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.
"Anyone who follows basketball knows that Jerry West was a supreme athlete and a brilliant general manager. What I did not know until reading this powerful book was just how complex he is. West by West is a rounded, honest and moving exploration not just of West's life under the arena spotlights, but his passages through his darkest hours. With remarkable clarity and courage, West explores his flaws and ghosts, his glory on the court and his struggles off. Paralyzed and haunted by his childhood, this was a superstar who, at the top of his game, could not escape the feeling that he belonged at the bottom. Few would have the courage to look so deeply into the mirror, but in this exceptional book, West has done so."--Gay Talese, author of A Writer's Life
"His silhouette image has long been the NBA's logo-a fitting symbol for a revered, enigmatic, and deeply private sports icon. But in this book, with unflinching candor and in remarkable detail, Jerry West emerges proudly and boldly from the shadows of his own life."--James S. Hirsch, author of Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend
"...Fascinating-it's like West taking Tony Soprano's chair in Dr. Melfi's office, and explaining every detail of the most famous career in NBA player-exec history (but with a moral barometer)...If you are Warriors fan, a general NBA fan, or any kind of sports fan, I'd tell you to read this book when it comes out to fully appreciate the totality of the legend and reality and to know that the reality at times exceeds the legend."--Tim Kawakami, The San Jose Mercury News
"Hardcore fans will relish West's reflections on the game that has obsessed him, stories about teammates and opposing players and his selections for an all-time Dream Game...In a genre notorious for merely waving pompoms, West offers an unusually candid account of his personal and professional life."--Kirkus Reviews
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.