Friday, January 4, 2019
Tennis Book Review: "Arthur Ashe - A Life", by Raymond Arsenault
“Arthur Ashe - A Life” by Raymond Arsenault (August 2018, Simon & Schuster, 784 pages) is a massive, comprehensive and authoritative biography of one of the towering figures in modern tennis. Ashe - sometimes called the Jackie Robinson of tennis - helped break the game’s color barrier of an earlier era, and became one of the top champions of the late 60s and 70s. Later, he moved on to become a civil rights and human rights activist, author, businessman, philanthropist and intellectual. Ashe is one of only two tennis players to have ever been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation's highest civilian honor (the other being Billie Jean King). In this revelatory and sympathetic biography, renowned historian Raymond Arsenault chronicles his rise to international stardom from humble beginnings to his tragic death at age 49 after contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion. Ashe helped build the state of modern tennis we know and enjoy today, but which we sometimes take for granted. The book is a tour de force.