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Path Lit By Lightning
Path Lit By Lightning
Path Lit By Lightning
Audiobook23 hours

Path Lit By Lightning

Written by David Maraniss

Narrated by David Maraniss

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

A biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete that “goes beyond the myth and into the guts of Thorpe’s life, using extensive research, historical nuance, and bittersweet honesty” (Los Angeles Times), by the bestselling author of the classic biography When Pride Still Mattered.

Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. Most famously, he won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Even in a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind.

But despite his awesome talent, Thorpe’s life was a struggle against the odds. At Carlisle, he faced the racist assimilationist philosophy “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played minor league baseball, and his supposed allies turned away from him when their own reputations were at risk. His later life was troubled by alcohol, broken marriages, and financial distress. He roamed from state to state and took bit parts in Hollywood, but even the film of his own life failed to improve his fortunes. But for all his travails, Thorpe survived, determined to shape his own destiny, his perseverance becoming another mark of his mythic stature.

Path Lit by Lightning “[reveals] Thorpe as a man in full, whose life was characterized by both soaring triumph and grievous loss” (The Wall Street Journal).

Editor's Note

History’s greatest athlete…

Pulitzer Prize-winning Maraniss (“When Pride Still Mattered”) once again displays his acumen for breathing the fullness of life into people and places of the past. “Path Lit by Lightning” is a rich biography of Jim Thorpe, one of history’s greatest athletes and the first Indigenous American to win an Olympic gold medal. But Thorpe’s talents didn’t erase his challenges, including substance abuse and being stripped of his accolades. Maraniss takes readers far below the surface, doing justice to a figure that received little in his lifetime.

Release dateAug 9, 2022
Path Lit By Lightning

David Maraniss

David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times. Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s—Rome 1960; Once in a Great City (winner of the RFK Book Prize); and They Marched into Sunlight (winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History).

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