Cover image for Arthur Ashe : a life
Title:
Arthur Ashe : a life
Author:
Arsenault, Raymond, author.
ISBN:
9781439189047
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Physical Description:
xii, 767 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
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.
Abstract:
"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."--IndieBound.org
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Summary

Summary

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

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.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Historian Arsenault's biography of tennis star Arthur Ashe, still the only African American male to win a Wimbledon, U. S. Open, and Australian singles title, focuses not on his subject's success on the court but, rather, on his rich and varied, if sadly short, life outside of tennis his upbringing in Richmond, Virginia; his complex personality; his civil rights activism; his philanthropy; his legacy; and, of course, his health (a serious heart condition led to his contracting HIV from a blood transfusion). The lack of coverage of Ashe's tennis career may well be appropriate, given Ashe's accomplishments in the wider world, but it will strike many readers as surprising. Still, Arsenault justifies his approach by vividly describing Ashe's significant role in international geopolitics (particularly in South Africa), in AIDS activism, in campaigning for racial equality in all aspects of society, and more. Ashe accomplished much with a tennis racket in his hand, but Arsenault, to his credit, succeeds in showing that this tennis star's life was only beginning when he left the game.--Levine, Mark Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly 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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal 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, Mesalands -Community Coll., Tucumcari, NM © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Prologuep. 1
1 Under the Dominionp. 5
2 Playing in the Shadowsp. 19
3 Dr. J and the Lynchburg Boysp. 34
4 The Only Raisin in a Rice Puddingp. 51
5 The Gatewayp. 66
6 The Golden Landp. 83
7 Traveling Manp. 111
8 From Dixie to Down Underp. 139
9 Advantage Ashep. 160
10 Openingsp. 194
11 Mr. Coolp. 228
12 Racket Manp. 257
13 Doubling Downp. 278
14 Risky Businessp. 295
15 South Africap. 320
16 Pros and Consp. 347
17 Wimbledon 1975p. 371
18 King Arthurp. 387
19 Affairs of the Heartp. 411
20 Coming Backp. 433
21 Off the Courtp. 446
22 Captain Ashep. 467
23 Blood Linesp. 493
24 Hard Road to Gloryp. 515
25 Days of Gracep. 542
26 Final Setp. 574
Epilogue: Shadow's Endp. 606
Acknowledgmentsp. 631
Arthur Ashe's Tennis Statisticsp. 641
Note on Archival Sources and Interviewsp. 647
Notesp. 653
Photo Creditsp. 725
Indexp. 727

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