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Publisher's Summary

Joe Posnanski's biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach's personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno's life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno's legendary career.
Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic.
Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man's character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.
©2012 Joe Posnanski (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Bruce on 09-20-12

The Truth about the Real JoePa

I listen to three or four books a month, try to rate most of them but seldom write a review. This time I am obligated. Let's preface it all with stating I am a Penn State alumni. I bleed Blue & White. But it isn't because of a school known for football (and gymnastics and ice hockey and volleyball and wrestling), but, more importantly, because it is a great academic institution. Being Penn State proud I wanted to know the REAL, full story about JoePa. The author began and almost finished this biography before the Sandusky incident, but, as he explains, he could not write an honest biography without getting into all the circumstances surrounding that terrible issue. I am sure many of those who believed in Paterno will want to hear this story; but it is those who did not, or lost faith in this man, they need to hear the whole story. I will admit I cried more than once listening to how this coach dealt with many of the incidents of his life and his coaching career. This is a good book, a moving story, and an emotional ride.
And it would be remiss on my part to fail to mention the tremendous job Joe Montenga did in narrating this book. The texture of his voice, the empathy of his reading, was first rate.
Thank you Joe Posnanski for a most thorough story on the full life of Joe Paterno.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Andrew on 06-14-13

Extraordinary Highs and Tragic Lows

You don’t have to be from Penn State or even be a football fan to enjoy this book.

I went into this hoping that it wouldn't be entirely about the scandal that was all over the news. This book covered the scandal, but I was very pleased to find that it covered much more. I wanted something that was fair and honest, and I think this book is exactly that.

This is definitely a well written and interesting biography and I feel as though the author did his best to remain neutral. This book will give you a better understanding of Paterno’s character, his legendary career, and the scandal that solidified his fall. The narrator did a great job with this book and I felt that he captured the emotions well without making it overly dramatic.

Everything Paterno did was meant to last forever and I really do believe that in time, people will see he tried to do the right things.

Overall, this is a great book. I highly recommend it for anyone that is looking for a moving, emotional, and real story.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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