Joe Louis by Randy Roberts
Hard Times Man

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 12 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Joe Louis defended his heavyweight boxing title an astonishing twenty-five times and reigned as world champion for more than eleven years. He got more column inches of newspaper coverage in the 1930s than FDR did. His racially and politically charged defeat of Max Schmeling in 1938 made Louis a national hero. But as important as his record is what he meant to African-Americans: at a time when the boxing ring was the only venue where black and white could meet on equal terms, Louis embodied all their hopes for dignity and equality.

Through meticulous research and first-hand interviews, acclaimed historian and biographer Randy Roberts presents Louis, and his impact on sport and country, in a way never before accomplished. Roberts reveals an athlete who carefully managed his public image, and whose relationships with both the black and white communities—including his relationships with mobsters—were far more complex than the simplistic accounts of heroism and victimization that have dominated previous biographies.

Richly researched and utterly captivating, this extraordinary biography presents the full range of Joe Louis’s power in and out of the boxing ring.

 

About Randy Roberts

See more books from this Author
Randy Roberts is Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University and the author of several books, most recently A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game That Rallied a Nation and Joe Louis: Hard Times Man. His earlier books include biographies of Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, and John Wayne; a history of American sports since 1945; and books on Charles Lindbergh, the Mike Tyson trial, and the Vietnam War. He lives in Lafayette, Indiana. Ed Krzemienski is a historian of sports and popular culture. He served as primary consultant for HBO's Emmy-award winning documentary, Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football, for which his manuscript on the subject served as a guide for production. He served in a similar capacity for HBO's documentary Namath, which also won an Emmy, and previously appeared on ESPN's Sportscentury documentary installment on Namath. An expert on college football, he has written on the subject for numerous popular publications, including ESPN's College Football Encyclopedia and ESPN's Big Ten Encyclopedia.
 
Published October 26, 2010 by Yale University Press. 329 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Joe Louis

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A sympathetic, moving life of the Brown Bomber by veteran cultural historian and biographer Roberts (History/Purdue Univ.; The Rock, the Curse, and the Hub: A Random History of Boston Sports, 2005, etc.).

Oct 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

Though civil-rights historians seldom take sufficient note of Louis's contribution, Mr. Roberts makes it plain that Louis, in his own discreet way, was a force for integration in the armed forces and the country as well.

| Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

Bettmann/CORBIS The Brown Bomber: Joe Louis posing in June 1938 in Pompton Lakes, N.J., where he was training to defend his heavyweight title against Max Schmeling The Louis-Schmeling rematch came on June 22, 1938, precisely a year after Louis's fight with Braddock.

Oct 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

It comes at a time, however, when Americans have lost interest in boxing—largely because Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, George Foreman and others are figures of the past, and Americans no longer dominate the sport.

Dec 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

The Washington Times

See more reviews from this publication

Louis moved closer to a title shot in September with a four-round victory over a talented contender, Max Baer, which gave Louis a record of 27 professional fights without a loss.

Nov 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Dallas News

In the world of sports, some groundbreaking athletes - Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe - find themselves elevated to the status of icon, while others - Jack Johnson, Althea Gibson, Jim Brown - recede into memory, their impact largely forgotten except by avid fans and sports historians.

Jan 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

PopMatters

Despite the rise of the Nazis, though, the German Schmeling emerges in the film as a U.S. fan favorite against Louis in their first fight, as chants of “Maxi!

Mar 18 2003 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Newsday

Joe Louis was a titan, the undisputed heavyweight champion boxer for more than 12 years (a record 23 title defenses) and, probably, the greatest American sports hero of the 20th century.

Dec 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Chicago Tribune

Joe Louis was a titan, the undisputed heavyweight champion for more than twelve years (and a record 23 title defenses) and, probably, the greatest American hero of the twentieth century.

| Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Bookmarks Magazine

But as important as his record is what he meant to African-Americans: at a time when the boxing ring was the only venue where black and white could meet on equal terms, Louis embodied all their hopes for dignity and equality.Through meticulous research and first-hand interviews, acclaimed ...

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

The Anniston Star

Since the passing of former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, the public has watched Cassius Clay (Louis’s symbolic successor to the throne) succumb to a debilitating physical illness and, at the same time, witnessed the similar anticlimactic decline of boxing from a gold-fringed institution...

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Woodbury Bulletin

It’s not only beautiful, but it’s also educational as its bog belches away and Root tells you why.

Nov 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Joe Louis: Hard Times Man

Reader Rating for Joe Louis
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 10 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×