“I can lick any son-of-a-bitch in the world.”
So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a man who was the gold standard of
American sports for more than a decade and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, a big mouth, and even bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the
American dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s
Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today.
tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L.
Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his seventy-five-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage,
wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.
|Publisher:||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Christopher Klein is an author and a history and travel writer. A frequent contributor to the Boston Globe and History.com, he has also written for the New York Times, Harvard magazine, ESPN.com, Smithsonian.com, AmericanHeritage.com, and National Geographic Traveler.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read about 300 boxing-oriented books and STRONG BOY is easily one of the finest biographies that I have ever read. The author Christopher Klein invested serious research into his colorful subject, with no specific agenda or slant. The storyline never bogs down and truly brings Sullivan's era to life. I would recommend this book to any reader who values a job well done.