The Resource Arthur Ashe : a life, Raymond Arsenault

Arthur Ashe : a life, Raymond Arsenault

Label
Arthur Ashe : a life
Title
Arthur Ashe
Title remainder
a life
Statement of responsibility
Raymond Arsenault
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The first comprehensive, authoritative biography of American icon Arthur Ashe--the Jackie Robinson of men's tennis--a pioneering athlete who, after breaking the color barrier, went on to become an influential civil rights activist and public intellectual. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1943, by the age of eleven, Arthur Ashe was one of the state's most talented black tennis players. Jim Crow restrictions barred Ashe from competing with whites. Still, in 1960 he won the National Junior Indoor singles title, which led to a tennis scholarship at UCLA. He became the first African American to play for the US Davis Cup team in 1963, and two years later he won the NCAA singles championship. In 1968, he won both the US Amateur title and the first US Open title, rising to a number one national ranking. Turning professional in 1969, he soon became one of the world's most successful tennis stars, winning the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975. After retiring in 1980, he served four years as the US Davis Cup captain and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. In this revelatory biography, Raymond Arsenault chronicles Ashe's rise to stardom on the court. But much of the book explores his off-court career as a human rights activist, philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, businessman, and celebrity. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ashe gained renown as an advocate for sportsmanship, education, racial equality, and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. But from 1979 on, he was forced to deal with a serious heart condition that led to multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, one of which left him HIV-positive. In 1988, after completing a three-volume history of African-American athletes, he was diagnosed with AIDS, a condition he revealed only four years later. After devoting the last ten months of his life to AIDS activism, he died in February 1993 at the age of forty-nine, leaving an inspiring legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship. Based on prodigious research, including more than one hundred interviews, Raymond Arsenault's insightful and compelling biography puts Ashe in the context of both his time and the long struggle of African-American athletes seeking equal opportunity and respect
Tone
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2018
Review
  • The first black superstar in men’s tennis makes a significant mark off the court in this inspiring but staid biography. Historian Arsenault (Freedom Riders) follows Ashe’s career through epochal shifts in tennis and society as Ashe practiced on segregated courts in Virginia in the 1950s, matured as the sport opened fully to African-Americans in the 1960s, then became an antiapartheid activist and integrated the South African Open in 1973 to acclaim, but also complaints that he should have boycotted it instead. He also navigated tennis’s transition from amateur pastime to big-money, big-ego spectacle, helping to found a players’ union but mourning the erosion of the sport’s genteel manners, which he stoutly upheld. Ashe even made his untimely death from AIDS serve a purpose by raising awareness of the disease. Arsenault’s narrative is well-researched and exciting in a few on-court showdowns and political confrontations, but for most of its great length Ashe is such an unflagging paragon of sportsmanship and social responsibility that he comes across as rather bland. It’s only with the appearance of Jimmy Connors, whom Ashe beat for the Wimbledon title, and John McEnroe, whom he coached on the Davis Cup team, that drama erupts as the two foul-mouthed, tantrum-throwing divas ruffle Ashe’s decorum. Readers will find his saga admirable, but not very taut. (Aug.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 05/28/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 22, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Arthur Ashe (1943–93) was a highly successful tennis player who won three of the sports' four major titles. His winning percentage, however, does not accurately reflect the importance of his life as an athlete, scholar, philanthropist, and political activist. Arsenault (John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History, Univ. of South Florida, St. Petersburg) does a masterful job of utilizing dozens of interviews with Ashe's family, friends and colleagues to shed light on the athlete's life. Born in Richmond, VA, under the grip of Jim Crow, Ashe took up the unlikely sport of tennis, practicing whenever he could. Eventually, Ashe earned a scholarship at the University of Southern California; his love of tennis equaled only by his passion for learning. As a professional player, he helped organize the Association of Tennis Professionals. His final years were dedicated to social justice, including the antiapartheid movement in South Africa and AIDS awareness in the United States. VERDICT Arsenault's effort to document Ashe's full life in one volume is commendable and will serve as the standard work on Ashe for some time. --Brian Renvall (Reviewed 08/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 13, p103)
  • A well-informed doorstop biography of Arthur Ashe (1943-1993). Arsenault (Southern History/Univ. of South Florida, St. Petersburg; The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert that Awakened America, 2009, etc.) uses his vast knowledge of civil rights history to properly situate the pioneering black tennis star within American and world history. Just short of 50, Ashe died from complications related to AIDS, "a disease he acquired from a blood transfusion administered during recovery from heart surgery in 1983." During his relatively short life, Ashe not only integrated big-time men's tennis; he also served as a scholar of black history, a civil rights activist, an ethicist, and a diplomat without a portfolio. In the early stages of the massively detailed chronology, the author's subject can seemingly do no wrong, but as the narrative progresses, Ashe begins to demonstrate his flaws, making decisions that prove unpopular or even counterproductive. One of the thorniest issues involved whether tennis professionals—especially those considered nonwhite—should boycott matches in apartheid-ridden South Africa. Ashe believed that an eternal boycott bordered on a simplistic nonsolution to racism, so he repeatedly sought a visa from the apartheid government. Arsenault chronicles Ashe's childhood rise from the segregated tennis courts of Richmond, Virginia, to less-discriminatory amateur play in other locales. Despite Ashe's extremely slight build as a child, he regularly defeated older, stronger players. The author cracks the puzzle of why Ashe became obsessive about starring in a sport usually limited to white country-club players. In fact, rarely has a biographer unearthed so much detail about a subject's life during childhood and adolescence. One of the most fascinating pieces of the Ashe saga becomes clear as Arsenault narrates the story of how journalist John McPhee focused on the battle between Ashe and a white tennis star for a book that became the classic Levels of the Game (1968). Readers uninterested in tennis will find the detailed match coverage tedious, but Arsenault skillfully guides readers to match point in a book that will be a go-to resource. (Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2018)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10691938
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Arsenault, Raymond
Dewey number
  • 796.342092
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
GV994.A7
LC item number
A77 2018
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Ashe, Arthur
  • Ashe, Arthur
  • African American tennis players
  • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Sports
  • HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  • SPORTS & RECREATION / Tennis
  • African American tennis players
Label
Arthur Ashe : a life, Raymond Arsenault
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 653-724) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Under the Dominion -- Playing in the shadows -- Dr. J and the Lynchburg boys -- The only raisin in a rice pudding -- The gateway -- The golden land -- Traveling man -- From Dixie to Down Under -- Advantage Ashe -- Openings -- Mr. Cool -- Racket man -- Doubling down -- Risky business -- South Africa -- Pros and cons -- Wimbledon 1975 -- King Arthur -- Affairs of the heart -- Coming back -- Off the court -- Captain Ashe -- Blood lines -- Hard road to glory -- Days of grace -- Final set -- Epilogue: Shadow's end
Control code
on1011682518
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
xii, 767 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9781439189047
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1011682518
Label
Arthur Ashe : a life, Raymond Arsenault
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 653-724) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Under the Dominion -- Playing in the shadows -- Dr. J and the Lynchburg boys -- The only raisin in a rice pudding -- The gateway -- The golden land -- Traveling man -- From Dixie to Down Under -- Advantage Ashe -- Openings -- Mr. Cool -- Racket man -- Doubling down -- Risky business -- South Africa -- Pros and cons -- Wimbledon 1975 -- King Arthur -- Affairs of the heart -- Coming back -- Off the court -- Captain Ashe -- Blood lines -- Hard road to glory -- Days of grace -- Final set -- Epilogue: Shadow's end
Control code
on1011682518
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Extent
xii, 767 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9781439189047
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1011682518

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