• Cinderella Man

  • James Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History
  • By: Jeremy Schaap
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-21-05
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Books on Tape
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (189 ratings)

Regular price: $27.93

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Publisher's Summary

Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport's true Cinderella story. James J. Braddock, dubbed "Cinderella Man" by Damon Runyon, was a once promising light heavyweight for whom a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to coincide with the Great Crash of 1929. With one good hand, Braddock was forced to labor on the docks of Hoboken. Only his manager, Joe Gould, still believed in him, finding fights for Braddock to help feed his wife and children. The diminutive, loquacious Jew and the burly, quiet Irishman made one of boxing's oddest couples, but together they staged the greatest comeback in fighting history. In 12 months Braddock went from the relief rolls to face heavyweight champion Max Baer, the Livermore Butcher Boy, renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring.
A charismatic, natural talent and in every way Braddock's foil, Baer was a towering opponent, a Jew from the West Coast who was famously brash and made great copy both in and out of the ring. A 10-to-1 underdog, Braddock carried the hopes and dreams of the working class on his shoulders. And when boxing was the biggest sport in the world, when the heavyweight champion was the biggest star in the world, his unlikely upset made Braddock the most popular champion boxing had ever seen.
Against the gritty backdrop of the Depression, Cinderella Man brings this dramatic all-American story to life, evoking a time when the sport of boxing resonated with a country trying desperately to get back on its feet. Schaap paints a vivid picture of the fight world in its golden age, populated by men of every class and ethnic background and covered voluminously by writers who elevated sports writing to art. Rich in anecdote and color, steeped in history, and full of human interest, Cinderella Man is a classic David and Goliath tale that transcends the sport.
©2005 Jeremy Schaap (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By MA on 06-05-05


Great book, I'm a boxing fan so the boxing history was interesting, filled with names I already knew but now I have a more detailed story behind the names. I think a non boxing fan would still enjoy the story. If you are a fan this is a must listen, I'm sure the movie will focus less on boxing history. The narrator did a good job, his tone and cadence are a perfect match for the subject and time period. I got the unabridged and wish it was even longer. One of the better books I have heard.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By D. M. on 06-06-05


Almost everyone knows the story of the girl who had a rough life and eventually rose to the top with the help of her fairy godmother and lived happily ever after. However, this story is much more than that. It is about an underdog pugilist that endured everything life threw at him and rose to the top with only the belief he had in himself and the desire to provide for his family during the Great Depression. It is a story that will touch your heart and prove to anyone that all one needs to succeed in life is perseverance, desire, and the love and support of family and friends. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Boxing fans and nonfans alike.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Master J. A. Ware on 01-21-17

Fantastic underdog story

the story of Braddock has been told many times in boxing films and novels, a 'washed up' fighter down on his luck makes a comeback and lifts himself out of poverty.

what makes this book interesting is the descriptions of life outside the ring during the 30's and the state of boxing in general after it's huge popularity throughout the roaring 20's with stars such as jack Dempsey.

Fantastic listen/read.

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5 out of 5 stars
By darren on 07-08-15

A Knockout1

Any additional comments?

I knew the story of Jim Braddock from my childhood (my grandfather told me all about him) and some years ago really enjoyed the excellent film, so have been meaning to listen to this audio-book for ages now. I thought it would be good but it was so much better than I imagined. A great story that is well read. Not only the story of Jim Braddock but also the Charismatic Max Baer too.

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