In clear, fluid prose, Dave Zirin chronicles the life of legendary Cleveland Browns running back, Jim Brown, from his childhood in St. Simons Island, Georgia, raised by three women, through his NFL and Hollywood acting careers, to his cultural impact as a Black Power icon in the 1960s and beyond. Zirin reveals a complicated picture of a man mythologized as a superman of strength and uncanny athleticism, but whose provocative politics and dark history of domestic violence have placed an asterisk beside his social and political contributions.

In an era when sports legends like Muhammad Ali and Bill Russell have been embraced by mainstream culture, Brown remains an outlier, continuing to challenge preconceptions of what it means to be a black athlete and activist fighting social injustice. While his work mediating peace between warring gangs and his condemnation of the death penalty have been universally praised, his subsequent criticism of Colin Kaepernick and other young athletes pushing the boundaries of progressive politics in sports, as well as his decision to endorse President Donald Trump despite widespread accusations of racism, have sparked controversy amongst the sports community and left many to question Brown’s motives.

Perhaps Zirin’s greatest achievement in Jim Brown: Last Man Standing, is that he goes beyond the image of the superman to uncover the complicated man himself, with all of his flaws and contradictions, offering readers a glimpse into a remarkable life that has defied odds (and sometimes physics) to leave a lasting legacy on the game of football and the history of civil rights. If football is indeed the closest thing to an American religion, as Zirin claims it to be, then there might not be a more American story than the story of Jim Brown, or a better writer to tell it. There is value here for more than only sports fans.

This review is generously provided by Brett Finlayson, Busboys and Poets Bookseller. Don’t miss the upcoming event

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You may have noticed the new mural being installed on the windows of the new Busboys and Poets location Charles Village – 3224 St Paul Street Baltimore, MD This mural is titled: The Busboy and the Poet by Mia Duvall The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #20

FINAL POSTING FOR EVEREST BASE CAMP TRAVEL LOG. Thank you for staying with me and for your beautiful comments. Hope to see at least some of you soon. Why I am here. It is 7:15 am. Our flight out of Lukla is at 8. I savor a yak cheese omelette and my last Himalayan coffee. … Continued

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Community Resources for COVID-19

Here are some resources that you may be able to take advantage of: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist One Fair Wage – Emergency Funding for Tipped Employees/Service WorkersRWCF- Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund USBG- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Bartenders Restaurant Opportunities Centers- United … Continued

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‘Tis the Season for Holiday Gift Cards

Delight a friend, family member, co-worker or maybe even yourself with a gift cards to Busboys and Poets! Our gift cards can be used to purchase food (mmm sweet potato pancakes), drinks (Langston Cooler, anyone?), books and any other items sold at our bookstore. This includes Busboys merch, notebooks, cards and other fun gifts. Send a physical … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #9

Quaint is the word. I am starving. The lack of sleep and exhaustion makes me famished. To my surprise, the menu at this tea house (as in every tea house along the route I come to learn) looks like any roadside diner along I-95 South. It’s even laminated. The only thing missing was, the “hi … Continued

Event Recap : Busboys X Anniversary Party

Event Recap : Busboys X Anniversary Party

[The] 10-year anniversary party for Busboys and Poets brought hundreds of well-wishers to the restaurant and bookstore chain’s Brookland location in Northeast Washington.”

Valentine’s Day Picks with Busboys and Poets Books

Valentine’s Day Picks with Busboys and Poets Books

Whether you are spending this Valentine’s day with that special someone or curled up with a wine bottle alone on a reading binge, there is a book for you. Here is a quick overview of the best books to get for the 14th, because the best Valentine usually comes in the form of a hardcover … Continued