Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe
- By David Maraniss
- Hardcover: 672 pages
This riveting biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete is by the bestselling author of the classic biography When Pride Still Mattered.
Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. In a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind.
Despite his colossal skills, Thorpe struggled against the odds. As a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he encountered duplicitous authorities who turned away from him when their reputations were at risk. At Carlisle, he dealt with the racist assimilationist philosophy “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played minor league baseball. Later in life he had trouble with alcohol, suffered broken marriages, and financial distress. He roamed from state to state and took bit parts in Hollywood, and even the film of his own life failed to improve his fortunes. For all his travails, Thorpe did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, along with the myth.
Path Lit by Lightning is a great American story from a master biographer.
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