Fight of the Century

Fight of the Century : Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and the Struggle for Racial Equality

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This is a revealing look at the history of race relations in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century portrayed through the lives and times of the first two African-American heavyweight boxing champions, Jack Johnson and Joe Louis. Incorporating extensive research into the black press of the time, the author explores how the public careers and private lives of these two sports figures both define and explain vital national issues from the early 1900s to the late 1940s.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 390 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 22mm | 559.99g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • Illustrations, ports.
  • 0765607239
  • 9780765607232

Table of contents

Introduction: "Many Thousand Gone"; 1. "A Retribution Seeks": White Repression and Black Redemption; 2. "A Tempest of Dispraise": From Black Hope to Black Burden; 3. "Under the White Man's Menace": Divisive Wars at Home and Abroad; 4. "Outcasts Asylumed": Exile's Return and Legacy; 5. "Don't You Fall Now": A New Race Ambassador Emerges; 6. "No Other Dream, No Land But This": Black-Americans and the Enemy Within; 7. "Another World Be Born": In Search of Victory at Home and Abroad; 8. "The Harder They Fall": A Champion's Life and Legend
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Review quote

"Like all of the best sports books, The Fight of the Century is about a great deal more than a sport. Hietala has reconstructed the two eras in which a black man encouraged the pride of a race and, beyond that, the hope across races that times and people could change." - The Boston Globe; "Other historians and journalists have covered the careers and lives of Johnson and Louis, but no other writer has provided such a rich background to those stories.... Hietala writes with passion and precision. And he supports his contentions with a wide-ranging and impressive research... The result is a history of not only two boxers but of African-American thought in the first half of the twentieth century." - American Historical Review; "Hietala's book is a powerful, readable, fascinating study of American race relations in the past fifty years of the twentieth century, suitable for scholars and readers of American History, American Studies, Sport History and Sociology, Ethnic Studies and boxing history." - H-Net Reviews; "[A]n imaginative and compelling look at the overwhelming struggle of black Americans against segregation and discrimination... The Fight of the Century should appeal to anyone interested in American social, intellectual, and sports history." - History: Reviews of New Books; "This is an ambitious and compelling book, and one that will appeal to any thoughtful reader, whether or not that reader has any interest in boxing or, for that matter, sports." - Bill Littlefield, NRP's "Only a Game"
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