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Four Feet Tall and Rising: A Memoir Hardcover – January 10, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 275 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this energetic autobiography, Rossi—a “third-generation Little Person”—tells a fascinating life story, including his early escape from his dysfunctional, antisocial dad; living on the street at age 14 and becoming a legendary white member of the L.A. Crips gang, which led to a 10-year prison sentence; and his postprison career as the head of a talent agency for little people. Through it all, however, runs the thread of Rossi’s relationship with pit bulls, from the first pit that helped him through his tough adolescence to the number of pits he currently owns. Starting with one “spark”—“to convince kids in the projects that pit bulls weren’t dangerous and shouldn’t be used for fighting”—Rossi starts his own rescue service, which allows him to free dozens of pit bulls and develop an in-your-face approach to people who mistreat the breed. This led to his discovery by Animal Planet and his development as a dynamic television personality. But Rossi makes no apologies for his passion: “Dog rescue often turns normal, good-intentioned people into crazy fanatics.”
Publishers Weekly

“A candid, charged slice of personal history.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of Animal Planet’s Pit Boss will recognize Rossi as talent manager and owner of Shortywood Entertainment and founder of Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue. Here, he tells his life story—and what a story it is!...Rossi’s riveting account includes prison encounters with Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez and Rick James, his stint as Alvin at Universal Studios, and dealing with international fame as a reality-television star. Funny and foul-mouthed, Rossi and his book have tremendous appeal.”
Library Journal

About the Author

Luigi Francis Shorty Rossi is the star of Animal Planet’s Pit Boss, the owner of Shortywood Entertainment, a talent management company for Little People, and the owner of Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue.
www.shortywood.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; Stated First Edition edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307985881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307985880
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have worked in animal rescue for over ten years now. From this man's vantage-point I have to presume he spent his entire life fighting. What I admire and respect about this man is that his fight isn't just for him but for the greater good. He has brought more awareness to the plight of and discrimination against a breed of dog that is unjust and discriminatory; awareness that would not exist were it not for him, his show, this story.

I have never been more anxious to consume a book and learn more about a man whom I respect and admire.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldnt put it down..
if you ever had a question about Shorty Rossi the PIT BOSS.. its all here, AND THEN SOME!..
Great story telling, honest read..
fighting adversity for pitbulls BSL and little people alike.. Shorty has left his mark on both, and will go down in history for his efforts (even if he is an ass about it )
The struggle of life, for dreams and equality. This is Shortys best effort in educating people about Pit bulls, the horrifying ways they are treated, and how we can help stop the pit bull ban and BSL laws.
The love Shorty has for his dogs is amazing, and through that, it fuels him to go nonstop in effort for change.
its a MUST read..
a newfound admiration and respect for the foul mouthed ex-con :) . 10 stars **********
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Format: Hardcover
If your an animal lover, Pit Boss fan,or believe in rooting for the underdog...... then Four Feet Tall and Rising is the book you need to read! The only thing I found wrong with it, is that it was too short.. I could of read another 100 pages. Shorty certainly did not wear any rose colored glasses when the book was wrote... he does not sugar coat his childhood or any other part of his life, or the lives of his best friends (his pit bulls). I found his honesty to be very eye opening and humbling. I also found myself rooting for the "underdog" and turning page after page to find out what good (or bad) was coming his way...... as I felt that I was believing in his dreams as much as he has (does)!! Four Feet Tall and Rising makes you realize how racism and discrimination affects the people and dogs that are targeted by it. This is a bestseller!! Cannot wait for the sequel........ Four Feet Tall and Soaring!! (Just a thought)
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Format: Hardcover
Four Feet Tall and Rising is one of the most fascinating works of nonfiction I've read in my life. Shorty Rossi is one of the most intriguing men of our era, and this memoir is nothing short of phenomenal. Why? Because it's completely and unflinchingly truthful.

From the first page, which is especially dear to me, Shorty opens up about his appreciation for swearing. I am a lover of words who shares this attachment to vulgar language, and so this announcement hooked me right from the start. But on a deeper level, Shorty's introduction fairly warns readers that he has never, and will never, sugarcoat anything. He is a man of blatant honesty and never apologizes for being so. As well he shouldn't. In American society, especially in Los Angeles where Shorty works, people are flimsier than paper and will tell you anything for a buck. That's why this memoir was so endearing to me, because he shares the ugly truth no matter how much people may like him to pretty it up.

Reading about his years spent behind bars were absolutely fascinating, mainly because readers were finally able to share in more of his journey. Anyone who has watched even one episode of Pit Boss knows that Shorty Rossi spent ten years in prison, but there is so much more to it than that. I found myself saying "Oh my God!" out loud several times while reading about the gritty details of prison life, such as how Shorty was charged by an angry Aryan carrying a shank, or how he spoke to Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker. I won't give away too many details, as this memoir should be personally read by anyone who can read, but it is very rare that a book will make me sit up and exclaim vocally while I'm reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my second kindle purchase but first kindle read. I have to say it was a great choice. Like most I knew of Shorty through the Animal Planet show 'Pit Boss' but I actually had only seen a few episodes having not had cable. I was always curious to know Shorty's story from the little I had seen of 'Pit Boss' right away you could tell he had a story to tell. From page one the book read how Shorty talks and his personality bled from each page. I loved that about it since I could picture Shorty reading his story to me and I loved that about this book. It's no longer a mystery how Shorty got to where he is now and that's why this is such an inspirational read. It's true that everyone can change if they want and Shorty's story is proof of that. It's also proof that if you know what you want and you try hard enough you can accomplish great things. Something I needed to read at this point in my life.

Like the TV show Pit Bulls are not left out of the story. One reason I liked Shorty so much is his passion for his Pits. After seeing 'Pit Boss' my idea of Pit Bulls changed completely and I give him credit for that. While I'm not a Little Person I'm not very tall and I've always been afraid of dogs. If someone like Shorty can take care and walk Pits and even have one as his right hand man 'Hercules' as his service dog I doubt they are as big and scary as I imagined or was forced to imagine from the media. The more research I did the more I realized that Pits are better dogs then most I grew up with. I enjoyed learning how he rescued his first Pit 'Geisha' and his current service dog 'Hercules'. I've never had a dog and Pit Bulls were last on my list for a dog but they have been bumped up due to Shorty.
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