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At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing (Library of America) Hardcover – March 3, 2011


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At The Fights: American Writers on Boxing (Library of America) + The Sweet Science + Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told: Thirty-Six Incredible Tales From The Ring
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (March 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598530925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598530926
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Colum McCann is the author of the National Book Award���winning novel Let the Great World Spin and, most recently, TransAtlantic. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he now lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful stories by these great authors!
Gloria Nickles
Absolutely indispensable for any boxing fan, and for anyone curious about the sport.
Thomas McIntyre
This is an excellent anthology of writers on boxing.
Jeff Lowenthal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By SUGARRAYSMELEE on April 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of whether you are a fan of boxing or not, this book contains some of the finest writings I've come across. Not just in sports.Inside are 50 articles, some brief, others rather lengthy, all have been handpicked for their excellency, all are gems. There are many historic authors works throughout the book, Red Smith, Jack London, James Baldwin, W.C. Heinz, Damon Runyon, James Baldwin, Jimmy Cannon, and A.J. Liebling just to name a few. The articles are chronologically ordered in such a way that you can almost observe the transformation of the sport and times in America. Each author enshrines their own unique style within the pages amounting to a history of literature that deserves to be celebrated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sleeping Piranha on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Classic look at boxing revealed by the classic and classy individuals who honored it with their presence and their words.
A wonderful reminder that the world was different and better mannered.
Writings of numerous, well respected writers and plenty of precious photographs
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Hood on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Black and White of the Black and Blue and Bloody
SunPost Weekly May 12, 2011 John Hood

Boxing may not be the glory sport it once was back in its heyday -- and if last weekend's Manny Pacquiao/Shane Mosley bout was any indication, it's not gonna be either. But at its best, and its brightest, there's something brutally beautiful about the sweet science. No one knows this better than those who throw words around for a living, who find in the fistic not just the stuff of legend, but a veritable parallel to their own craft.

"What you have with a fight is what you have with writing, and they each become metaphors for each other -- the ring, the page; the punch, the word; the choreograhy, the keyboard; the feint, the suggestion; the bucket, the wastebasket; the sweat, the edit; the pretender, the critic; the bell, the deadline. There's the showoff shuffle, the mingled blood on your glove, the spitting your teeth up at the end of the day."

That's what Irish wordslinger Colum McCann claims in his Foreward to At the Fights (The Library of America $35). And it's a cinch that each and every writer featured in this robust collection would wholeheartedly agree. What McCann didn't mention though, was that, like fighters, many of writers featured here would boast their accounts to be the singlemost ass-kicking pieces ever put to print.

Okay, so maybe I exaggerate -- a little. For every Norman Mailer and Jack London, there's a good dozen like the late, great A.J. Liebling, whose prose was so forceful and fluid it stood toe-to-toe with even the most blow-hardiest of braggarts, and in many cases whipped their asses to boot. (It's no wonder The Library of America also collected Liebling's The Sweet Science and Other Writings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tony Vlachos on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the history of boxing and to read some of the great literary writers (Jack London, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, George Plimpton) and sports writers (W.C. Heinz, Gay Talese, Red Smith, etc) on the subject. Read the real "next day" descriptions of famous fights and events and what really happened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul C. Salkaln on April 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
beast book i ever read. novels, the hell with them. why would you want to make stuff up when you've got such intriguing material in a space twenty foot square.
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By Gloria Nickles on January 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was a gift and the person thoroughly enjoyed the stories by the various authors! Wonderful stories by these great authors! He said it was a great book and will keep it in his library forever
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Format: Paperback
front row and center to the action in the ring and direct takes and thoughts about an incredible sport that at one time was the end all be all. a timeless insightful book. a knockout of a book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
boxing is at least this: first, two guys go into a confined space and perform unkind acts toward each other until one falls down, and then those with tertiary interests sit down and talk about it, sometimes forever. some rhapsodize, some carp, some split hairs, some count punches; all are in thrall. boxing is so elemental in its charm and brutality, its attending creperie so complex and seductive, that it attracts -- always -- a corps of literature's heavyweights and the literary manques who work the popular presses . . . excepting the interior artists such as, oh, say henry james, who don't pause at the door of the arena, even to sniff.

jack london has done this, and richard wright, and mencken, liebling, mailer, hamill, plimpton, talese, james baldwin, jimmy cannon, joyce carol oates, and others; and george kimball -- an assayer of the sport in his own time -- has assembled them in one good volume. if you enjoy a writer pestering a typewriter into pulped wood the way a jabber dances around a slugger and you like the way that work puffs air freshly into faded memories and storied affairs of more than a century, then this is the collection for you. the assembly so tried kimball, incidentally, that it required an assistant, john schulian, to retire him to his stool and end it.
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