Against All Odds
My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks, and Second Chances
By Scott Brown
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062015549, 336pp.)
Publication Date: February 21, 2011
The extraordinary personal journey of a man who, against all odds, rose to become one of Americas most surprising and promising new political figures
Scott Brown's greatest win did not occur on a cold January election night in 2010 when he came from behind to capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for nearly fifty years. It began when he survived a savage beating at the drunken, dirty-fingernail hands of a stepfather when he was barely six years old, while trying to protect his mother.
In this gripping memoir of resilience and redemption, Brown tells the story of his difficult, often nomadic childhood, shunted from house to apartment, and town to town, seventeen times over his first eighteen years. He somehow thrived despite a largely absent father, who married four separate times. So did his mother, in relationships frequently stained with alcohol, anger, and even violence. For nearly two decades' growing up, Brown endured innumerable hardships and challenges, even stealing food to eat. He was periodically sent off to live with relatives, his possessions wrapped in a few old blankets. Saved by basketball, he was the boy who shoveled snow from the public courts to shoot hoops alone in the frozen cold.
With clear-eyed conviction and unflinching can-dor, Brown tells the story of his own bad-boy days, of the coaches who mentored him, and of how he found a way out of familial chaos through the swish of a ball in the net, winning a starting slot on the Tufts varsity basketball team as a freshman player and becoming the tenth-highest scorer to graduate in the school's history. His rise from there was even more improbable: a first-year law student and member of the Massachusetts National Guard, he was picked as Cosmopolitan magazine's "America's Sexiest Man" and was vaulted into the glamorous world of New York modeling at the height of the 1980s. But the man who was once ushered into the backrooms of Studio 54 returned to Massachusetts to continue with his military and legal training, settle down, raise a family, and soon found an unlikely path that would lead him to national political stardom. Here, too, are the secrets from the unprecedented Senate race that captured the country's imagination and how Scott Brown won his remarkable victory.
Poignant, heartfelt, humorous, and profound, this is the story of one man's dream and his determination to fight for a better future.
U.S. Senator Scott Brown was elected by the people of Massachusetts on January 19, 2010, to fill the term of the late senator Ted Kennedy. He lives in Wrentham, Massachusetts, with his wife, Gail, and their two daughters, Ayla and Arianna.
“Powerful stuff. . . .This isn’t your typical memoir. It is brutally honest, difficult to read, and important.”
-The Tucson Citizen
“A[n] engaging autobiography. . . . A rags-to-riches narrative that sometimes recalls Horatio Alger. . . . Lyricism and occasional symbolic richness emerge in these pages.”
-The New York Review of Books
“Dramatic. . . . Poignant. . . . Scott Brown’s life could have veered horribly wrong so many times, as he amply demonstrates in his disquieting memoir. . . . A reader will get an everything’s-finally-right-with-the-world thrill from his success in life.
-The Washington Post
“A fresh, compelling memoir of a childhood that could have led to a miserable life, but didn’t. . . .Brown’s straightforward narrative makes for a good read.”
-Louisville Courier Journal