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Path Hit by Lightning


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About the Author

David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times. Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s--Rome 1960; Once in a Great City (winner of the RFK Book Prize); and They Marched into Sunlight (winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History).


"In the new biography Path Lit by Lightning, David Maraniss details the enormous odds that a Native American hero had to overcome. . . . He insists that taken as a whole, Jim Thorpe's story is not one of prejudice, nor the hypocrisy of others. . . . [And] emphasizes that whatever life took from him, Thorpe persisted and trained and worked and learned and succeeded."--Keith Olbermann "The New York Times Book Review"

"Throughout a book marked by deep research and expert context-setting, [Maraniss] sifts through the myths about Thorpe and Native Americans, depicting his subject as a proud, complicated man who sought to shape his own destiny, yet was bedeviled by larger forces of racism and hypocrisy. . . . By highlighting Thorpe's perseverance, Maraniss paints a portrait with both heroic and tragic shadows. . . . Path Lit by Lightning tells his story with skill and integrity."--Aram Goudsouzian "The Washington Post"

"Path Lit by Lightning showcases Mr. Maraniss's abilities as an indefatigable researcher and a deft prose stylist. . . . [Reveals] Thorpe as a man in full, whose life was characterized by both soaring triumph and grievous loss."--Andrew R. Graybill "The Wall Street Journal"

"Path Lit by Lightning is a captivating book by a master storyteller. David Maraniss provides new insights into Jim Thorpe, a man who was not only 'the world's greatest athlete, ' but a cultural icon complicated by the dynamics of race and celebrity."--Patty Loew, (Bad River Ojibwe), professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, and Inaugural Director, Center for Native American and Indigenous Research

"Path Lit By Lightning is a flat-out masterpiece. The story of Jim Thorpe, one of America's greatest and most misunderstood heroes, is told in riveting detail by David Maraniss, one of our greatest biographers. The result is a portrait as powerful, dazzling, and nuanced as Thorpe himself."--Jonathan Eig, author Luckiest Man, Opening Day and Ali: A Life

"David Maraniss brilliantly rescues Jim Thorpe from myth and prejudice, restoring something more consequential than the Olympic medals stolen from him by small men--his humanity. This is another masterpiece from the master of biography."--Jane Leavy, author of The Big Fella and Koufax

"In different hands I might be dubious, but David Maraniss revives the titanic Jim Thorpe for a new generation with a surgeon's care, the diligence of a great researcher, and the poignance and humanity that is the signature of his writing. Path Lit By Lightning is a masterful look at this country's first super-athlete, unflinching from what conquest did to his people, from the rousing and bittersweet journey of fame and identity, nor from an American century often far less heroic than the book's protagonist. It's simply brilliant."--Howard Bryant, author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron

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