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Managing My Life: My Autobiography: The Autobiography Paperback – 3 Aug 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; 2Rev Ed edition (3 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340728566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340728567
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.9 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

When considering the public face of Sir Alex Ferguson--the unsmiling, world-beating football manager who has taken just about all the honours the British game has to offer--it is difficult to imagine that he grew up as the son of a ship builder on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow. Yet Ferguson's story is much the same as many others who have made it to the top in the sport: a boy with talent who rose above the expectations of his working-class background to become a household name throughout the world.

Such is the power of football; but more relevantly, such is the power of raw talent, pure determination and a bit of good luck. In Managing My Life Ferguson tells the story of just how he developed from a football-mad youngster to the first British manager to win the FA Cup, the Premiership and the European Cup in one season; but whereas others with a similar experience romanticise their tough upbringing and eulogise it from the comfortable position success affords them, with Ferguson there is the feeling that the tough, uncompromising way he runs his team is a direct product of values instilled in childhood that he still holds close.

I grew up accepting that shipbuilding was part of the fabric of my existence. In a community that relies heavily on a single industry, there is an intensity of shared experience that draws people together and tends to make them appreciate the need to support one another. It has been said that the values great managers like Jock Stein, Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley brought to their jobs in football were rooted in their mining background. I have no doubt it is true and I am sure, too, that any success I have had in handling men, and especially in creating a culture of loyalty and commitment in teams I have managed, owes much to my upbringing among the workingmen of Clydesdale.

Opening the book with a word on his recent Treble success (after all, who could be expected to wait until the end of this extraordinary story for all the gory details?), Ferguson soon reveals the big secret of his success--family support. The constants throughout his life have been close friend and family relationships and an absolute passion for winning, and both are constantly recurring themes throughout the book. Candid, thoughtful and passionate, this is certainly a story no Ferguson lover can miss. But, more importantly, it is one those who hate him should be made to read--if you thought the dour face and frequent complaints to the referee were his whole character, you are sorely mistaken; they are symptoms of his never-ending quest for perfection.--Lucie NaylorThis text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

Review

The best football autobiography I have ever read (The Sunday Times)

The richest and most enthralling story in post-war British sport (Independent)

Danielle Steele meets Geoffrey Archer, with a Booker Prize quality injected by Hugh McIlvanney (Independent on Sunday)

A treat (Sunday Express)

Ferguson emerges from this account as a genuine national hero, one of the great Scots of the 20th century (Mail on Sunday)

Provocative, stimulating, emotional and honest (The Herald)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By leedsutd40@hotmail.com on 7 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a Leeds United season ticket holder - so why did I pick up a book from the manager of our rivals? - Maybe I am a little macarbe but mainly I do enjoy football literature.
As a partisan fan I can't help thinking that Mr Ferguson is abit of a moaner and really sections of this book back-up that myth -- he never really does give Leeds the credit of winning the title but that Man U lost it and injuries and the Sun (yes the yellow ball in the sky) has alot to answer for!!
But to be perfectly honest this is a compelling read tracing the mans life and the first 250 pages deal with his formative years and his career in Scotland. I agree that he is forthright but the questions the previous reviewer mentioned are never explored.
A worthwhile piece of football literature for ALL football fans if they can stomach it. Well worth it!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is not exactly a "page turner" , but it is well worth reading. Sir Alex Ferguson emerges from it not only as a phenomenally successful football manager , but as a genuinely impressive human being. I enjoyed his early life story in particular , probably because his later life is now so familiar. My first recollections of Ferguson were when he managed St Mirren to some successes in the 70's and was largely unaware of his relatively successful playing career with St Johnstone , Dunfermline, Rangers et al.The novel traces his playing career and skilfully interweaves it with details of his personal life and comments and opinions on the people he encounted along the way.His full life included stints as a toolmaker and pub manager in Glasgow. A picture develops of an energetic ,determined,competitive, tactically skilful and honest man who commands and displays loyalty and is a master motivator. Ferguson watched and learned from people like Jock Stein over the years and acknowledges such influences throughout the book.
"The Treble" Man.Utd. achieved in 1999 begins and ends the story and will always be the highpoint of Ferguson's career and the Man Utd success story of the past decade is covered in detail with interesting insights into his dealings with Ince , Kanchelskis , Cantona etc.
Sir Alex Ferguson emerges from this book as an impressive figure. There is no trace of arrogance in the story, from a man who came up through the lowliest ranks of Scottish clubs in his playing and management career. As his management career draws to an end this well-written book is a worthy tribute.
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Format: Hardcover
As a lifelong united fan I was very much looking forward to reading this book especially after the dramatic events of last season.I have always been struck by the fact that sir Alex Is either loved or loathed depending on one's footballing allegiance.This book should do a lot to enhance either viewpoint.This book tells the reader a great deal about what makes this man tick.It is no surprise that Sir Alex was not prepared to accept second best even at the short-trousered stage In his life. I was very much struck by his genuine humility and modesty despite all his success.I doubt whether non football lovers will get much from this book and I suspect that united haters will not read It out of principle but this book is a fascinating and occasionally moving read.Many ghost-written autobiographies lack that feeling of "genuiness" but Hugh McIlvanney has done a superb job In bringing out the essence of an extraordinary sporting figure.
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Format: Paperback
Even allowing for the bias that I'm a United fan, this is a truly incredible book. Tough, uncompromising and, to be fair, almost brutally honest in parts, this book is never less than compelling and offers a remarkable insight into one of the most successful football careers Europe has ever seen. Any true football fan will find it hard to put this book down - and the sections dealing with Rangers, Paul McGrath, the Jim Leighton controversy and latterly Brian Kidd are fascinating. This book is also well worth reading in contrast to Patrick Barclay's 'Football - Bloody Hell' as the latter fills in the few gaps left by the former. I'd unhesitatingly recommend this book - it's perfect for a two week holiday when you can devote yourself to it by the pool or on the beach. Given the ongoing status of Fergie's career I wouldn't be surprised if an updated version is in the pipeline. One of the great sports books.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 22 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
Despite not being an avid supporter of Manchester United I have always been very keen to have an insight into the life and times of club's greatest ever manager.

The book clearly portrays the great mans early days and his tough upbringing in Govan, Glasgow. Uniquely, in a city which had major religous differences Alex's parents were from a mixed marriage. We get a great insight into Alex's early footballing life and the tough times that his family endured in surviving.
A fascinating discussion about Alex Ferguson's time as a player were amongst other clubs represented Glasgow Rangers. Even as a player we could to realize that he had a volatile temperament which would continue to serve him as a natural football leader.

From success at the unfashionable Aberdeen football Club to the pressures of managing one of the biggest sports clubs in the world Alex remains how much his childhood upbringing continues to be a major backbone of his life.

A truly great read into the one of soccers most respected characters.
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