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Jack O'Brien is a high school basketball coach extreme in both his demands and his devotion. With monastic discipline, he has built a powerhouse program that wins state championships year after year while helping propel players to college. He does this as a white suburban guy working exclusively with black city boys who make the daily trek across Boston to attend Charlestown High School, where the last battles of the city's school desegregation wars were fought a generation ago. The Assist is a gripping, surprising story about fathers, sons, and surrogates, all confronting the narrow margins of urban life. The book follows the players on their hunt for a state title. But it also stays with them, to see how young men who seldom get second chances survive without their coach hovering over them--and how he survives without them.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781586486662
ISBN-10: 1586486667
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 28mm)
Pages: 392
Imprint: PublicAffairs,U.S.
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 21-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Neil Swidey

Neil Swidey is a staff writer for The Boston Globe Magazine. His writing has won the National Headliner Award and been featured in The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Crime Reporting and The Best American Political Writing. He lives outside Boston with his wife and three daughters.

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