Review: The Greatest Athlete of All Time? Jim Thorpe.
“Maraniss continually yet gently returns to an affirmation. He insists that taken as a whole, Jim Thorpe’s story is not one of prejudice, nor the hypocrisy of others, nor even of the superstar who doesn’t fulfill Housman’s ‘To an Athlete Dying Young.’ The author emphasizes that whatever life took from him, Thorpe persisted and trained and worked and learned and succeeded to the point that he was the landslide winner of the 1950 Associated Press poll of experts who chose the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century. Given the precision with which Maraniss measures the almost unbearable weight of the odds against Thorpe, the reader begins to question if the qualifiers were actually unnecessary, and if Thorpe isn’t simply the greatest athlete — full stop.”