Amato had his own demons
and flaws and, ultimately, was not the ideal Atlas
wanted him to be.
Read more ›
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