Cinderella Man

  • by Jeremy Schaap
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fantastic historical drama

It really is too bad such a great story is weighed down by such a nondescript and blas? title because the story is a very entertaining one. Set during the peak of the Great Depression, Cinderella Man walks us through the peaks and valleys of turn-of-the-century boxing before entourages and scandal turned the public off. Although mostly focused on the story of James J. Braddock, we also hear of his contemporaries, their rises, reigns and falls.

This story will inevitably raise comparisons to a contemporary "Cinderella" story: Seabisquit. The horse, however, wins this match hands down. Nevertheless, take a listen to both and transport yourself easily to a different time.
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- Adam


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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- MA

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2005
  • Publisher: Books on Tape