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Showing 71-80 of 84 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 143 reviews
on January 21, 2013
What I wanted in the time I wanted
Stan was one of the greatest to ever have played the game
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on February 13, 2013
I sent it as a gift and have not read the book but enjoyed excerpts I have seen in reviews.
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on April 13, 2014
An American Legend.
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on July 11, 2011
I bought this book for my husband for his birthday. He loves it and I can't wait to read it!Stan Musial: An American Life
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on July 23, 2011
This made an excellent birthday gift for a retired friend who played ball for the Reds in the 60's. He enjoyed it immensely!
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on June 18, 2011
I can only imagine how much thought George Vecsey put into the subtitle of this excellent biography of Stan Musial. It is apt, for this is an examination of "the Man," a baseball star with six decades in the public eye, in the context of the tumultuous socioeconomic, class, racial and political evolution of American life of which Musial was both product and influence. Vecsey has done a masterful job of using his mountain of research to present Stan Musial as an underappreciated superstar, whose temperament for confrontation avoidance led some to question his commitment or concern for social issues. In doing so, he has gone beyond a jock bio, giving Musial his rightful place among baseball's greatest, while offering a flesh-and-blood man in all of the complexities a long, remarkable life presents.

In fairness to readers of this review, I must confess to being a lifelong Cardinals fan, whose idol was Stan the Man. I have a limited edition John Martin portrait of Musial, #156 of 331 (his lifetime batting average), signed by Stan and Martin, in my office. I have a brick in Musial Plaza, near the statue at the new Busch Stadium. And some of my fondest childhood memories are of three generations of males in my family straining to hear Harry Caray and Jack Buck on KMOX on my grandfather's radio in Paducah, KY, in the '50's. The only ray of hope on the terrible Cardinal teams of those years was Stan Musial. My natural left-handed batting stance bore a more than casual resemblance to the celebrated crouch of number 6. So I make no pretense to objectivity on the subject matter.

Perhaps my familiarity with the dismal teams St. Louis fielded during so much of Stan's career is what makes me content with Vecsey's coverage of Musial's baseball career, as storied as it is. There has also been much of the same statistical ground presented in previous biographies and an autobiogrphy with long-time St. Louis writer and Musial confidant Bob Broeg (which Vecsey uses as one of his sources), all of which I've read. Musial's autobiography was written in 1964, a year after his retirement and at a time when writers like Broeg were still protective of their longtime athlete friends. Vecsey, admittedly an admirer of Musial's as a Brooklyn Dodger fan, did not meet the Man until shortly before the book was published. I say this lest there be any question as to the book's effectiveness at arguing Musial's greatness as a player. Indeed, some very enjoyable revelations are what contemporary greats DiMaggio, Williams and Musial thought of each other and their relationships even well after their careers ended.

What separates this work from others on Musial is the presentation. Other reviewers have found fault with the book for choppy, anecdotal organization. I enjoyed Vecsey's approach immensely. Among his thanks to the many contributors and advisors on his effort is one that struck me as odd at first: a reference to help at writing biographically. Vecsey may feel an appreciation for advice, but the frequent interjections of short bits and chapters were delightful to me. Personal influences and social changes don't happen in smooth, flowing progressions fit for chapters in a biography. Vecsey's NY Times experience serves him well in the pith and poignancy of small pieces which often allow the reader the reward of assembling the collage, or having themes evoked in one-page morsels that fit more than one issue.

In a similar vein, Vecsey doesn't try to diagnose and analyze where Musial refused to let people in. And he does not try to turn Stan the Man into Stan the Social Engineer. Nor does he make Musial a saint. What he does is tell the life of an extraordinary baseball player, who loves his family, his faith, and has had a breadth of experiences enviable by almost any measure. Along the way, the Musial story tells of working-class, ethnically diverse people striving to succeed; of the effects of a world war on many segments and institutions of America; of the change wrought by its aftermath from ball fields to hotels to courthouses. This biography renewed my admiration for an old hero. It made me shake my head in amazement; it made me laugh out loud; it brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommend it to any fan of baseball and good people.

ASIN:B0050Z9UCE Stan Musial: An American Life [Hardcover]
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on April 25, 2014
I like George Vecsey and I like Stan Musial but this book was a big disappointment. I just didn;t think the book was very well written. It almost had the feel of a high school biography assignment. Stan deserved better.
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on June 11, 2011
Stan Musial is awesome And this book Really details it. I also enjoyed little side stories, facts about other players and people mentioned throughout book.
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on July 27, 2014
Good stories. If you like baseball, you will like this book.
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on May 26, 2011
I enjoy good sports biographies, but this isn't one of them,
and I am a Musial fan. It is less of a book and more of a string of antedotes. Also there is not enough baseball in it. I'd skip this one.
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