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Playing for Keeps

Michael Jordan and the World He Made
Written by: David Halberstam
Narrated by: J. D. Jackson
Length: 20 hrs and 1 min

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist comes “the best Jordan book so far” (The Washington Post), the story of Michael Jordan’s legendary years with the Chicago Bulls, capped by the 1998 NBA Finals and the team’s second three-peat. 

From The Breaks of the Game to Summer of '49, David Halberstam has brought the perspective of a great historian, the insider knowledge of a dogged sportswriter, and the love of a fan to bear on some of the most mythic players and teams in the annals of American sports. With Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, he has given himself the greatest challenge and produced his greatest triumph. 

In Playing for Keeps, David Halberstam takes the first full measure of Michael Jordan's epic career, one of the great American stories of our time. A narrative of astonishing power and human drama, brimming with revealing anecdotes and penetrating insights, the audiobook chronicles the forces in Jordan's life that have shaped him in to history's greatest basketball player and the larger forces that have converged to make him the most famous living human being in the world.

©2012 David Halberstam (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"David Halberstam has written a remarkable book about the changes in American society over the last twenty-five years. On one level, it is about basketball and the game's greatest player, Michael Jordan. On another level, it is about how an entertainment culture envelops Jordan and makes him its own. But on its deepest level, it is a story about working to overcome the odds, honoring parents and family, and striving to become a positive social force. This book is a must read for basketball fans, admirers of Jordan, and anyone who seeks to understand sports in America today." (Bill Bradley)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-20

Excellent Companion for "The Last Dance"

I wanted to have a book that would give me more context while watching "The Last Dance" Jordan Documentary and this book exceeded my expectations! the depth of the content, how it goes beyond just MJ and explains the people around him, this book is everything you need to know about Jordan and the world around him. aside from being about Jordan's life from Carolina to Chicago, it also enlightened me about the NBA world around Jordan and how the world changed because of him

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  • CMO
  • 06-04-20

Great

This audiobook is perfect. Halberstam is in peak form; nailing how Jordan became the icon we know today. It excludes his personal life but deftly explains his relentless inner drive to succeed and dominate.
JD Jackson isn’t flashy as narrator but for me this is perfect. I dislike overly dramatic narrations and even though his various voices are not all that nuanced, I thought he perfected Jordan’s deep inflection.
I also like how this ends in 1998. No need to think about or even remember Jordan’s time in DC.

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  • Stephanie Garrett
  • 31-03-20

Great tidbits, details, and andecdotes

As a kid growing up during the 90’s and I couldn’t understand all of the business, media, and history surrounding Jordan/Pippen-era Bulls. This book put in perspective and contextualized the era and is a good read for someone who wants to understand the intersection of popular culture, sports, and business.” Better. The performance of the reading is well done too.