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The former heavyweight boxing champion describes his boyhood in Germany, his bouts with Joe Louis and other boxing greats, and his experiences living in Nazi Germany
The second Louis-Schmeling fight of 1938 sparked excitement around the globe. For all its length--the fight lasted just two minutes--it remains one of the most memorable events in boxing history and, indeed, one of the most significant sporting events ever. In this superb account, Lewis A.Erenberg offers a vivid portrait of Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, their individual careers, and their two epic fights, shedding light on what these fighters represented to their nations, and why their second bout took on such international importance. Erenberg shows how after Schmeling's dramatic win in his first fight with Lewis he instantly became a German national hero and an unwilling symbol for white supremacists, leading the second fight to be viewed by many as a symbolic match between Nazism and American democracy. Erenberg discusseshow Louis' dramatic first-round victory was a devastating blow to Hitler, who turned on Schmeling and, during the war, had the boxer (then serving as a paratrooper) sent on a series of dangerous missions. Louis, meanwhile, went from being a hero of his race--"Our Joe"--to the first black championembraced by all Americans. Here then is a stirring and insightful account of one of the great moments in boxing history, a confrontation that provided global theater on an epic scale.
Examines the symbolic significance of fighters Jack Johnson and Joe Louis during the prejudice and segregation of the 1900s to the 1940s. Explores how they overcame obstacles as important black sports figures. Covers the Johnson-Jeffries 1910 fight, Johnson's Mann Act Trial in 1913, Louis' two fights with Max Schmeling in the 1930s, and Louis' 1942 Army enlistment.
While humans have used their hands to engage in combat since the dawn of man, boxing originated in Ancient Greece as an Olympic event. It is one of the most popular, controversial and misunderstood sports in the world. For its advocates, it is a heroic expression of unfettered individualism. For its critics, it is a depraved and ruthless physical and commercial exploitation of mostly poor young men. This Companion offers engaging and informative essays about the social impact and historical importance of the sport of boxing. It includes a comprehensive chronology of the sport, listing all the important events and personalities. Essays examine topics such as women in boxing, boxing and the rise of television, boxing in Africa, boxing and literature, and boxing and Hollywood films. A unique book for scholars and fans alike, this Companion explores the sport from its inception in Ancient Greece to the death of its most celebrated figure, Muhammad Ali.
This book presents a sweeping view of boxing in the United States and the influence of the sport on American culture. • Includes information from the early "bare knuckles" era of boxing up to modern-day stars and matchups, presenting the history of boxing in a chronological fashion
America’s black boxing champion. Hitler’s favorite athlete. And a world at war. Joe Louis was born on an Alabama cotton patch and raised in a Detroit ghetto. Max Schmeling grew up in poverty in Hamburg, Germany. For both boys, boxing was a way out and a way up. Little did they know someday they would face each other in a pair of battles that would capture the imagination of the world. In America, Joe was a symbol of hope to a nation of blacks yearning to participate in the American dream. In Germany, Max was made to symbolize the superiority of the Aryan race. The two men climbed through the ropes with the weight of their countries on their shoulders—and only one would leave victorious. The battles waged between Joe and Max still resonate today. War in the Ring is the story of these two outsized heroes, their lives, their careers, and the global conflict swirling around them.
More than the world heavyweight championship was at stake when Joe Louis fought Max Schmeling on 22 June 1938. In a world on the brink of war, the contest was projected as a test of nationalistic, racial and political ideals. It was black man against white man, a showdown between democracy and totalitarianism. No single event in the history of boxing generated as much excitement or such extremes of emotions. It was the night Louis hit a peak of fistic perfection, hardly missing a punch as he destroyed the challenger inside three brutal minutes. Following the Second World War, the two boxers' lives took contrasting turns. Louis was hounded over unpaid taxes and drifted into a hazy world of drugs, paranoia and ill health, eventually dying in 1981. Schmeling, meanwhile, became a successful businessman and remained active until his death in 2005. Ring of Hate is a gripping story of two men drawn together by their chosen profession and divided by the cruel demands of warring nations.
A “humbling, inspiring . . . deeply emotional” biography of the boxing legend who held the heavyweight world championship for more than eleven years (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Known as the Brown Bomber, Joe Louis defended his heavyweight title an astonishing twenty-five times. Through the 1930s, he got more column inches of newspaper coverage than President Roosevelt. At a time when the boxing ring was the only venue where black and white could meet on equal terms, Louis embodied Black America’s hope for dignity and equality. And in 1938, his politically charged defeat of German boxer Max Schmeling made Louis a national hero on the world stage. Through meticulous research and first-hand interviews, acclaimed biographer Randy Roberts presents a complete portrait of Louis and his outsized impact on sport and country. Digging beneath the simplistic narratives of heroism and victimization, Roberts reveals an athlete who carefully managed his public image, and whose relationships with both the black and white communities—including his relationships with mobsters—were deeply complex. “Roberts is a fine match with his subject. He supports with powerful evidence his contention that Louis’s impact was enormous and profound.” —The Boston Globe
Boxing is one of the oldest and most exciting of sports: its bruising and bloody confrontations have permeated Western culture since 3000 BC. During that period, there has hardly been a time in which young men, and sometimes women, did not raise their gloved or naked fists to one other. Throughout this history, potters, sculptors, painters, poets, novelists, cartoonists, song-writers, photographers and film-makers have been there to record and make sense of it all. In her encyclopaedic investigation, Kasia Boddy sheds new light on an elemental sports and struggle for dominance whose weapons are nothing more than fists. Boddy examines the shifting social, political and cultural resonances of this most visceral of sports, and shows how from Daniel Mendoza to Mike Tyson, boxers have embodied and enacted our anxieties about race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Looking afresh at everything from neoclassical sculpture to hip-hop lyrics, Boxing explores the way in which the history of boxing has intersected with the history of mass media, from cinema to radio to pay-per-view. The book also offers an intriguing new perspective on the work of such diverse figures as Henry Fielding, Spike Lee, Charlie Chaplin, Philip Roth, James Joyce, Mae West, Bertolt Brecht, and Charles Dickens. An all-encompassing study, Boxing ultimately reveals to us just how and why boxing has mattered so much to so many.
Boxing might not have survived the 1930s if not for Max Baer. A contender for every heavyweight championship 1932-1941, California's "Glamour Boy" brought back the "million-dollar gate" not seen since the 1920s. His radio voice sold millions of Gillette razor blades; his leading-man appeal made him a heartthrob in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933). The film was banned in Nazi Germany--Baer had worn a Star of David on his trunks when he TKOed German former champ Max Schmeling. Baer defeated 275-pound Primo Carnera in 1934 for the championship, losing it to Jim Braddock the next year. Contrary to Cinderella Man, (2005), Baer--favored 10 to 1--was not a villain and the fight was more controversial than the film suggested. His battle with Joe Louis three months later drew the highest gate of the decade. This first comprehensive biography covers Baer's complete ring record, his early life, his career on radio, film, stage and television, and his World War II army service.
Told with love and a profound appreciation for a time, place and people, this series of engaging vignettes explores six years in the life of a young girl in 1930s Florida. Nameless and faceless, the little girl wanders through these stories filled with curiosity and questions as she meets the ingenious people of the Great Depression in rural Florida. Although an outsider, she is quickly accepted by this strong, struggling and kindly community. She shares their simple joys, great tragedies and dark secrets. The rich tales in Sweetgum Slough are about the sweet and earthy roots of learning. While these stories are, indeed, about “joy and hookworms and red-taled fishes,” they are more about a child's need for freedom to adventure, choose paths, take risks, examine and question. Claire Karssiens's memoir is as unique as it is memorable. Her lyrical prose and stunning imagery beautifully capture 1930s Florida and will sweep you into the very heart of a little girl's soul.
At the 1936 Olympic Games in Germany, Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 400-meter relay—and Adolph Hitler scrambled from his private box to avoid honoring the black athlete. During World War II, Joe Louis, heavyweight champion of the world, paid surprise visits to military hospitals. Though he later lost his title belt to the German Max Schmeling (which greatly pleased Hitler), when Louis died, broke, Schmeling used his wealth to pay for Louis’s funeral. In the 1971 World Series, Roberto Clemete posted the greatest single performance by any player ever, making two impossible catches in the outfield, batting .414, and hitting seven singles, two doubles, one triple, and two homeruns. Clemente died the next year in a plane crash while flying relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Stories like these are testaments to the power of athletics to influence and inspire people, nations, and cultures. In Black Sports Heroes: Past and Present, author and cartoonist Morrie Turner skillfully presents cartoons and stories, known and unknown, about black athletes of all nations and the impact they had upon their sport and their world. Through his impressive combination of humor and fact, Turner brings “kid power” and “rainbow power” to life, showing us a world where all people, regardless of racial, religious, sexual, or physical differences, can live, learn, work, and play together.
"Recreating the drama of their momentous bout, the author traces the lives of both fighters before and after the fight, including Schmeling's efforts in Nazi Germany to protect Jewish friends and the boxers' surprising friendship in the post-war years. In Ring of Hate he offers the saga of two decent human beings drawn together by their chosen profession and divided by the cruel demands of competing nations."--Jacket.
From 1935 to 1947 Joe Louis, who took the World Heavy-weight Championship from James Braddock on June 22, 1937, was the best known black in America. This stirring sports history is an exciting retelling of an important chapter in the story of boxing and a compelling view of an era in social history.
American author John Horne Burns (1916–1953) led a brief and controversial life, and as a writer, transformed many of his darkest experiences into literature. Burns was born in Massachusetts, graduated from Andover and Harvard, and went on to teach English at the Loomis School, a boarding school for boys in Windsor, Connecticut. During World War II, he was stationed in Africa and Italy, and worked mainly in military intelligence. His first novel, The Gallery (1947), based on his wartime experiences, is a critically acclaimed novel and one of the first to unflinchingly depict gay life in the military. The Gallery sold half a million copies upon publication, but never again would Burns receive that kind of critical or popular attention. Dreadful follows Burns, from his education at the best schools to his final years of drinking and depression in Italy. With intelligence and insight, David Margolick examines Burns’s moral ambivalence toward the behavior of American soldiers stationed with him in Naples, and the scandal surrounding his second novel, Lucifer with a Book, an unflattering portrayal of his experiences at Loomis.
Since Achilles first stormed into our imagination, literature has introduced its readers to truly unforgettable martial characters. In Men at War, Christopher Coker discusses some of the most famous of these fictional creations and their impact on our understanding of war and masculinity. Grouped into five archetypes-warriors, heroes, villains, survivors and victims-these characters range across 3000 years of history, through epic poems, the modern novel and one of the twentieth century's most famous film scripts. Great authors like Homer and Tolstoy show us aspects of reality invisible except through a literary lens, while fictional characters such as Achilles and Falstaff, Robert Jordan and Jack Aubrey, are not just larger than life; they are life's largeness-and this is why we seek them out. Although the Greeks knew that the lovers, wives and mothers of soldiers are the chief victims of battle, for the combatants, war is a masculine pursuit. Each of Coker's chapters explores what fiction tells us about war's appeal to young men and the way it makes- and breaks-them. The existential appeal of war too is perhaps best conveyed in fictional accounts, and these too are scrutinized by the author.
William Lawrence Stribling, Jr., known as Young Stribling, was born in a small southern Georgia town in 1904. The son of a store clerk and a farmer¿s daughter, the direction of his life seemed set. He should have lived out his years in that rural setting, but he was performing in vaudeville before his 4th birthday and was a professional prizefighter by the age of 16. His rise through the boxing ranks and classifications was meteoric and he soon earned himself a place among the top fighters in the world. Stribling married his high school sweetheart and the couple had three children. Over the course of his career, Young Stribling traveled the world, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, sports legends, even royalty. Jack Dempsey counted him a close friend and Al Capone wanted to buy his contract and manage his career. Stribling was also a championship basketball player, an accomplished golfer, an exceptional tennis player, and a pilot and speedboat racer. He even attracted the attention of Hollywood and was approached to star in a move about himself. But he was always happiest at home in Macon, Georgia, with his family and friends. Young Stribling¿s boxing career spanned 12 years. During that time he fought 287 matches, winning 224 and losing only 12. The rest were draws or ¿no decision¿ fights. Although he never achieved the championship title he sought, Young Stribling was true to himself and the values with which he¿d been raised. The most important things in his world were sportsmanship, honor, and doing his best. He never did less.
"Joe Louis held the heavyweight boxing championship longer than any other fighter and defended it a record 25 times. During the 1930s and 1940s, the owner of the heavyweight title belt was the most prominent sports competitor not aligned with a team sport. The biography of Louis outlines his rise from poverty to the best-known African American"--Provided by publisher.
Hold it! You really think we can come up with 50 greatest sports heroes? Well, we can and we have. Our heroes are not simply limited to the most popular spectator sports. On occasion our heroes go back several generations, not just to the names in the papers or the sports talk shows. Who are they? Well, certainly Jordan, Woods and Ming...but are you old enough to remember Max Schmeling or George Best? There are a lot more where they come from...skiers, cyclists, golfers and runners-all the best and more. What did they do and why are they great? The book offers: a quick, personal biography of each of our famous athletes; summary statistics of some of the most important successes; the good, the bad and the ugly of their sports careers; why these individuals went on to influence their sport; and trivia questions to challenge your knowledge and more.

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