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Pete Rose: An American Dilemma [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Kostya Kennedy

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11. März 2014
"Kennedy's book on the tarnished and enigmatic Rose is exceptional. Like the best writing about sport--Liebling, Angell--it qualifies as stirring literature. I'd read Kennedy no matter what he writes about." --Richard Ford

Pete Rose played baseball with a singular and headfirst abandon that endeared him to fans and peers, even as it riled others--a figure at once magnetic, beloved and polarizing. Rose has more base hits than anyone in history, yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. Twenty-five years ago he was banished from baseball for gambling, then ruled ineligible for Cooperstown; today, the question "Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame?" has evolved into perhaps the most provocative in sports, a layered, slippery and ever-relevant moral conundrum.

How do we evaluate the Hit King now, at a time when steroid cheats appear on the Hall of Fame ballot even as Rose is denied? What do we make of this happily unrepentant gambler, this shameless but beguiling showman whose postbaseball journey has led him to a curious reality show and to the streets of Cooperstown to hawk his signature, his story, himself?

Best-selling author Kostya Kennedy delivers an evocative answer in his fascinating re-examination of Pete Rose's life; from his cocky and charismatic early years through his storied playing career to his bitter war against baseball's hierarchy to the man we find today--still incorrigible, still adored by many. Where has his improbable saga landed him in the redefined, post-steroid world? Do we feel any differently about Pete Rose today? Should we?


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"Even readers who know who Mr. Rose is will learn much from...this book's stacked roster of interviews and anecdotes [and] fascinating and well-chosen tangents....Kennedy covers the [Big Red Machine] period expertly." --Craig Fehrman, The Wall Street Journal

"Will absorb you immediately...a fascinating study of one of America's most enduringly fascinating athletes. Masterful." --Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

"An exceptionally well-written book that lays out both sides of what remains a highly-charged issue." --Paul Hagen,

"Kennedy takes that familiar story and delves deeper, presenting an artful portrait....With writing of such quality and a subject of such complexity, it deserves to be read by anyone who appreciates good biography." --John C. Williams, BookPage

"Kennedy's book on the tarnished and enigmatic Rose is exceptional. Like the best writing about sport--Liebling, Angell--it qualifies as stirring literature. I'd read Kennedy no matter what he writes about." --Richard Ford

"Kostya Kennedy has given us the real Pete Rose at last. Perhaps Pete does not deserve him, but baseball fans and readers who appreciate superb and subtle writing will be grateful." --David Maraniss

"This is a wonderful, clearly written book about a dark and complicated tragedy that continues to beset the purity of our national pastime. The whole story is here: the deeply talented, passionate ball player, 'Charlie Hustle,' and the deeply morally challenged hustler who bestrides essential questions about our national game." --Ken Burns

"Pete Rose is too rich a character to fit on a bronze plaque. He requires a good, trenchant, poignant (ah, Petey) book, and this is it." --Roy Blount Jr.

"Better than any previous account. Kennedy leaves no doubt about Rose's greatness as a player or his guilt as a gambler." --Allen Barra, The Boston Globe

"A remarkable book about a fascinating, vexing figure." --Kirkus (starred review)

"Kennedy's ambitious account is an anecdote-rich read." --Publishers Weekly

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Kostya Kennedy is an assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated and the New York Times bestselling author of 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports, winner of the 2011 Casey Award and runner-up for the 2012 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing. He lives with his wife and children in Westchester County, N.Y. To learn more, visit

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  133 Rezensionen
30 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Rose by Any Other Name 16. März 2014
Von Roger D. Launius - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Pete Rose is an icon, despite all that has happened to him over the years. A player more dedicated than talented he still reigns as the best there ever was. He is still the all time hits leader in MLB despite having been retired from the game for a quarter century. He was also a leader of men, providing the fiery energy needed for success on the Big Red Machine of the 1970s and the Phillies World Champion of 1980. At the same time he was a demon-haunted human being whose vices were just as overpowering as his virtues.

Kostya Kennedy tries to bring all of this into perspective in this new biography of one of baseball’s giants. We find out little new here, but it is well presented and convincingly argued. Yes, Rose had a lot of shady friends. Yes, he was an inveterate gambler, womanizer, all around jerk. Yes, he was a driven, single-minded performer on the sports stage. Yes, he broke rules, laws, and other conventions of society.

He also has the all-time Major League record for career base hits (4,256), games played (3,562), and at-bats (14,053). He has three World Champion rings, 1975 and 1976 with the Cincinnati Reds and 1980 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1973, took three batting titles (1968, 1969, and 1973), and was a 17-time all star.

In every way imaginable, Pete Rose is one of the greatest players ever, emphasis on “ever,” in Major League Baseball. Yet he is not in the Hall of Fame and has been banned from the game life. His experience is tragic, polarizing, and evergreen. The author expends considerable effort to come to grips with the question of whether or not Rose should be banned from baseball and prohibited from induction in the Hall of Fame. I admit that I’m all for it. Someone got all of those hits and other accolades from his career. That person belongs in the Hall. That person is Pete Rose. He might have been less than successful at life, but he certainly was successful at baseball. If we barred entry to the Hall for all of those who failed in life but were great players I would have to throw out a bunch of Cooperstown enshrines starting with Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby and Babe Ruth. Kennedy pretty much shares those sentiments.

Rose’s situation is amplified by the steroid era in which many, many players nearing their time for consideration for the Hall of Fame are not banned from the process despite suspicions of their culpability in PED use. We’ll see what happens.
34 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A VERY FINE BRIEF HISTORY 5. März 2014
Von James L. Woolridge - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I was raised in Greater Cincinnati, and raised through the Rose period. I am a Pete Rose supporter. Think he should be in the Hall of Fame. He has paid his penalty. That said...PETE ROSE An American Dilemma by Kostya Kennedy is a very fine effort, a short history of Pete Rose that covers his life without dwelling at any phase too long. It is easy to read and filled with great insight. Like another reviewer said, I read the book in one day. Interesting. Rose indeed is a dilemma, controversial and usually sets off arguments. Read this book, get the facts, then argue better whatever side you are on. There are a lot of books out there on Rose, this is one of the better ones. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
21 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Steroid Era casts Pete Rose in a different light 9. März 2014
Von Barry Sparks - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Author Kostya Kennedy writes that "perhaps the most polarizing and provocative question in sports is, 'Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame?'" He says Rose is a figure who stirs uncommon passion, righteousness and indignation.

It's been more than 25 years since Rose has been banned from baseball for betting on baseball. And, in 1991 a 10-person special Hall of Fame committee was established with the idea of keeping Rose out of the Hall of Fame. The committee, termed "a sham" by sportswriter Jack Lang, passed a resolution that "Persons on the ineligible list can't be eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame." The resolution was later passed into the Hall of Fame's by-laws. Rose, however, was the only player the by-law applied to.

There's no question about Rose's on-the-field baseball credentials: the all-time hits leader with 4,256, an All-Star at five positions, the epitome of hustle and how to play the game the right way and The Sporting News' Player of the Decade for the 1970s.

San Francisco sportswriter Wells Twombley wrote, "A player like Pete Rose only comes along once in a lifetime."

Rose's off-the-field activities of gambling and womanizing (neither one of which he tried to hide) didn't endear him to some teammates or baseball officials. Rose had only two commandments in baseball and life: be on time and play hard.

The sudden death of Pete's father, Harry, in 1970 of a heart attack had a profound effect on him. Kennedy writes, "Pete would never again feel the accountability the way he felt to his dad. With his dad gone, Pete didn't care who he might disappoint."
Pete's sister added, "If Dad were still alive, Pete wouldn't have drifted and fallen like he has."

In the first two-thirds of the book, Kennedy recounts Rose's childhood and baseball career. Kennedy doesn't focus on The Dowd Report until page 190. John Dowd, who investigated Rose, says he regrets how the matter unfolded, and he wished that he and Rose had been able to discuss the matter man-to-man without the lawyers. He believes Rose might have admitted his guilt, accepted the consequences and eventually been eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Sportswriter Jack Lang said, "If Pete had admitted his crime, there would be a public demand he be eligible for the Hall of Fame."

Commissioner Fay Vincent believes Rose violated a cardinal baseball rule, but also a principle, a moral boundary. Vincent said, "Rose is a man without a moral compass."

The Steroid Era, however, has cast Rose in a different light. Kennedy writes, "Rose was banned for the incalculable damage he may have done to the foundation of the game. Steroid users are reviled for the damage they actually did."

Kennedy does an admirable job of recounting Rose's career and his impact on the game, capturing his personality and shortcomings and framing "the Pete Rose question." Although Rose violated a cardinal baseball rule and is ineligible for the Hall of Fame, it's nice to be reminded of Pete Rose, the baseball player. It makes his situtation, however, even sadder.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Gripping biography 28. Juli 2014
Von Ron - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Once I started this book, I could not put it down. Kostya Kennedy shows both the good and bad of this baseball great. As someone who grew up watching Pete Rose play, I admired his on the field accomplishments, and this book did a great job of reminding me of all that Pete did as a player. No one played harder, no one put more of himself into the game than Rose did. The parts of the book that dealt with his dark side were sometimes hard to read - this was a guy who had everything in the world, and he lost much of it due to his reckless and dangerous behavior. Perhaps no one suffered more from the fallout of Rose's bad habits than his son, Pete, Jr. It was enlightening to learn about Pete, Jr.'s long journey through the minor leagues, and the taunting he endured from fans everywhere. Also informative was the background on Pete's own mother and father. Does Rose belong in the Hall of Fame? I say yes. He made more than his share of mistakes, but I believe he deserves a second chance. Read the whole story here and come to your own conclusion.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Might have liked it better if the storyline would have stayed more ... 23. Juli 2014
Von C.H. Luke - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Might have liked it better if the storyline would have stayed more chronological, particularly in the first third of the book. Got used to it and the flow by then.
Lots of interesting tidbits and a fairly candid assessment. Have to say the author gave words to what I had been thinking about Pete, both consciously and maybe subconsciously.
Coaching baseball back in the early 90's my oldest son idolized Pete and emulated him on the diamond. The hustle and love of the game part that is! Over 30 and raising his own family now he keeps baseball in his life traveling around the country to nearly every park. We live 700 miles apart and get to at least one game together every year.
Point is Pete Rose and his approach to the game with exuberance, passion and obvious love rubbed off on millions of Americans. So commissioner - let the sports writers vote. If they put him in along with the other dozens of flawed heroes then do be it.
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