TED WILLIAMS: The Biography of an American Hero

Leigh Montville, Author . Doubleday $24.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-385-50748-6

Montville, who also penned the bestselling bio about racer Dale Earnhart (The Altar of Speed ), covers all of Williams's heroic achievements—a Hall of Fame baseball career, two tours of duty as a Marine fighter pilot, an unmatched thirst for the thrill of the outdoors. But thanks to the author's ability to track down new sources of information, Montville presents a more nuanced portrayal of the baseball star than many previous biographies. The Kid, as Williams was known, is brought to life with portraits supplied from the people who made up Williams's very compartmentalized life. Distinct recollections of his former teammates, fishing buddies, former lovers, caretakers, family members and brothers in arms coupled with Montville's ability to display each memory in its own context gives readers an extraordinary glimpse into Williams's complex psyche. Though he admits to worshipping Williams as a youth, Montville's crisp prose holds nothing back when it comes to exposing Williams's many flaws, his heartbreaking final years and the controversy surrounding his death. Relying on his years as a sports writer, Montville is also able to subtly shift the tone of the book to fit Williams's personality as he evolved from an energetic youth to a cantankerous star, from America's bigger-than-life legend to a bedridden invalid. Sure, Teddy Ballgame was an American icon, but Montville's ability to show the darker and lighter human sides of Williams is a pretty remarkable achievement in its own right. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/15/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 457 pages - 978-0-385-50749-3
Hardcover - 992 pages - 978-0-375-43305-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7393-0922-3
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-4776-0
Paperback - 560 pages - 978-0-7679-1320-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7366-9866-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-3343-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-0923-0
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