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Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite
One Way Out: One Man's Journey to the NFL is the biography of former NFL player Paul Dunn, as told to Judith Smith Wilson. The book follows Dunn’s progress from when he decided he wanted to play professional football through his high school and college years and on to the pros. The story continues with Dunn’s life after he was forced out of football because of his injuries. Dunn is now in his 70s and continues to suffer physically from the physical trauma he was subjected to as a football player and the injuries he sustained. Part of the book concerns the racial unrest that took place in the 1960s, which compelled Dunn to change colleges and cut short his academic career. The author concludes the book by looking at how injuries continue to affect Dunn, but also how Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has affected many former football players.
One Way Out captivated me from the first page right up to the conclusion. It’s more than a biography of a football player. It’s an interweaving of Paul Dunn’s life with the state of our culture, including racial issues. Anyone who enjoys football will like this book, but one does not need to be a fan to learn and profit from it. Fans will learn some fascinating facts about life in a major sport, including what life in training camp is like and how football has changed over the years. More importantly, everyone will learn more about the interaction between sport, race, and our society. Judith Smith Wilson writes with honesty, humor, and compassion. I highly recommend this book.