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Publisher's Summary

The Boxing Kings tells the story of the heavyweight title in the days when it was a defining institution in the United States. Author Paul Beston places special emphasis on those champions who held a central place in American culture beyond just in the boxing ring, including John L. Sullivan, who made the title a commercial property; Jack Johnson, who in 1908 became the first black man to claim the title; Joe Louis, whose contributions to racial tolerance and social progress transcended even his greatness in the ring; Rocky Marciano, who became an embodiment of the American dream; Muhammad Ali, who took on the US government and revolutionized professional sports with his showmanship; and Mike Tyson, a hard-punching student of boxing history who exemplified the modern celebrity.
The gallery of champions also includes comics, dandies, bookworms, divas, ex-cons, workingmen, and a tough guy turned preacher. The Boxing Kings treats these and other champions as three-dimensional human beings, flawed but sympathetic men placed on great public stages. As the title shifts from one claimant to another, their stories also open a window into the larger history of the United States.
©2017 Paul Beston (P)2017 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

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By Andrew on 10-26-17

Enjoyable and informational

This book provides a meaningful overview of the American history and evolution of the heavyweight championship through its demise. It was enjoyable throughout.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Adam williams on 10-24-17

Stunning

Honestly one of the best books about boxing I've read in a very long time. Interesting, thought provoking, sometimes humorous, at the end, poignant. The narration was truly top notch as well, especially when he quotes the fighters/trainers etc. The Mike Tyson chapters are enough to make you cry, so much talent gone to waste due to hangers on and a corrupt promoter. I would recommend this book to any fans of pugilism or sports in general, as well as history.

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