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From the Publisher
"Johnson was the first African American sports icon, under his own methods and on his own terms. His autobiography, an amalgam formed from a series of autobiographical articles for the magazine La vie au grand air in 1911, reveals his finesse in handling his opponents, in and out of the ring, and the mythology necessary to his public identity. His skills included a rare ability to balance self-deprecating humor and supreme self-confidence, and Rivers….captures that balance in this skillful and engaging translation."
SciTech Book News
"Those interested in boxing history, particularly as it pertains to African Americans, have been treated to a spate of recent books on the social history of the ring. Most center on a major figure--Joe Louis, Tiger Flowers, Battling Siki, Jack Johnson--and the conflicted history of race relations in the US. These books are now joined by a bibliographic curiosity, an autobiography by Johnson (1878-1946) first published in French (surely with the help of a French collaborator working from Johnson's written or dictated words) as Mes Combats (1914). Rivers translated that book as well as articles that appeared in 1911, creating this amalgam autobiography. In a foreword, Geoffrey Ward (Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, CH, Mar'05, 42-4096) praises the book as a portrait of Johnson as he … wished to be portrayed … : intelligent, proud, extremely gifted, in control, and at the top of his game. Though it should be used with caution, this is a fresh source on Johnson, despite the errors, inconsistencies, and exaggerations of the as-told-to genre. It includes a chronology, photographs, an advertisement for the original work, and endnotes that take up flaws in the original. Recommended. Researchers; discerning fans."
"An interesting slice of boxing history."