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Sep12
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Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Path Lit by Lightning: An Evening with Author David Maraniss


The Book Stall (811 Elm Street in Winnetka) is delighted to present an evening with Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and acclaimed author David Maraniss on Monday, September 12 at 6:30 pm. He’ll be discussing his new biography of Native American sports superstar Jim Thorpe, Path Lit by Lightning, in a conversation with bookseller and historian Jon Grand. This is a ticketed program. Tickets include a copy of the book, and options include a ticket that admits two people (with one book) or one person with one book. Visit the Book Stall website or click here to purchase your tickets!

 More About the Book: Path Lit by Lightning is a great American story from a master biographer. Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Even in a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind.

But despite his colossal skills, Thorpe’s life was a struggle against the odds. As a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he encountered duplicitous authorities who turned away from him when their reputations were at risk. At Carlisle, he dealt with the racist assimilationist philosophy “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played minor league baseball. His later life was troubled by alcohol, broken marriages, and financial distress. He roamed from state to state and took bit parts in Hollywood, but even the film of his own life failed to improve his fortunes. But for all his travails, Thorpe did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, and so did the myth.

 “While much attention is given to the prejudices Thorpe faced—and, later, his struggles with alcoholism—Maraniss’s work offers an equally fascinating look at his subject’s outsize talent as a man who excelled in the realms of baseball, football, and athletics broadly, tacked onto a vivid backdrop of sports culture in the first half of the 20th century. This essential work restores a legendary figure to his rightful place in history.” Publishers Weekly

 About the AuthorDavid Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times. Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s—Rome 1960; Once in a Great City (winner of the RFK Book Prize); and They Marched into Sunlight (winner of the J. Anthony Lucas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History).

 


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