Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind

Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind

by Binnie Klein


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“I peered through the Venetian blinds in our den, with its view of the playground next door, and watched mournfully as the popular girls played softball. I wanted to run fast, hit hard, and wear a cute uniform. These girls seemed to know something about life that I didn’t.”

When Binnie Klein took up boxing in her midfifties, the reaction from friends and acquaintances was always the same: “You?” Why, after all, would a middle-aged Jewish psychotherapist with no previous history of athletics take up boxing? In Blows to the Head, Klein offers a provocative tale of an unlikely contender whose unexpected fascination with boxing takes her beyond the ring and leads her back to her roots and to a surprising chapter of the Jewish immigrant experience. With candor and wit, she reveals a series of memories and insights that would never have been possible if she hadn’t been drawn toward a pair of boxing gloves during a physical therapy session. In a story that will captivate and inspire women and men, athletes and nonathletes, Klein shows us that if we turn over the “weird stones” on our path, the ones we usually ignore, we may find ourselves on an unexpected journey that will summon vitality back into our lives.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438430027
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 07/02/2020
Series: Excelsior Editions
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Binnie Klein is a psychotherapist in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut, and a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University. She also hosts a popular weekly music and interview show on WPKN radio.

Table of Contents


1. a dirty sport

2. women

3. vos is dos?

4. take me on

5. love me, love my cigar

6. a joy to be hidden

7. an endless scream

8. requiem for a heavyweight

9. risks

10. siblings

11. john calls the fight

12. making contact and collective rage

13. mind over matter

14. namesake

15. combat

16. pain and violent zen

17. annie oakley’s anxieties

18. still a man’s world

19. let my people box

20. poet laureate of plainview

coda acknowledgments

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