American Shaolin Muscularly challenged and relentlessly self-critical Matthew Polly leaves Princeton to become an "enlightened badass" in his memoir American Shaolin . His tutors of choice: the… 2007-02-01 Memoir Nonfiction Gotham
Book Review

American Shaolin (2007)

Details Release Date: Feb 01, 2007; Writer: Matthew Polly; Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction; Publisher: Gotham

Muscularly challenged and relentlessly self-critical Matthew Polly leaves Princeton to become an ''enlightened badass'' in his memoir American Shaolin. His tutors of choice: the monks of China's Shaolin Temple, ''birthplace of both Zen Buddhism and the martial arts.'' In his action-packed quest to immerse himself in Shaolin's insular culture as thoroughly as any Coke-drinking guy from Kansas can, Polly transforms from a gangly wannabe into a formidable kickboxer. Since he never loses his sense of humor when describing his grueling training, the shortcomings of Communist medicine, or the specifics of ''iron crotch kungfu,'' Polly is an easy amateur to root for. B+

Originally posted Jan 26, 2007 Published in issue #918-919 Feb 02, 2007 Order article reprints
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