BLACK ICE: THE VAL JAMES STORY
$16.95 U.S./$19.95 CDN, ECW Press, 224 pgs, 6" x 9,” paperback
Black Ice: The Val James Story, co-authored by John Gallagher, follows the unlikely journey of a sharecropper’s son, transplanted from Florida to New York, who didn’t learn to skate until he was almost 13. Yet, James went on to become a feared enforcer in the AHL and the first U.S.-born black NHLer. While racism shaped James’ career in some ways – his pugilistic talents were honed while retaliating to the racist taunts spewed by his opponents – and may have inhibited it in others, much of his story is funny and upbeat. Black Ice ultimately is the proud tale of a man who enjoyed almost every moment of his career. The 2017 edition is revised with a new afterword, with James reflecting on the personal demons he rediscovered when writing this book, along with the positive impact it made.