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About the book:
Born in 1943 in Virginia against a backdrop of the civil-rights movement and black-power struggle, Arthur Ashe discovered tennis - a white man's sport - in the segregated South. Defeating racial prejudice, in 1963 he was representing the US in Davis Cup matches when the US was exploding with violence over civil rights. He went on to win the US Open in 1968 and the Wimbledon men's singles title in 1975. The qualities he showed in overcoming the odds with courage and dignity are mirrored in Ashe's later ordeal - his battle with a weak heart and subsequently against AIDS, contracted during a blood transfusion while undergoing heart surgery in 1983, before the screening of donated blood was compulsory. This memoir describes the triumphs, intrigues, politics and personalities Arthur Ashe encountered on the professional tennis circuit, and of the celebrity world in general, from John McEnroe to Robert Kennedy. The book shows how the greatest challenge to Ashe's health is the never-ending burden of racism, and explores the conflicts of enduring a terrible ordeal in the full glare of publicity.