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That he would now turn his considerable abilities to exploring Michael Jordan is not surprising. Halberstam loves hoops, and Jordan not only defines the game, he defines an era. His fame crosses international borders as easily as he dribbles past half-court lines. In focusing on Jordan--as athlete and force of nature--and his osmosis from a young hoop dreamer to product pitchman to the world, Halberstam is really examining intangibles like myth and legend, celebrity and fame, wealth and image, excellence and genius, race and style, the qualities of heroism and the pursuit of perfection. "That there had been even one Michael Jordan seemed in retrospect something of a genetic fluke," he writes, "and the idea that anyone would arrive in so short a span of time and do what he did both on and off the court seemed highly unlikely." But the phenomenon that is Jordan did just that.
Understanding, even admiring, what he did, how he did it, and what it means in a basketball context and a larger one is Halberstam's goal, and, despite Jordan's lack of cooperation--or maybe because of it--Halberstam's muscular prose and thinking scores powerfully. Yet, there is a wistfulness, in the end, to Playing for Keeps; the game doesn't seem as much fun and collegial as it used to for Halberstam, and Jordan, great as he may be, emerges with less of the historic grace exhibited by Jackie Robinson, Ali, and Arthur Ashe than with a quality that Halberstam deems the athlete-explorer "in terms of going beyond previously accepted limits of what was humanly possible, and somehow by dint of physical excellence and unmatched willpower, pushing those limits forward that much more." Dazzling, certainly, but not necessarily heroic. Playing for Keeps is also available on audiocassette. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I boght tis book for my husband and he thoroughly enjoyed it.Published 24 days ago by Barbara M. Radabaugh
I'm not disputing anything written or covered or quoted in this book, but this book is full of long, cumbersome sentences - sentences with so many parts that the parts threaten to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by bob chang
If you are looking for a well written book about the nature of professional sports, this book is a must read.Published 4 months ago by Heather Buckley
one has to be a Chicago Bulls fan in order to truly appreciate this work. We all know that there will never be another Michael but this confirms it! Read morePublished 9 months ago by S Alwa
It was a gift for my boyfriend and he is excited about it! He is going to enrich his collection of Michael Jordan's things!!Published 10 months ago by Maria Daskalaki
This book excelled my expectations. It is a must read book not only for Michael Jordan fans but for everybody who loves NBA basketball. I could not stop reading it! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Elton Lopes
Halberstam was one of the best and it shows in this book. It has been well publicized that Michael Jordan backed out of an agreed upon interview with Halberstam at the conclusion... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Clarence Woorley
This book gives a very interesting account of Michael Jordan and the impact of his greatness on sports and how it expanded the international market for basketballPublished 14 months ago by Taylor Davis