Fight of the Century: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling

Overview


“The definitive book” (The Ring) on one of the greatest sports events of the twentieth century, the heavyweight championship bout between America’s “Brown Bomber,” Joe Louis, and Germany’s Max Schmeling.

More than the world heavyweight championship was at stake when Joe Louis fought Max Schmeling on June 22, 1938. In a world on the brink of war, the fight was depicted as a contest between nations, races, and political ideologies, the symbol of a much vaster struggle. Nazi ...

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Fight of the Century: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling

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Overview


“The definitive book” (The Ring) on one of the greatest sports events of the twentieth century, the heavyweight championship bout between America’s “Brown Bomber,” Joe Louis, and Germany’s Max Schmeling.

More than the world heavyweight championship was at stake when Joe Louis fought Max Schmeling on June 22, 1938. In a world on the brink of war, the fight was depicted as a contest between nations, races, and political ideologies, the symbol of a much vaster struggle. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels boasted that the Aryan Schmeling would crush his “inferior” black opponent. President Roosevelt told Louis, his guest at the White House, that “America needs muscles like yours to beat Germany.” For Louis, this was also his chance to avenge the only loss in his brilliant career—by a knockout—to the same Max Schmeling two years earlier.

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 two boxers’ surprising friendship in the postwar years. In Fight of the Century Myler tells the story of two decent men, drawn together by boxing and divided by the cruel demands of competing nations.

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Editorial Reviews

Tennessean
“Myler provides an easy and informative read.”
Boxing Digest
“Recreating the drama of their momentous bout . . . tells the story of two decent human begins, drawn together by their chosen profession and divided by the cruel demands of competing nations.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611456455
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Myler is a writer and boxing historian, whose previous books on the sport include Gentleman Jim Corbett and A Century of Boxing Greats. His articles have appeared in The Ring, Boxing News, and Boxing Monthly.
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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Prologue: The Visit 1

1 Learning the Ropes 4

2 Life is a Cabaret 14

3 Taking it Lying Down 22

4 Mussolini's Man 35

5 Baer with a Sore Head 47

6 Nazi Salute with a Cigar 56

7 Wives and Lovers 66

8 Falling Star 74

9 Germany Rejoices 86

10 Return Route 95

11 A Champion's Promise 107

12 Bomber Command 120

13 Sweet Revenge 134

14 Spend, Spend, Spend 143

15 Joe Goes to Work; Max Goes to War 155

16 We're on God's Side! 170

17 They Never Come Back! 184

18 Life after Boxing 195

19 Conclusions 212

Appendix 1 Joe Louis's Professional Record 228

Appendix 2 Max Schmeling's Professional Record 232

Bibliography 236

Index 240

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