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Days Of Grace: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Arthur Ashe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 15 1993
The late tennis champion, social activist, and AIDS victim tells his remarkable, courageous story from his career as a black tennis player to his battle against AIDS. 150,000 first printing. $150,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this inspirational, eloquent autobiographical memoir, tennis great Ashe, who died earlier this year, describes his battle against AIDS, which he contracted from a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery, and tells of his struggle against racism. Written with Rampersad, biographer of Langston Hughes, the first-person narrative negates the conventional image of Ashe as cold and aloof, giving us instead a complex, vulnerable, emotional man. The death of his mother when he was six left "an emptiness in my soul." Ashe writes of his dependence on his wife Jeanne and recalls growing up under segregation in Virginia, which motivated his activist opposition to South Africa's apartheid. Politically outspoken, Ashe defends the distribution of condoms in schools, attacks demagogues like Al Sharpton and criticizes "the decline of the African American community" and its "new order . . . based squarely on revenge, not justice, with morality discarded." The volume closes with a deeply moving letter to his six-year-old daughter Camera. Photos. 150,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB alternates.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-An introspective and poignant book that is well-worth reading. With the help of Langston Hughes's biographer, Ashe has written a very absorbing account of his life. He tells of his mother's death when he was six years old and the strong influence of his loving but demanding father that stood him in good stead when he entered the all-white world of tennis in the 1960s. He recounts his athletic career and the difficulties he experienced on the court with players such as John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. But the major portion of the book focuses on the 1980s, during which time he had two heart operations and contracted the AIDS virus via a blood transfusion. Although not a homosexual, Ashe became a sympathetic activist for the gay community. He was very vocal in his last years, speaking out against prejudice towards AIDS victims, racism, apartheid, and U.S. policy towards Haitians wishing to enter this country. This is the inspiring story of a premier athlete and a fine human being who cared passionately about his profession, his family, and the causes he embraced.
Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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First Sentence
IF ONE'S REPUTATION is a possession, then of all my possessions, my reputation means most to me. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring April 18 2004
By Wally
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The title perfectly describes this book. We learn of his life and how he conducted himself as a person -- being a gentleman and a citizen of the world. The book starts out pretty much at the time when the news of Arthur Ashe having contracted AIDS (through a contaminated blood transfusion) broke out. Also, the chapters of him being the Davis Cup captain and having to work with Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe as players on the team are a great read. This is a very touching and inspiring book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Profound March 29 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book was a wonderful read it was deep thought provoking happy and ultimately sad. The title could also have been called A Journey In Courage.I did not know much about Arthur Ashe at the time of his death I like many of my comtemporaries heaped unneccesary praise on the Micheal Jordan's and Jerry Rice's of the world when Arthur Ashe's poster should have been on my wall. Unlike them and (countless others) he was so much more than just an athelete. Just like his book is so much more than just a read it is as though your having a conversation over coffee and your running late for work but you do not care because you are talkin to Arthur, his book has everything in it from sound financial advice to help in choosing the right mate. We lost a true treasure with his passing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars this book is great Oct. 16 2002
By Yousif
Format:School & Library Binding
The book "Days of Grace: A Memoir
by Arthur Ashe, Arnold Rampersad" is a great book. I thought both Arthur Ashe and Arnold Rampersad did a great job with writing the book. The book mainly talks about Arthur Ashe's struggle with aids. The book also talks about how his life and tennis career was affected by aids and how he dealt with it.
The book talks about Arthur Ashe's struggle to cope with aids. Arthur Ashe's struggle with aids was an eye opener. The book also talked about Arthur Ashe donating to charities and foundations dedicated to contributing aid to aids patients.
Arthur Ashe's tennis career was heavily effected by aids. Although he received the disease accidentally by blood transfusion, Arthur Ashe talks about the importance of protection during sex or abstinence.
Overall I thought the book was a good book to read. Sometimes the chapters tend to drag which causes the book to be boring at times, but overall it is a very good book to read, and I recommend people to read it. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The book is great Oct. 16 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought that this book was a great book. Arthur Ashe portrayed the role of a famous sports figure who suffers from aids perfectly. Although he received the disease accidentally through a blood transfusion, he was still an active member in big aids charities trying to educate people about the disease and such. The book also talks about his tennis career. I thought the book was good, however sometimes he stretches a certain story in a chapter, turning it from a short story into a long stretchy story, which made the book boring at times. I give the book 4 stars out of 5 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Health, race, sex, politics, religion, family... Sept. 29 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a sad yet uplifting memoir from a great man who was taken from us much too soon. Arthur speaks with dignity and intelligence on all the aforementioned topics and more. This is that rare book that makes you feel a better person for having read it.
So why withhold one star? Selfishly, I was a bit disappointed that Arthur didn't tell us more about his own magnificent tennis playing. His win over Connors at Wimbledon in '75, for example, was as shocking and historic an upset as you'll see in sports, but Arthur mentions it only in passing, in connection with other events, with no details or insight into how the match unfolded.
I suppose he knew time was short and he had many more important things to say.
I'm glad he did, and I'm sorry he's gone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful Oct. 20 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Days of Grace' is possibly the most moving biography, if not book, I have ever read, by a man whose courage, determination and decency towards fellow man have left me in awe.
The book contains moments of humour, of deep sadness and of joy, and throughout there is a vein of truthfulness that is unparalleled in anything I have ever read. The experiences that Ashe had in his life were so many and so varied, from the highs of winning three Grand Slam's to falling ill to heart disease and AIDS. His relationships with his parents, his wife and daughter, tennis players including Connors and McEnroe, and with his peers in segregated Virginia are all explored thoughtfully and with careful reflection.
In short, Ashe's book offers an account of his life, his beliefs and his final thoughts on the world and his life. Ashe triumphed in sport to become wealthy and well known, but suffered from racial prejudice as a child and terrible diseases as an adult. Yet not once did wealth change his outlook or basic lifestyle nor did he give up in the face of racism or death. Instead Ashe took another path, the noble path - he showed deep respect and understanding towards his fellow man, he used his wealth and his disease to help thousands of others and he never lost site of the moral lessons he had learned as child.
'Days of Grace' is a remarkable book from Arthur Ashe, an extraordinary man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a tad too voyeuristic Jan. 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We live in a day and age when the President of the United States tells us what kind of underwear he sports and, through a string of unfortunate circumstances, we find out about even his genital abnormalities. He famously attests to feeling our pain, tears up at the drop of a hat and bites his own lip almost as often as those of the women he accosts. No emotion, real or faked, is allowed to go unmentioned. No facet of his life is too private to remain hidden. He seems to be incapable of embarassment, devoid of shame, almost proud of personal scandal. Everything--good, bad & indifferent--is on display and no thought is given to how the public and his peers perceive him. His life is about personal gratification and little else.
How different this is from the example of George Washington. As Gordon Wood has written in an excellent essay in the Virginia Historical Review, to Washington reputation was of paramount importance. Nothing mattered more to him than how he was perceived by his fellow men. This obsession fostered in him a moral rectitude that has served to make him seem somehow less than human, as if he had become a statue before he was even dead. But it also made him a world historical figure, a man of unquestioned greatness. And if our modern sensibilities find something vainglorious in his vanity and we feel a certain lack of connection with him because of his seeming perfection, at least he has maintained an aura of mystery and a sterling reputation for two centuries and counting.
What's the point of all this? Just that Arthur Ashe seems to me to have been the George Washington of modern sport, an accomplishment that was all the more notable at a time when his fellow atheletes were increasingly emulating Bill Clinton.
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