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Montana: The Biography of Football's Joe Cool (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Joe Montana has had a place in my heart ever since he signed my grandmother’s arm in a grocery store line in Rocklin. Now, with Dunnavant’s biography, there’s even more to love. While chronicling Joe’s life and a hallowed time in 49er history, Dunnavant pays particular attention to Joe as the Comeback Kid, not just in the thrilling final minutes of a game, but also in returning from a potentially career-ending spine injury to win two more Super Bowls. A must-read for any Niner fan.

— Melinda, Head Book Buyer


As long as football is played, Joe Montana will be synonymous with the heart-pounding rally. Seemingly impervious to the pressure of a scoreboard deficit, the quarterback known as Joe Cool brought a steadying calm to every huddle, especially when the situation seemed especially dire. His reputation for miracles began to take root at the University of Notre Dame. In the 1979 Cotton Bowl, he overcame the flu, hypothermia and a 22-point deficit to lead the Fighting Irish to a stunning victory over Houston. This narrative continued in the NFL, as he engineered 31 fourth-quarter comebacks, including victories known in professional football lore as The Catch and The Drive, forever casting his career in a heroic glow.

In MONTANA, acclaimed author Keith Dunnavant sketches the definitive portrait of a man who repeatedly defied the odds, on and off the field.

While leading the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl championships over a nine-year period, establishing a new standard for passing efficiency, and twice earning the league's Most Valuable Player award, Montana became the signature quarterback of the 1980s and one of the greatest ever to play the game. Overcoming his own limitations, which caused him to be underrated coming out of Notre Dame, he quickly mastered Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense, and thereby, helped reinvent offensive football.

But it was rarely easy. Like the rallies he so often produced, his life was filled with the sort of tension that made his journey seem routinely dramatic: The father who pushed him. The high school coach who challenged his commitment. The college coach who very nearly squandered him. The back surgery that almost ended his career. The younger athlete who tried to take his job.

Rich an anecdotal detail, insight and context, MONTANA is a powerful story about a man who was defined by his intense competitiveness, and how this intangibly helped him become one of the ionic figures in football history.

About the Author

KEITH DUNNAVANT is the author of critically acclaimed books including CoachThe Missing Ring, and America's Quarterback. He has been one of the leading college football writers, an award-winning magazine journalist and lives near Atlanta.

Praise For…

"Dunnavant builds his portrait through research and dozens of personal interviews with those who have known Montana. Fans will remember Montana’s triumphs in the NFL, but this thoroughly engaging volume also tells the less familiar story of Montana’s early career and his battles with his high-school and college coaches, both of whom were slow to recognize Montana’s talent. That changed in San Francisco, where Montana and coach Bill Walsh were the perfect match. That special relationship is portrayed skillfully in this carefully researched and fluidly written biography. Sure to be of interest in any sports collection." —Booklist

“The story of Joe Montana has been always been captured in moments frozen in time from "The Catch" to the laser to John Taylor to win Super Bowl XXIII. Because these memories have so long endured, we feel like we know Joe Montana. It turns out we don't. Until now. In "Montana" Keith Dunnavant paints a multi-dimensional picture of a man who is so much more than "Joe Cool." Through thorough research and extensive interviews, Dunnavant unlocks the real reason why the underrated kid from Pennsylvania became his generation's best quarterback and a cultural icon. The reason might surprise you.” —Tony Barnhart, SEC Network

America's Quarterback is a well-researched, deeply personal account of a college and NFL icon. Luckily for us Keith Dunnavant chose Bart Starr as a subject. This is a fascinating read.” —Dennis Dodd, on America's Quarterback

“Dunnavant has done it again. I was mesmerized by Montana. I don't know what was more enjoyable---watching Montana play quarterback or reading Dunnavant's stunning account of his life and times. A truly memorable and magnificent book. A riveting read.” —Paul Finebaum, ESPN radio host

“Dunnavant does a great job... revealing the truly impeccable character of Starr and that of his wife, Cherry.... This is an important book about one of the NFL's most important players ever.” — on America's Quarterback

"MONTANA is one of the best sports books I've ever read. When Keith Dunnavant tackles a project, he nails it to the wall. You will love this definitive account of Joe Montana's life."—Pat Williams, senior Vice President, Orlando Magic and author of Extreme Winning

“Tastefully written and complimenting the true spirit of Joe Montana. A winner and always a champion.” —Former teammate and believer in the magic of Joe Montana, Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger

“Joe Montana imagined greatness and made it happen when it mattered most. In his richly detailed biography, Keith Dunnavant shows how football's best quarterback turned science into art and changed the game forever.” —Dave Kindred, author of Sound and Fury

“Keith Dunnavant is one of the most gifted writers and researchers in American book-writing. He brings depth and clarity to Bart Starr the same way he did with Bear Bryant in Coach. I love this book and will proudly display it next to Coach Bryant.'” —Jim Dent, author of Courage Beyond The Game on America's Quarterback

“This superbly crafted profile not only explores the heart and soul of one of the game's greatest players, but Keith Dunnavant's "Montana" provides locker room access to some of football's most memorable moments and takes the reader on a journey through a golden era of the NFL.” —Blair Kerkhoff of The Kansas City Star

“An insightful, engaging biography about the best quarterback of modern times.” —Tim Wendel, author of Summer of ’68

"The first serious biography of the quiet legend...well written and researched, this title will be of interest to a wide range of sports fans." - Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250017840
ISBN-10: 125001784X
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
Pages: 336
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 12/29/2014 08:39am
Last Updated At: 10/1/2020 09:05pm