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VINE VOICEon January 5, 2007
Just old enough to have seen Jim Brown in his prime I therefore read this out of respect for the football player, activist, and occasional jail occupant. The author clearly has great respect for Brown and details the steps he took to be granted interviews from this controlling, contentious man. This book is a great summation but really without any revelations. Brown was a great football player from a broken home in Georgia whose mother brings him to New York and works as a domestic to raise him. High school coaches guide him to a great Syracuse career while he experiences racism and events that will shape his life.

Brown left the NFL at the top of his game for a career in movies. The book seems to glorify the Jim Brown acting career which seems to me to be quite a stretch. Whether it compensated Brown better than staying in football is never made clear. After acting and football we are left with Jim Brown the activist and possible abuser. I applaud Brown for his long history of effective activism but am conflicted on how to balance this with the domestic violence incidents which he continually tries to explain away. This is for the reader to decide but it is apparent that the author also has this same conflict.

Overall, this is a fine book. But does it really add new ground? Not really. Does it give great insight into a unique period America? Probably, in my opinion this is the book's greatest failure. While he touches on what is happening in America during this period, particularly the support for Mohammed Ali as he objects Vietnam duty, there is no great reflection to open this historical period to the reader. Therefore I was left with a biography of maybe the greatest football player who is now an activist and who doesn't want anything written about him. There is just not enough insight or reflection to call this an exceptional book. But if you have a specific interest in knowing of Jim Brown, this book will serve that purpose.
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on January 28, 2011
Jim Brown was a legend on the field, the star running back for the Cleveland Browns blazed a trail that few could even dream of being mentioned in the same breath as him.

Black men were not easily accepted in the NFL when Brown commenced playing for the Browns, his role became not only star player but also a lead advocate of player rights and civil rights in the 1960's.

The author Mike Freeman tells an interesting story about Brown and isn't afraid to delve into the darker side of the man. Brown's alleged woman beating and his regular dating of women while married are documented and discussed in detail.

Brown is a very interesting personality - champion player, movie star, abuser of women, civil rights activist - it is all there.

A good book, perhaps not riveting reading as the style is a little dull, but still a good addition to the bookshelves.
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on January 8, 2009
Writer had a very tough task, an unauthorized biography of a very guarded man. I admire the effort, results are lacking a bit.

Writer asks if a man who is so abusive to women can be a hero.

Many sections of the book are lacking. Brown was a great running back, greatest runner. But he was a mediocre (at best) pass catcher and a lousy blocker. Author ignores that completely.

Author does speculation of how Brown would perform today and makes points about him being bigger than many of the defensive linemen he played against. But he forgets that if he played on artificial turf, he might have gotten injured more.

Would have loved to hear more of his lacrosse career. Is he still in touch with Roy Simmons, Jr.?

Movie career is quite overrated. However, the author did not even mention "I Am Gonna Git You Sucka", a parody of Blaxploitation movies.

Author should have used a story about Brown and the late Dick Schaap, the sportswriter and broadcaster. Brown was his usual hostile self when being interviewed by Schaap until Dick reminded Brown that he was a lacrosse goalie at Cornell. Schaap had little success against Brown that day and after a lot of laughter, Brown warmed up completely.
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on June 5, 2015
A great read!
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on January 13, 2016
Great Service and fast delivery. This book it's great for football readers and fans as well.
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on March 19, 2016
Yes, the book and its delivery met my expectations.
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on November 10, 2011
Son needed this for school with the requirements of an autobiography or biography on someone born prior to 1940. This fit the bill and he found it interesting even though he's not a big reader.
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on August 31, 2014
Too much about football and the bad bad memories...
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on January 16, 2014
Originally got this book for my 11 year old son to do for a book report. My son did not like the book for a book report
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 23, 2006
Five REVEALING Stars!! Mike Freeman has written the penultimate biography of Jim Brown, even beyond his own autobiography, primarily because it updates later events of the complex Mr Brown's life. Covering his life and various 'careers' from his Syracuse University days to pro football with the Browns (and what many of us consider his early departure from a game he dominated like no other) to his movie career (and yes, the famous Raquel Welch love scene from the movie "100 Rifles") to his community activities to his stormy personal relationships and encounters with law enforcement, it's all here. And during it all, Mr Brown exuded confidence, bordering on or exceeding arrogance.

The lurid aspects of his private life in terms of marriage, the many women, and the problems with the law are fully exposed with no attempt to sugar coat it. But anyone who misses the fact that Jim Brown is a very intelligent man will also miss the real man behind the legends. As recounted here, I remember the photo of Brown "in handcuffs and chains" over a traffic violation where no one was injured, but until now I never knew the outcome: a jury found him not guilty in a half an hour. Brown is revealed as a man who, justifiably or not, felt he was the target of everyone from the local police up to the FBI and CIA because of his activist activities. Decades later, when his FBI file surfaced and was released to the National Archives, there was both shock and vindication of his suspicions. What an ex-FBI agent recounts about the agency and Jim Brown is even more shocking and saddening.

If you saw his appearance on CNN's "Larry King Show", you'll know it was different from Joe Namath's appearance on CBS' "60 Minutes", because Brown and King hardly mentioned football, except in passing (pardon the pun). Instead it concentrated on his 'anti-gang', civil rights, minority economic outreach, and other community activities. And Brown was appearing with former gang members and police working for gang elimination. There is lots of that in the book also.

As this biography shows, Jim Brown never missed a pro football game and when he retired from professional football, he never looked back. Instead, he "redefined" himself, over and over, dominating his 'post'-football roles as movie star and community activist like he dominated linemen, linebackers, and safety's. Never forgetting he was a black man with a following in that community that made him a role model. All done with the maximum amount of intimidation and the glowering, deadpan stares that struck fear in the hearts of opposing football players as he drug two or three along with him into the end zone for yet another touchdown.

This book details the amazing and sometimes shocking life of a MAN who still remains a fascinating celebrity-figure and enigma to the public and who always does it his way. Jim Brown is no angel but he certainly seems to be on the side of the angels, most of the time, except where it came to women and sex. A RIVETING Biography. Five HUGE Stars!

(*This review is based on an eBook digital download in Secure Adobe Reader 7 format. Save a tree, download your books.
* For Jim Brown, a decade ago in his own words, read the outstanding autobiography "Out of Bounds", Random House Value Publishing.)
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