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Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith
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Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  17 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The picture of Smith raising his black-gloved right fist at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics is one of the most enduring sports images of the 20th century. Nearly 40 years later, he details what the gesture symbolized for him and reveals what his life has been since.
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 28th 2007 by Temple University Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Tommie Smith, who wrote this autobiography, will be speaking on Feb 26th on our campus, so I wanted to get a glimpse of his life prior to the event. Smith was an amazing athlete. When he came in first in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico in the 200-meter dash, he and his fellow runner John Carlos (who came in third) made a statement to the world when they received their medals: they raised a black-gloved fist, a "silent gesture" that became world famous. His descriptions of the consequences of that ge ...more
The bittersweet memoir of the victory and struggles of an Olympic gold medalist who took a stand as a student - athlete and human rights activist. It is his rise from a sharecropper family to international fame/infamy for a stand/photo that spoke volumes about the human condition. It tells the effort and intellectual discipline needed to be a world class athlete. And it reveals the high personal price paid when daring to challenge the status quo of society.
I gave this 3 books, because I thought it was truly a moving story about courage and sacrifice. It some way it is really scary that these kind of things happened in the "freest country of the world" merely 40 years ago.
However, this book could have needed a heavy dose of editing. The structure is at times nonexistent and some parts (especially towards the end) appear rather like the random ramblings of an old man. So I can not give this more than 3 stars.
Byron Carr
Tommie Smith wrote this book, I know that because Tommie Smith himself mentions Tommie Smith constantly throughout as Tommie Smith, an extremely annoying habit and a real drag to try and read! He's taken an inspirational and amazing story and rendered it extremely difficult to digest in written format.
What a boring book. It was clearly geared toward people who already knew about Mexico City, 1968, and Tommie Smith habitually refers to himself in the third person.
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