The Making and Meaning of Michael Jordan

Coming Soon


By Johnny Smith

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$24.99 CAD

How Michael Jordan’s path to greatness was shaped by race, politics, and the consequences of fame

To become the most revered basketball player in America, it wasn’t enough for Michael Jordan to merely excel on the court. He also had to become something he never intended: a hero.

As Jordan ascended as an NBA champion, his story assured the public that meritocracy and hard work still mattered. Yet building this narrative came at a cost. In Jumpman, sports historian Johnny Smith reveals how Jordan guarded his politics and personal life, allowing him to seem more likable to Americans who wanted to believe that race no longer mattered. In the process of achieving greatness, he remade himself into a paradox: universally known, yet distant and unknowable.

Blending dramatic game action with grand evocations of the social forces sweeping the early nineties, Jumpman reveals how the man and the myth together created the legend that we remember today.


On Sale
Nov 7, 2023
Page Count
336 pages
Basic Books

Johnny Smith

About the Author

Johnny Smith is the Julius C. “Bud” Shaw Professor in Sports, Society, and Technology and an Assistant Professor of History at Georgia Tech. He is the co-author of Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (with Randy Roberts) and the author of The Sons of Westwood: John Wooden, UCLA, and the Dynasty That Changed College Basketball. Smith lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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