A.J. Liebling's classic "New Yorker" pieces on the "sweet science of bruising" bring vividly to life the boxing world as it once was. It depicts the great events of boxing's American heyday: Sugar Ray Robinson's dramatic comeback, Rocky Marciano's rise to prominence, Joe Louis's unfortunate decline. Liebling never fails to find the human story ...
A.J. Liebling's classic "New Yorker" pieces on the "sweet science of bruising" bring vividly to life the boxing world as it once was. It depicts the great events of boxing's American heyday: Sugar Ray Robinson's dramatic comeback, Rocky Marciano's rise to prominence, Joe Louis's unfortunate decline. Liebling never fails to find the human story behind the fight, and he evokes the atmosphere in the arena as distinctly as he does the goings-on in the ring--a combination that prompted "Sports Illustrated "to name "The Sweet Science" the best American sports book of all time.
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The Sweet Science is generally touted as not only the greatest boxing book, but the greatest sports book of all time. This seems a gross exaggeration. In terms of boxing literature, it lacks the depth of Floyd Patterson's Victory Over Myself or Sugar Ray Robinson's autobiography. In terms of historical value it lacks the scope of Peter Heller's "In This Corner..."
The Sweet Science is definitely a good book for fans of boxing, but its status as the Greatest Ever seems too highly influenced by the smart-alecky-clever style that dominates sports coverage since the advent of ESPN. I recommend the other volumes first.
Aug 4, 2009
Great example of period-journalism
Fun to read if you are interested in boxing and like the idea of knowledgable, humorous and at times downright sarcastic commentary of a type which is no longer (unfortunately) seen anymore.
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