It’s Better To Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness

Liveright. Oct. 2021. 528p. ISBN 9781631498237. $30. SPORTS
The last 20 years of pro football history have been dominated by the thorny dynasty of the New England Patriots, headed by the triumvirate of owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. This history of the team is based on two decades of interviews and research conducted by journalist Wickersham. The author contracted to publish this book whenever Brady or Belichick left the Patriots; in the meantime, he wrote it as a summation of the team and an era. Wickersham strives to reveal the essence of each of the main characters. (Brady, Belichick, and Kraft declined to be interviewed.) Though Brady is the major focus, the book also delves into Kraft’s desire for recognition and Belichick’s systematic devotion to hard work and hard coaching. Wickersham presents Brady as the ultimate team leader, whose rigorous training regimen put strain on his family, and who grew tired of being underappreciated by his coach. This book covers the era’s major events and finds fresh perspectives that make the lengthy volume a joy to read.
VERDICT A skilled journalist analyzes the success of the NFL’s premier team over the last two decades, in both its laudable and unsavory aspects; will be of interest to all sports fans.
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