Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!, November 9, 2012
This review is from: At the Fights: Inside the World of Professional Boxing (Hardcover)
Howard Schatz's photography has always astonished me, as each book grabs the blue ribbon from the one before it. In his enormous career, he has pursued two distinct genres of photography books: the big blockbusters, where he latches onto subjects so vast that the very thought of tackling them would cause anxiety in most photographers .... and his modest "boutique" books, in which he explores a rarer subject (such as the knotted contortions of a human body, the rich cyan of periwinkle flowers, the dazzling carotene of redheads, and so on). If the modest books are something of a soft mist, then the blockbusters are the full kahuna, the most daring and ambitious of projects. His recent book, AT THE FIGHTS (published by Sports Illustrated) is a huge expedition into the world of boxing. It is a powerhouse book, bulging with testosterone between the front & back covers, pushing to be seen & heard & felt on every visceral level. Not only do we meet the key players inside & outside the ring, but also we savor their private thoughts, their greatest ambitions and fears, as they partake in a world that many feel has been eclipsed by MMA, the UFC, etc. Truth is: the UFC and MMA could never have come about without the thrilling world of boxing.... and boxing will never be eclipsed, ever. The martial arts of Aikido and Jiu Jitsu and Shurei Goju Ryu are modern inventions in comparison to this millenia-old "sport" of boxing. It goes way back to the ancient Greeks, as early (we think) as 688 B.C., when it was "performed" as part of the early Olympic Games. It has been called "the manly sport" that relies solely on the use of a fighter's hands, not his elbows or legs or feet. Often referred to as pugilism or the "sweet science," boxing has had fans both crude and sophisticated, wealthy and penniless, with millions and millions of them spread across every age, culture, geography, and competitive arena. People have won and lost fortunes on the sport, while others have taken pleasure in watching it on television or catching the excitement in local bars, as crowds guzzle beer and scream at the wide-screen monitors. The point is: Boxing is part of WORLD CULTURE; it is not an American or Russian or French sport. It belongs to us all, and therein lies its popularity: It is, atavistically, the most human of sports. One on one, man to man, and (more recently) woman to woman, it's all here in AT THE FIGHTS. When watching a boxer smash his opponent with a right hook or a left jab or a furious combo of cross punches and upper cuts, we can feel our adrenaline rise with that of the fighters. Want to enjoy this carnivorous melee from front-row seats? Then jump into AT THE FIGHTS and smell the sweat, dodge the blood, overhear the trash-talk between the fighters that's never heard on TV but that's part of their strategy. This book is Popeye's can of spinach: Open it up, swallow a handful of it, and enjoy the romp through AT THE FIGHTS. After indulging in this gorgeous medley, you'll never view boxing the same again. You'll feel rhythms and pulses that you never knew existed in this seemingly brutal free-for-all of muscle & strength. Who knew that the world of boxing is actually a romance that enamors us for life and keeps us on our toes, anxious for the next match? As an Amazon power reviewer, I take pleasure in leading you to this unforgettable treasure---a splendid gift, but also (let's be frank) a gem you'd rather hoard than part with any time soon.
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4.7 out of 5 stars (27 customer reviews)
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$75.00 $49.04
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