With Tej Hazarika
To Peter Westbrook, "harnessing anger" means controlling one's fury and channeling it in a positive direction. Westbrook's success in what he once called "that strange white sport" is really just one expression of the self-discipline that has led him to beat the odds, again and again.
Peter Westbrook is listed in The Guinness Book of Records as the all-time winningest American record holder in U.S. National Sabre championships. In 1995, at the age of 43, although the average retirement age for world class tournament fencers is 34, Westbrook won two gold medals for the U.S. at the 1995 Pan American Games. In 1996, he was one of only three American sabrists chosen to compete for the gold in the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, his sixth Olympic Games, an incredible twenty-year Olympic career.
In Harnessing Anger, Westbrook tells how he came to be the first African American to win a national gold title in sabre fencing. The son of an African-American father and a Japanese mother, Peter was raised by his mother alone in poverty in a Newark ghetto. Becoming a fencer at an early age gave him the confidence and the discipline to use an ancient martial art to his advantage both in swordplay and when facing the vicissitudes of daily life in the inner city.
The autobiography of this 6-time Olympian, 13-time U.S. National champion and the only book on his amazing life, Harnessing Anger tells us how Westbrook has overcome strong adversaries on and off the fencing mat.