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"The first noteworthy treatment of his theme – and a definitive … fascinating narrative strands multiply." –The New York Times book review
The most telling biography – with dozens of rarely seen photographs – of film legend Bruce Lee, who turned martial arts into a global phenomenon, bridged the gap between Eastern and Western cultures and disrupted longstanding stereotypes of Asians and Asian-Americans.
Forty-five years after Bruce Lee's sudden death at the age of thirty-two, journalist and bestselling author Matthew Polly has written the definitive representation of Lee's life. It is also one of the just accounts; Incredibly, there never was a significant biography of Lee. After a decade of research conducting more than a hundred interviews with Lee's family, friends, business associates, and even the actress Lee Lee died in, Polly has constructed a complex human portrait of the icon.
Polly explores Lee's early years as a child star in the Hong Kong Cinema; The father of his actor struggles with opium addiction and how Bruce became a troubled teenager, thrown out of high school and eventually sent to America to form; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming a personal trainer for movie stars like James Coburn and Steve McQueen; his fight as an Asian-American actor in Hollywood and the frustration in which he plays one role at a time for which he has auditioned go to a white actor in eyeshadow; his later triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shattering ending, which is still shrouded in mystery today.
Polly breaks the myths surrounding Bruce Lee and argues that, contrary to popular belief, he is an ambitious actor obsessed with martial arts – not a kung fu guru who has just made a few films. This is an honest, insightful look at an impressive but imperfect man whose personal history was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played on screen.