Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero

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9780070039551: Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero

In this oral biography, Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., weaves a compelling account of his father's life and times with recollections from the people who knew him best: siblings and former wives, boyhood friends, trainers, opponents (including Max Schmeling and Billy Conn), sportswriters, and others. 32 pages of illustrations.

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From Publishers Weekly:

"Before Jackie Robinson, there was Joe Louis," observes one commentator quoted here, and the important contribution of the longtime heavyweight champion to building racial pride in American blacks is given emphasis in this biography by the boxer's son and a Business Week executive. Every victory by the "Brown Bomber," note the authors, was greeted by blacks as a victory for their race. And, with the passage of time, Louis's quiet demeanor and modest pride in his accomplishments won white America's esteem, and he became one of the most popular athletes of his time. In contrast to his success in the ring, however, were the failures in his private life: compulsive spending and womanizing caused troubles and necessitated that Louis continue fighting long after his talent was gone. He died in 1981 at the age of 66. The text is supplemented by recollections of relatives, friends, sportswriters and politicians, adding many perspectives to those of the authors. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Helped by a Business Week executive, Barrow writes an intimate tribute to his champion father and his contribution to racial equality. He buttresses his own account with a somewhat excessive number of reminiscences and tributes by family members, boxers, associates, and othersGerald Ford, Jesse Jackson, and Max Schmeling among them. While Barrow gives some of the dark side of Louis's life and nature, his filial pride, marked by the assignment of the book's proceeds to the Urban League's Joe Louis Youth Fund, comes through. Chris Mead's more objective Champion ( LJ 10/1/85) is the definitive work, but this is a worthy backup. Morey Berger, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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