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Only the Strong Survive
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About the Author

Larry Platt is the editor in chief of Philadelphia magazine and the author of Keepin' It Real: A Turbulent Season at the Crossroads with the NBA. His work has appeared in GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Playboy, and Details. He lives in Philadelphia.

Reviews

Like his subject, Platt is at his best while running the court, his prose smooth and economical as he describes Iverson's explosive, creative playing style. A longtime journalist whose sports writings have been collected in New Jack Jocks: Rebels, Race and the American Athlete, Platt writes with an authority that Iverson fans will appreciate. But the compelling rags-to-riches biography of the controversial NBA superstar is bogged down by Platt's repetitive, heavy-handed critiques of the relationship between black athletes, their marketers and the media. Platt repeatedly outlines how white middle class America is not yet ready for Iverson's hip-hop persona, which is "too in-your-face, too black"-a provocative yet unoriginal insight that quickly grows old. Intent on portraying Iverson as a misunderstood truant with a heart of gold, Platt misses the opportunity to create a thorough, insightful portrait. In doing so, he succumbs to the very weakness he criticizes in so many of his fellow journalists: losing the player to the hype. 16-page color insert with b&w photos throughout. (Nov. 1) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers' enigmatic and brilliant point guard, has attracted a lot of attention from authors and sportswriters alike. Many of the books are for young adults (e.g., Mark Stewart's Allen Iverson: Motion and Emotion) and do not address the more interesting and important aspects of the Iverson phenomenon. Here is one of the first basketball books available to deal with race in a straightforward manner. Not only does Platt (New Jack Jocks: Rebels, Race, and the American Athlete) examine the various ways white players and National Basketball Association brass have reacted to Iverson's controversial style but he considers the reactions of older black players as well. The author's discussion of race and culture in the modern NBA is just as interesting as the nuanced and detailed story of Iverson's dramatic life and career. (With his father in prison for manslaughter, Iverson spent his childhood in such terrible poverty that he lived in a house without adequate running water until his late teens.) Platt had remarkable access to the most important people in Iverson's life as well as to the elusive man himself. Written in a lively style and with something meaty for anyone who reads it, this book is recommended for all sports collections.-James Miller, Springfield Coll., MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Makes all previous writing on Allen Iverson seem superficial."

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