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I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It Hardcover – October 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037550883X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375508837
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

NBA star Barkley-still only the second basketball player in history, along with Wilt Chamberlain, to total more than 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists-has refused to go quietly into the mists of sports legends. One of the most controversial professional athletes in any sport, Barkley has repositioned himself as an outspoken and provocative sports commentator for the TNT network, reaping a new and large viewing audience in the process. This sports memoir-Barkley's first-is a highly entertaining and remarkably thoughtful work that successfully continues his ongoing repositioning from on-court wild man to provocative analyst. "I'm trying to transition from sports into something broader, with wider social implications," he writes. In a book that often reads like an overlong Sports Illustrated interview, Barkley explores a wide range of interests. Each chapter has a theme, and Barkley has no problem speaking his mind on any topic, whether it is politics ("Poor white people and poor black people just don't know how much they have in common. Rich people don't give a damn about either group") or lack of minority control in sports ("Black people ought to want other black people to be successful and work hard and accumulate some wealth and build a new damn reality"). In between these chapters are other sections that retell some of the great and not-so-great moments in his career, such as his involvement with Michael Jordan in the U.S. Olympic medal-winning "Dream Team." But transitions within and between chapters can often be jarring (in one chapter he suddenly launches into a criticism of abusive priests). Despite that, this is a very entertaining look at one of the most intelligent minds in pro sports, and like Barkley's career, it's bound to produce fierce arguments.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Barkley was named one of the top 50 players in NBA history and, since recently retiring, has served as a popular studio analyst for TNT's basketball coverage. This, however, is not a basketball book per se. Instead, in the guise of a memoir, it is a series of riffs and rants on a variety of topics by a man who sometimes talks about going into politics. At times, the subject matter is repetitive, and occasionally Barkley's arguments can be self-contradictory. More often, though, the observations are dead-on. For example, on the subject of the "keepin' it real" attitude of athletes who have struck it rich but continue self-consciously to keep the trappings of poverty, Barkely feels that nothing could be phonier or more self-destructive. Noted sports writer Wilbon edited the book, but the tone is clearly and happily all Sir Charles. The outspoken Barkley has always been an intelligent and provocative guy who can be entertaining while also having something worthwhile to say. His book is no different. Recommended for public libraries.
John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This Book is a must read for any sports fan.
Lucie
I started to read it and decided to order another one, as I don"t want to give this up.
david riding
It pretty much what you would expect from a personality like Charles Barkley.
J. C. Payne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By david riding on November 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my son, who has been a Barkley fan for years. I started to read it and decided to order another one, as I don"t want to give this up. It is great. I have also been a fan. But I enjoy his honesty and being so forthright. He's really changed my views on different things.
S. Riding
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kimothy Clark on November 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was never a Charles Barkley fan during his days at Philly and Phoenix. I always thought he was somewhat abrasive. I've ALWAYS been and STILL AM, a Julius "Dr. J" Irving fan. But now that Charles is older and wiser, he's actually one of my favorite people. I love his candid and frank demeanor. Although he could use better choice of words when displaying his forwardness on certain individuals.
Thank you Charles for writing this book. ALL PARENTS WITH POTENTIAL STUDENT ATHLETES NEED TO READ THIS HIGHLY INFORMATIVE BOOK.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "michaele23" on October 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this book he talks about how he is making the transistion from basketball to something else, political commentator or something like that, now that he has retired from the NBA. He is at his best AWAY from basketball in this book, and even though he talked a lot about wanting to move beyond it he still talked about it a lot.
I recommend this book because of his comments on racism, which I found interesting in that they would be hard to characterize as liberal or conservative. I hope Charles does do something political because based on what he says here I think he could be a valuable inbetween sort of person that both sides could trust to help sort some issues out. He talks frequently about the need for more discussion and I agree with him. This book really did make me think, I tend to be conservative on the race issue, but I did not find his views about where racism lies to be at all race baiting like so many black leaders out there, or excessively small minded, but rather thought provoking and things I have gone back to in my mind since reading the book and noticing racial things on TV, etc.
All in all a good read, easy reading, and enough juicy basketball stuff if that is what you are up for to go with the meatier stuff about social and racial issues.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. Reads quick, but doesn't lack substance as Charles has a lot to say.
My biggest surprise was in the political area: For years, I have heard that Charles is a conservative, and I always see GOP big shots try to capatalize on his fame. After reading the book, however, I don't think Charles is as much as a GOP man as even Charles himself seems to think. His views on race, wealth, big business and several other issues are light years away from anything I hear republicans in power espousing these days. His positions are much more left leaning in everything but name- which is fine.
In the end, its all good no matter what your politics. Charles has much to offer here, and thankfully leaves the nuances of breaking down the pick and roll on the weak side to other books. He talks about things that matter, and for this I thank him and show up here to recommend his book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on April 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I checked out this book because I enjoy listening to Charles Barkley on TNT and am also a big fan of Michael Wilbon (who provides the introduction to this book) and his ESPN program Pardon the Interruption. In fact a few of the issues brought up in the book are used by Wilbon a lot on his television show like PETA, the lack of African Americans on the popular reality shows, DWB (Driving While Black), the wonders of the Dish etc.
Barkley writes about many issues, but does not get into too much depth on anything. Even his reflections on his childhood in Leeds, Alabama jumps around. Insights from being in the NBA so many years are mostly general and only really touch the surface. Tidbits that piqued my interest, like the fact that NBA players get a new pair of basketball shoes for every game and that many of the younger players today do not listen to the advice of Barkley and other statesmen of the game are only mentioned. His experience as member of the legendary Dream Team would benefit from more depth, though he does mention an eye-opening moment with Magic Johnson not long after Johnson announced he was HIV positive (pg. 190).
Other times, I think he takes the safe route on issues. He devotes significant space to his belief that Catholic Priests found guilty of sexually abusing children should be put in jail...OK. He also stops short of controversy. He will make a statement like: "Bobby Knight pretty much just wanted to keep guys he could control [on the 1984 Olympic team]. There were a lot of good players who were cut, guys who were better than ones who made the team" (pg 177). Well, how were the players who made the team more controllable? Who made the team who was not better than some who were cut? Alas, these questions are never answered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Bull on February 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
First, this is not a book about basketball -- nor is it meant to be a collage of funny stories. Rather, if it has a theme, it is that Barkley wants people to discuss truly important issues; topics like race and discrimination that need conversation rather than political correctness. His goal with this collection of 25 "essays", running about ten pages each, is to get people out of the comfort zone and table subjects often pushed to the side by polite society.
While we think Michael Wilbon {in his foreword} went a little overboard in citing some of the ideas as "in-your-face" provocative and occasionally profane, Barkley tries hard in at least half the articles to stir somebody's pot. Current events like the Augusta National Golf Club issue with women (and Tiger Woods), child abuse at the hands of priests, and September 11th get his thoughts, alternating with fairly folksy chit chat about his Dad, his Grandma, the Dream Team, and so on.
Barkley seemed at his best to us in three segments: (1) discussing religion and why it is totally irrelevant to sports -- the title says it all: "God doesn't have a favorite team!"; (2) debunking the myth that only players on championship teams can be truly great; (3) and that "Making a Difference" is his (and should be everybody's) calling having "made it" -- indeed, the last stanza is entitled "If the Playing Is All You're Going to Do, You've Missed the Boat".
Don't read this cover to cover in one two-hour session. Read a few, let it sink in, then read a few more. Then TALK about it; otherwise, as Sir Charles says, you've missed the boat !
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