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Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph Hardcover – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307406091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307406095
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Move over, Horatio Alger. Stringer's inspiring story of rising to the top through hard work and the love of a close-knit family is one of the strongest sports memoirs in recent years. The oldest child in a large family that stressed education, teamwork and dignity, Stringer manifested all those values in nearly four decades as a basketball coach. As the first coach in NCAA women's history to bring three different teams to the Final Four, Stringer has loads of fantastic stories to share, particularly the turnaround that resulted in the 2006–2007 Rutgers women moving from the bottom of their division to the top, winning the nation's respect even before their dignified response to Don Imus's slurs. This memoir is also about winning off the court, as Stringer describes the heartrending trials that have tested her endurance and faith: a major crisis with each of her three children; the sudden death of her beloved husband in 1991; and her own quiet struggle with cancer, discussed openly here for the first time. Karen Chilton's performance is strong and memorable, and Stringer herself reads the introduction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Stringer is the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Rutgers University—the team that radio-host Don Imus, in a mean-spirited attempt at humor, disparaged with a crude, racist remark, setting off a national firestorm. It’s to Stringer’s credit that the Imus incident takes only a few pages at the end of the book. This is a memoir of a coaching career and a life in which a lout with a microphone is merely a bump in the road. Stringer recounts her childhood in a small Pennsylvania mining town with five siblings and parents who prepared their children for success with love and discipline. After beginning as an unpaid volunteer coach at tiny Cheyney State, Stringer went on to revive a dormant program at Iowa before moving to Rutgers. Along the way, she recounts the personal tragedies that have paralleled her professional success: an infant daughter who contracted spinal meningitis; a husband who died at 44; her own bout with breast cancer. This is an emotional roller coaster of a memoir, but it is told with humor, passion, and gratitude. An inspiring life story—and certain to get plenty of attention. --Wes Lukowsky

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Thanks for sharing your amazing story Vivien.
Robin S. Dilg
I can honestly say that the C. in C. Vivian Stringer truly does stand for CHAMPION!
Helen T. Washington
This is a must read for anyone who likes to be inspired.
K. M. Harr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a women's basketball fan I was familiar with C Vivian Stringer and her Rutgers team. What I wasn't familiar with were all the details of her upbringing in a poor but proud family and the struggles she went through as an African American, wife and mother dealing with a high profile career, illness of her daughter, death of her husband and various other unique challenges. Coach Stringer presents all of her struggles in an honest and humble way. I especially enjoyed reading how she developed her coaching style over the years and seeing how she put her values into practice. If you like "overcomer" type stories or sports stories, you'll enjoy this, its the type you can't put down until you finish. I can understand now why her players seem to have so much affection and loyalty for her.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Am amazing book. Very hard to put down. Coach Stringer shares her life, including stories of her own mistakes, setbacks and bad decisions. She tells us about her happy family and her encounter with racism at high school cheerleader selection. In college, her passion for sports collided with academics and she almost flunked out. And she met a handsome athlete named Bill Stringer.

Stringer's adult life combined professional triumph with personal tragedy. One child remains paralyzed from misdiagnosed spinal meningitis...and speechless from complications when the doctors refused to listen to Vivian's pleas: "I know there's something wrong. Please take another MRI."

Later her husband died at 47 and Stringer herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. She leaned heavily on family to survive these crises with dignity and strength.

As a basketball fan, I especially liked the sections on teams, games and championships. And I would like to have seen more. The most moving scene comes when Stringer describes a New Year's Eve practice when a lackluster team was inspired by Cappie Pondexter, Tammy Sutton Brown and a handful of Coach Stringer's former players. These players had just a few days off for the holidays, yet they came to Rutgers to help their coach and talk to this team from their perspective of "been there." And the team went on to get past the Final Four -- almost all the way to an NCAAW championship.

Ultimately, I welcomed the opportunity to get to know more about Vivian Stringer. I've seen her standing tall at Rutgers games, wearing red, unflappable, and yes, every inch the tough coach in a feminine designer suit with good jewelry.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Vincent P. Domeraski on March 26, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started following Rutgers Women's basketball just a few years ago and wanted to find out what makes C. Vivian Stringer tick, as well as to catch up on earlier teams that she coached. The book filled that need admirably. The writing is excellent, details informative and the message uplifting. She has a stoic and yet combative view of life and her story explains why.

No book will ever reveal what a person is like and if you've ever heard her speak, you know that Coach Stringer has poetry in her that barely peaks through in the book. Her reaction to the recent Tennessee clock debacle included, "I seem to have an eraser after my name..."

The perpetual struggle that she is involved in as she coaches and deals with her other challenges and the effect that she has on others is what she is and she is a treasure.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arnett Howard on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Vivian Stringer has been a part of my life since 1993, when her Iowa Hawkeyes and my Ohio State Buckeyes traded wins and losses against each other on the way to that year's NCAA Final Four. We have never met, but have always considered us family because of what is common in our lives; the coal mines, women athletics, being African American, having extreme amounts of drive, rising to heights in our professional lives, our faith and hope for those we teach. I am a professional musician.
As I finish Standing Tall, I hold back the tears swelling up in my soul. But tears are a sign of strength. Thank you, Vivian, for taking the time out of your extremely busy life to collaborate with Laura Tucker and Crown Publishers on this wonderful book. I hope America reads it, lays our souls next to your huge heart and learn what it takes to stand tall and prosper through tragedy and triumph.
I look forward to sharing this book with my loved ones.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Helen T. Washington on March 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of us heard about her from the fall-out of Don Imus' disgusting comments regarding her team; but in her memoir you will learn that the strength of character she showed during those dark days was ingrained in her from her solid family values. Coach Stringer is a woman whose challenges have only served to make her stronger, better, wiser. And those of us who are privildged to know her can only be amazed by her talent, beauty and fortitude. I can honestly say that the C. in C. Vivian Stringer truly does stand for CHAMPION!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Babcock on March 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book! Highly recommended to everyone! Gives hope to all that have a had a struggle like Vivians! From a poor family to coaching one of THE BEST womens college basketball teams EVER! Im a big RU fan and the whole team has been through alot, I commend them on their courage and with Vivian as their coach, they will soar! She's a great role-model to everyone!
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