Nothing in the annals of sports has aroused more passion than the heavyweight fights in New York in 1936 and 1938 between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling — bouts that symbolized the hopes, hatreds, and fears of a world moving toward total war. Acclaimed journalist David Margolick takes us into the careers of both men — a black American and a Nazi German hero — and depicts the extraordinary buildup to their legendary 1938 rematch. Vividly capturing the outpouring of emotion that the two fighters brought forth, Margolick brilliantly illuminates the cultural and social divisions that they came to represent.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Beyond Glory|
|Release Date: 02-17-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Group E-Books|
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Just Off the Boat
Five years earlier, on the morning of April 14, 1933, the North German Lloyd liner Bremen steamed into New York Harbor, with Max Schmeling aboard. The setting was spectacular--the mighty vessel, after its five-day crossing, making its way toward the Statue of Liberty, with the towers of lower Manhattan beckoning--but scarcely more epic, at least in the world of sports, than the events about to unfold. Schmeling would soon attempt something that had never been done: to regain the heavyweight crown. And his prospects looked good; after all, many believed he should never have lost it.
Schmeling, twenty-seven years old, had been coming to the United States for five years now, and the arrival ritual had grown routine. Meeting him aboard the ship would be the usual mob of fight reporters, who had commandeered a cutter to bring them there: all ten New York City newspapers had at least one boxing writer, as did the wire services, and there were emissaries from Boston, Philadelphia, Newark, and Chicago, to name just a few other cities with boxing correspondents of their own. Then there would be the photographers and newsreel boys, who would put Schmeling through the same staged scenes and make him utter the same wooden dialogue for the cameras. The previous June, Schmeling had lost the title in a much-criticized decision to Jack Sharkey. "We wuz robbed!" his fiery, outlandish manager, Joe Jacobs, had immortally declared afterward. But now, Schmeling, with characteristic determination, had set out to win it back. And why not? He had already defied the odds three years earlier, when, in an equally disputed fight, he'd become t...