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Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  217 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
The extraordinary personal journey of a man who, against all odds, rose to become one of America’s most surprising and promising new political figures

Scott Brown's greatest win did not occur on a cold January election night in 2010 when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly fifty years. It began when he survived a savage beatin
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 21st 2011 by Harper (first published 2011)
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I read this today while babysitting for some Republican family members up here in Massachusetts. I never would have read the book otherwise; nevertheless, I'm glad I did. In some ways it was exactly what I expected it to be, but there were some pleasant surprises throughout.

The writing itself is rather dry and pretty devoid of any semblance of style. I glean from the acknowledgements that it's ghostwritten, but the blandness of the book makes me feel like Scott Brown is probably a pretty bland g
Mar 25, 2011 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
He has my vote in 2016! However, I don't think he can get through the Republican primaries because he is rational, thoughtful, intelligent, middle of the road etc. I decided to read this after hearing him on a morning talk show promoting his book. He has lived the American dream that is for sure. I can see why Massachusetts which is 80% Democrat elected him. I actually wanted to read this along side of Audacity of Hope, but am having great difficulty geting though that book. I think Obama should ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Peg rated it really liked it
Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, ran for the Senate seat which was vacant as a result of the death of Edward Kennedy in 2009. In a special election, Brown stunned the political world by winning the election in a state where Democrats rule. In a famous exchange during the campaign, Brown reminded the electorate that the seat commonly referred to as "the Kennedy seat" was actually the people's seat.
The book details the extraordinary life of Brown, describing the many hardships he end
Gale Jake
Apr 14, 2012 Gale Jake rated it it was ok
Saw interview with Brown by Piers Morgan Bough Audible. So far the first part (6 chapters) is ponderous, dives into trivia, multiple recursions to random dates and events. Overcoming the odds, but feels to me like a track hurdler erecting additional hurtles so he can increase the difficulty an then relate how each one was cleared. And, dwells on the color, size, placement and minutia of each one until the reader wants to jump away and get to the open field and find the finish line. Difficult to ...more
Sep 20, 2012 Abbe added it
Shelves: in-library

“Powerful stuff. . . .This isn’t your typical memoir. It is brutally honest, difficult to read, and important.” (_The Tucson Citizen_ )

Product Description

The extraordinary personal journey of a man who, against all odds, rose to become one of America’s most surprising and promising new political figures

Scott Brown's greatest win did not occur on a cold January election night in 2010 when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly fifty years.

Mar 07, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2011 David rated it really liked it
I live in Massachusetts and Scott Brown is the Senator that won the seat that a Kennedy had held for 55 out of the last 57 years. I decided to read Against All Odds because I wanted to find out what allowed a little known state senator from Wrentham to become one the most powerful voices for the Republican Party in Massachusetts. What I found out is that Scott Brown comes from sturdy stock, not the blue blood type but from the stock that allows a young boy to survive and thrive in a dysfunctiona ...more
Kryssi Bee
I will now summarize Scott Brown's autobiography for you. Ahem...

Hello, I'm Scott Brown. You may remember me from such films as "My Stepdaddies All Beat Me" and "My Camp Counselor Tried To Make The Gay Sex At Me." But I will not be beaten and I do not engage in the gay sex. [insert bad prose here]

In fact, because my childhood was so hard, I developed a great coping mechanism: I decided to become ultra attractive and be the best at everything I did. [insert more attempts at prose] The only thing
May 01, 2011 Mmtimes4 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The extraordinary personal journey of a man who, against all odds, rose to become one of America’s most surprising and promising new political figures

Scott Brown's greatest win did not occur on a cold January election night in 2010 when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly fifty years. It began when he survived a savage beating at the drunken, dirty-fingernail hands of a stepfather when he was barely six years old, while trying to protect his mother.
On the whole I enjoyed the book and the narration. I was waiting to find out why he ended up as a Republican, since his life story makes him more likely a Democrat. So his reasons - his family were all Republicans, he's pro military, he's against big government, anti-tax were a bit disappointing. He seems like a decent guy, not really a Tea Party type, and probably the only kind of Republican who could have been elected in MA.

Narrated by Scott Brown

9 hrs and 38 mins

Publisher's Summary

Scott Brown
Oct 24, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a survivor and thriver Scott Brown is! Excellent book by the new Senator. He comes from a very hard background of parents who divorced when he was young and each remarried at least three times. There were abusive stepfathers and an absent father in his life. Scott loved basketball and knew that would be his way out of a life of abuse and often poverty. He attended Tufts on a basketball scholarship, but he wanted to stay in the Boston area in case he needed to protect his mother and half-sis ...more
Jan 19, 2014 Jami rated it liked it
If you can make it through the straight-shooting, laundry-list-like prose, he (and his ghostwriter) surely convince me he's one kick-ass dude. There's something to be said for staying focused on your values and goals (but did he really avoid drugs while in the midst of the Studio 54 NYC modeling scene? The writing tries very hard to convince us of his flawlessness throughout ). The attitude that "we each create our own playing fields, and that we are all capable of overcoming whatever challenges ...more
May 24, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea. I don't like to read about the "dark" things of abuse people suffer through or are confronted with especially sexually. It was an inspiring bio but I just didn't care to read parts of it. Scott had a rough up bringing but used it to push harder when others would have given up and failed. He used the verbal abuse he suffered as a child to keep him going when others did it to him later in life because he learned how to put it aside.
Jun 23, 2015 Linda rated it liked it
A conservative Republican wins the senatorial seat a Kennedy has held for 50 plus years in Massachusetts. How in the world did that happen? A great story, made all the more fascinating by learning of the upbringing of this man. Scott Brown's alcoholic mother, married multiple times to abusive men. Inspiring to see how someone from such a dysfunctional home life (I refuse to use the word "family" here) can rise against all odds.
Laura Planton
Nov 19, 2014 Laura Planton rated it really liked it
I really knew very little about Scott Brown prior to reading this book. To rise from a broken home, poverty stricken,with few male roll models is truly remarkable. To take the "Kennedy" seat in Mass. even more so. Self serving at times. Almost too good to be true persona at times but a decent man who rose to great things.
Don Weidinger
Nov 18, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bball, multi-dads drunk, half family expected to be friends, counselor, first person who cared teacher, angry and excuses for parents, judge cared key difference, big lost puppy, Tufts jag model, a mistake I had to make to not make it again, stroke from birth control pills, me against democrat machine, radio.
Nov 29, 2015 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
You might think looks like a corny possibility, but give it a try. I found it both interesting and inspirational. There are few decent politicians out there and this book makes me think Scott is one of them.
Jul 20, 2015 Mary rated it it was ok
I overall got the feeling he didn't write much if any of this book, but it was instead ghost written. And if that was the case, the ghost writer could have done better. I am happy to see someone rise up and out of the depths but the book was very redundant and at times gave too much information. I didn't need to know he took baths with his daughters. Just saying....

Oct 05, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
Scott Brown is a great man, and an unbelievably attentive public servant to the citizens of Massachusetts. And though my dealings with him are minimal, I am not hesitant to consider him a friend. It took my a while, but I finally got around to reading his book and I could not believe just how much I valued reading about his life experience from early childhood (growing up in virtually the same neighborhoods I traversed on my bike as a child), through his educational years, and into his professio ...more
Mar 10, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
It was okay but nothing in his story really engaged me. He is certainly a hero in his own mind, and frequently talks about how great other people think he is. His play-by-play accounts of even his HIGH SCHOOL were incredibly detailed and pretty tedious to read. There was a bit of adversity in his childhood and I'm glad someone wrote about how well they are doing in spite of it, instead of blaming their current situation on it, but beyond that, I don't think the book is worth reading.
Brandon Baggett
Jun 13, 2011 Brandon Baggett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
I personally think that one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much is that I found so many levels with which I could relate to Scott Brown. It is written in a simple format that lets me get sucked into the story of his life. It shows that with hard work and determination you really can overcome the negative things of life and propel yourself to what the American Dream really represents.
This is not just a usual tale of Rags to Riches, but is actually a very well-told life story of the latest Senator from Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown. No matter what your political affiliation is, I think anyone would enjoy this man's story of struggle and eventual achievement, especially when he tells his tales of personal horrors with absolutely no bitterness. A good read (no pun intended.)
Jun 09, 2011 Madalene rated it liked it
I was looking for another autobiography at the library, this was on the new non-fiction shelf and caught my eye. I had no idea who Scott Brown was, but thought, why not read it? It was an interesting book, although I do think Scott is a bit full of himself. I might have felt different about it if I had a sense for him before I read it. In any case, it was an okay read.
Mar 09, 2011 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book to read. Glad to hear that he knows the value of the dollar. I would encourage all politicians to learn the value as well, as Mr. Brown suggests. I feel that this book could be a sales pitch for his next campaign because I don't believe any politician. Hats off to Mr. Brown for overcoming such obstacles and making something of himself and family.
Jun 17, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it
I extremely surprised at just how much I was drawn into this read. He is an amazing individual who has overcome so many obstacles and maintained such a high level of integrity. Although I'm an independent voter, I must confess, I could easily see him as President of the United States one day. Truly a self made man - no silver spoon in his mouth.
Leah Soucy
Nov 30, 2013 Leah Soucy rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. My son got this book at an event he was at. The author was there and he was giving out signed books. I was waiting for some books in the mail so I started reading this and I ended up liking it. I would love to chat with him, I feel like I know him now. If he ran for president, I would definitely vote for him. Good read.
Apr 07, 2012 Caitlyn rated it really liked it
The writing was good and the story was interesting. I found the narrative engaging and not dry like I expected it to be. There were a few parts where I felt the politics was a bit much but for the most part it was simply the story of a man who became famous as he struggled through his childhood.
Jackie Wolfred
Apr 09, 2011 Jackie Wolfred rated it really liked it
This is the type of book I like. The true story of the new US Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown. I am very inspired and encouraged after reading this account of his life, how he struggled, overcame adversity, and how he has served his country for 30 years.
Aug 15, 2011 Joanne rated it really liked it
I don't know what I was expecting but I really enjoyed this book very much. Scott Brown suffered many adversities in his life but he used them to his advantage to learn and grown and move forward in a positive direction. A very inspiring read.
Ben Chapman
Jun 07, 2011 Ben Chapman rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great read! The purpose of this book is to show how one can overcome many challenging obstacles in life, and still build a better future. Well done! I'm very honored to have met Scott Brown and have the privilege to shake his hand.
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"I help people think through the two greatest institutions God has provided — the church and the family. I desire to learn what is pleasing to the Lord and to work for their continuous reformation according to Scripture." -Scott Brown
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