Synopses & Reviews
Jerry West is one of the most revered and enigmatic sports icons of all time, but beneath the surface lies a complicated man who shares his true story with unflinching candor.
WEST BY WEST recounts West's difficult journey from an abusive childhood in West Virginia (and the loss of a beloved brother to war) to his All-American success at West Virginia University, and his brilliant 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He speaks openly for the first time about his lifelong battle with depression, low self-esteem, and his complex relationships with NBA legends Elgin Baylor, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pat Riley, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant, with owners Jack Kent Cooke and Jerry Buss, coach Phil Jackson, and many more. Unsparing in its self-assessment, WEST BY WEST is a profound confession and a magnificent inspiration, a book that generated much discussion when it was published last year and is sure to be talked about for years to come.
"A pressure-embracing superstar with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1960s and 1970s, West (called 'Mr. Clutch') was so revered that the NBA used his silhouette for its famed logo. After a legendary Hall of Fame playing career, West became the Lakers' general manager, helping to assemble squads that won eight world championships in the 1980s and 2000s. Such lofty accomplishments did little to abate a self-destructive competitive spirit and crippling bouts of depression, the results of a miserable childhood in West Virginia. West's beloved older brother, David, was killed in the Korean War; their father regularly beat the skinny, younger, West, inspiring a murderous, unforgiving hatred. 'And the real enemy is myself, ' writes West, in this candid and self-reflecting autobiography. That willingness to share, however, extends little beyond his tortured soul, as he holds back in detailing his occasionally tense relationships with coaches like Phil Jackson and Pat Riley and storied players such as Kobe Bryant (who declined to be interviewed for the book). West's reluctance to detail his dealings with others coupled with the authors' anecdotal style lead to a lack of perspective and narrative heft that doesn't befit the rich, complex life of such an iconic sports figure. 16 pages color photos, 14 b&w photos. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
He is one of basketball's towering figures: Mr. Clutch, who mesmerized his opponents and fans. The coach who began the Lakers' resurgence in the 1970s. The general manager who helped bring Showtime to Los Angeles, creating a championship-winning force that continues to this day.
Now, for the first time, the legendary Jerry West tells his story-from his tough childhood in West Virginia, to his unbelievable college success at West Virginia University, his 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and his relationships with NBA legends like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant.
Unsparing in its self-assessment and honesty, West by West is far more than a sports memoir: it is a profound confession and a magnificent inspiration.
About the Author
Jerry West is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. After retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers in 1974, West went on to lead the team-- first as a coach, and then as the general manager. He lives in California and West Virginia.
Jonathan Coleman is the bestselling author of Exit the Rainmaker, At Mother's Request, and Long Way to Go. He is a former producer and correspondent with CBS News.He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.