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The Sweet Science Paperback – September 9, 2004
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About the Author
A. J. Liebling joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1935 and wrote for the magazine until his death in 1963. His greatest work is collected in Just Enough Liebling.
Robert Anasi is the author of The Gloves.
Top Customer Reviews
The whimsical quality of some of his writing is apparent in the following excerpt, when he's describing how putting sparring partners on the preliminary card makes for bad fights: "Sparring partners are endowed with habitual consideration and forbearance, and they find it hard to change character. A kind of guild fellowship holds them together, and they pepper each other's elbows with merry abandon, grunting with pleasure like hippopotamuses in a beer vat." That's great writing.
A final note; this book is a window into an different world, the age just before television took hold, when many people still took their amusement outside their homes. Unfortunately, that world is gone, but you can explore it in this wonderful book.
The fighters themselves - Marciano, Moore, Sadler, Robinson, Patterson, Farr - come across less as legends and more as contemporary sportsmen. It seems incredible to me that once upon a time you could just buy a ticket and stroll into the Marciano-Moore fight! For me, that fight and many others was the stuff of mythology and yet Liebling succeeds in making it real and tangible.
Final note: anyone who after reading this feels an uncontrollable lust to acquire Pierce Egan's Boxiana volumes will be enthralled to know that there is a company in Canada, Nicol Island Publishing, who have published at least three of the total of five volumes. Unfortunately, Amazon does not seem to sell any of them.
in the fifties)was voted the best sports book ever, by Sports Illustrated.The incredibly colorful characters Liebling focuses on would be hard to beat by any writer in any field,even if he may not have gotten all of it right.For example,he seems to actually get along with Rocky Marciano's manager,Al Weill,even though evidence elsewhere suggests that Rocky may have retired to get away from him.And I think he resorted to cliche in describing Irish Billy Graham as as "good as a fighter can be without being a hell of a fighter"(p.250);Graham is a Hall of Famer who was robbed in a welterweight title fight against Kid Gavilan-and my (Jewish) uncle idolized him.But Liebling,who wrote on "serious subjects" for 'The New Yorker'and was an award winning war reporter, attended the first fight ever held in Yankee Stadium in 1923-and remained optimistic about the future through the lens of boxing,concludes,"I reflected with satisfaction that old Ahab(Archie)Moore could have whipped all four principals on that card within 15 rounds,and that while (Jack)Dempsey may have been a great champion,he had less to beat than Marciano.I felt the satisfaction because it proved that the world isn't going backward,if you can just stay young enough to remember what it was rewally like when you were really young."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book for any boxing fan, but even more entertaining for those who enjoy the use of words not normally seen in literature nowadays.Published 2 days ago by Andrew White
Reading this book makes me feel like I'm next to the author recounting his experiences with the Sweet Science itself. Read morePublished 5 months ago by mathieu
This is an enjoyable, informative book. It is well written and provides insight into the world of a journalist or reporter with a love of boxing documenting their experiences in... Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Sheldon
The audio version of this book was so thoroughly entertaining that even after I had heard it through, I just listened again. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lew Karrh