All due modesty aside, Ted Williams considered himself among the greatest hitters who ever lived, and he was not alone in that assessment. Leigh Montville takes a fresh look at the Red Sox slugger in Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero.

Williams was a true hero, and not just in the hyperbolic lexicon of the sports world. He put in two stints as a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea and helped to establish several charities. Montville offers numerous accounts of Williams' friendship and generosity to the "little man" over the years. But for all his success, Williams' family life was a dismal disappointment: three failed marriages and a manipulative son who, even as Williams was dying, sought ways to cash in on his father's fame. These antics continued after Williams' death, when his son had his father's remains stored at a cryogenics lab, a sad coda to the life of this proud and vibrant personality. Montville's extraordinary insight and access into Williams' life outside the sports spotlight makes this a fascinating volume sure to pique the interest of fans.

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