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Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Cofounder Paperback – September 4, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The life events of Bill Bowerman remind me of those in Forrest Gump, while his mind seemed to work much like Leonardo Da Vinci's. He is a descendent of a US President, a product of the Oregon Trail, an unlikely athletic star, a decorated war hero, witness to terrorism, accomplished innovator, co-founder of a fortune 500 company, humble philanthropist and mentor to some of the most amazing people you have never heard of. The pages seem to turn themselves as you anticipate the next defining event in Bill's life.
This book is not only about Bill, as the title suggests. Expect large chunks of multiple chapters to be about the people that came into Bill's life. It is especially a joy to read about Steve Prefontaine and Phil Knight.
My only caution is that those of us who are not fans of track and field may find some of the wonderfully detailed recolections of races rather tedious. None the less, Moore does a great job of keeping the reader engaged.
Nearly anyone can learn something from Bill through Moore's writing. This book is about so much more than running or the founding of Nike. Pick it up and prepare to learn more about life than you ever thought you could.
DISCLOSURE: I must admit that I am a life-long fan of Nike, a UO alum, sports nut, and admirer of Phil Knight. I may be a little biased.
EDIT: In response to a review above. The missing pages contained the forward written by Phil Knight. Legal mumbo jumbo got in the way and the forward was pulled. In a way, it's kid of cool to own a first eddition copy in the even the book goes through multiple printings.
Moore is at his finest when describing training techniques and track performances and when discussing, from his insider's vantage point, Bill's early running shoe prototypes and his relationships with the many talented athletes who ran at Oregon. As a fourth-place Olympic finisher in the same Munich Games where Pre faltered down the home stretch, Moore also did a wonderful job of illustrating how an untimely illness, a poor race plan, or other unfortunate circumstances denied many great champions the elusive Olympic medals by which athletic success is too often measured.
Some of the material is slow-going and somewhat dense in factual detail, however, and a disciplined editor could probably have pared it down by fifty pages or more. In particular, I wished that less text was spent on Bill's ancestors and family, his involvement in World War II and the struggles with Track & Field's governing bodies. That said, I can understand why Moore might have felt compelled to err on the side of over-inclusion when taking on the weighty responsibility of memorializing the life of his beloved coach.
-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker"
He was raised by a single mother and participated in track and football as on the high school and collegiate levels. He fought in WWII in the 10th Mountain division. While at UO he help start a shoe company because his athletes could not get a decent pair of running shoes. The company became NIKE.
He coached many Olympians including Kenny Moore(4th place - marathon - Munich '72). He was the head track and field coach at the '72 games. He coached Steve Prefontaine.
Kenny Moore tells the Bowerman story with loving detail. His unique perspective of being one of Bowerman's former athletes gives the book a special glow. Moore is also an excellent writer (Sports Illustrated: "Best Efforts" is a classic). Bowerman was a great man with flaws. Moore paints the complete picture in a loving, understanding fashion. THIS AN OUTSTANDING BOOK!!!
Though quantity may be lacking in Moore's book-writing career, he sets a world record here in his excellent biography of Bill Bowerman, his coach at the University of Oregon.
Bowerman was quite the Renaissance Man and ahead of his time, viewing coaching not from a sadistic point of view, but rather one that looks out for an athlete's best physical interests. Bowerman believed rest was as important as hard work so that an athlete may be sharp on meet day. Moore captures this well. In addition, Moore points out Bowerman's forward thinking in being the first to look at rubberized tracks in the U.S., as well as his inventing of the waffle running shoes and co-founding NIKE.
Moore's take looks deep into Bowerman's personality. At first I thought Moore was too forgiving of some of Bowerman's faults, namely his stubborness, the way he could turn on his athletes, his ritual of branding athletes in the sauna with his metal keys, and peeing on them in the shower. Moore it appears wants the reader to make his own judgements as the author's bias and admiration for Bowerman comes through. However, Moore does note that Bowerman could turn on his athletes and co-workers at NIKE rather quickly.
Excellent biographies show the entire person, warts and all. Perhaps we don't get all the warts, but Bowerman is shown as being human, not super human.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If one wants to understand true character, leadership, wit all while enjoy life, this should be at the top of the list. And if you're a track fan, well that's a bonus.Published 23 days ago by Kurt
Reads somewhat like Boys in the Boat. Being a U of O grad and attending there in the late 60's brings back great memories of meets, attending Olympic trials, etc. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Janet Shellenberger
I wanted to read this book for a long time .I like how Kenny Moore writes ...
This book took on a lot of meaning tome because I knew many of the main characters...
Very good book about the development of sport and business dynasty (Oregon Track and Nike, Inc.). Kenny Moore does very good workPublished 14 months ago by k.leggett