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Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America's First Sports Hero [Format Kindle]

Christopher Klein

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Présentation de l'éditeur

“I can lick any son-of-a-bitch in the world.”

So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a man who  was the gold standard of American sport for more than a decade, and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, big mouth, and bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the American Dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today.

Strong Boy
tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L. Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his 75-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage, wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish-American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2892 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 384 pages
  • Editeur : Lyons Press; Édition : Reprint (5 novembre 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé

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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  33 commentaires
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Life of John L. 13 septembre 2014
Par Mark R. Brewer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
STRONG BOY is a biography of John L. Sullivan, who is generally regarded as the first of modern boxing's heavyweight champions. He reigned for ten years in the 1880's and 1890's. Known as "the Boston Strong Boy," Sullivan was a big powerhouse of a man--loud, rude, crude, obnoxious, and a borderline alcoholic. He physically and mentally abused his first wife and ignored his one child during that child's brief life. "John L.", as he liked to be called, is difficult to like.

But that can't be said of Christopher Klein's biography, which is first rate--well written, well researched, and extremely well done. Klein brings Sullivan to life in all his brazen blustering ("I can lick any son of a bitch in the world"). The reader gets a ringside seat to all of his fights, and I must confess that I found myself rooting for old John L. despite his many shortcomings.

Sullivan's life does have a happy ending, as later in life, he gives up drink, marries, settles down, and becomes a friendly, caring, lovable man.

In short, this is an excellent biography of a fascinating man. And you need not be a boxing fan to enjoy the comet that was John L. Sullivan.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 History & Biography Made Irresistible 14 novembre 2013
Par Vladimir - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Just bought this book and though I have yet to finish it, I can't put it down. Klein paints a vivid and nuanced portrait of John L. Sullivan--the detail and research is simply impeccable. It is clear why Sullivan remains such an icon in the annals of American sports history. I heartily recommend it to anyone who is passionate about sports and sports history--but it will also have great appeal to those who love to read history and biography in general. Klein's writing transports readers right to the scene: be it inside the "coffin boats" arriving to America during the Irish Potato Famine or ring-side at a bare-knuckle bought. You can almost smell the sweat, blood, and whiskey...
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Superb Bio of First Heavyweight Champ 12 mai 2014
Par Bruce E. Dettman - Publié sur Amazon.com
The name John L. Sullivan still manages to resonate with a certain segment of the public but only to a limited degree. Over the time-worn distance of more than a century his name has become a kind of trademark primarily associated with the earliest days of modern pugilism, a comedic reference point exemplified by his sweeping handlebar mustache, boxing tights and dukes raised in an awkward fighting stance then popular with battlers of that era posing for photographers.

Considered the first modern heavyweight champion, the Boston-born Sullivan, a one man demolition crew, cut a wide and murderous swatch through the ranks of the earlier bare-knuckled brawlers of the era then fought with gloves under the newer boxing rules. He trained on beer, women and whiskey, was loud and obnoxious challenging any and all comers to face him, made his share of enemies but was nonetheless adored by a large segment of the general public, particularly his legion of Irish supporters.

Sullivan, perhaps in addition to his boxing prowess, was arguably America’s very first sports personality, a fact well documented in Christopher Klein’s impressive new biography. Bigger-than-life, loutish, self-absorbed yet – much like the later Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali – having a near innate sense of self-promotion which he often pushed to the limit including appearances on the stage. His likeness was everywhere, his name bantered about in every saloon in the country. Klein’s portrait of the fighter, from his humble beginnings running the streets of Boston, his championship years full of braggadocio, culminating in his defeat by the younger and nimbler James J. Corbett, through his later days as a speaker rallying against the very abuse of demon rum which had seriously contributed to his own athletic demise, is a most entertaining as well as an enlightening glimpse of the Victorian landscape which gave birth to both the Sullivan legend and the beginnings of the deified American sports hero.

Highly recommended and not just for sports or boxing fans. Sullivan, for all his faults, was a fascinating character and Klein does an excellent job in bringing his story to life.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 OVERLY MANLY MAN 24 novembre 2013
Par Dann Scratch - Publié sur Amazon.com
After seeing the "Overly Manly Man" meme pop up on FB a little while back, I decided to look into who he actually was. The name that Google fed me was "John L. Sullivan" (JLS). Comparing the pictures now, I believe that my Google-Fu was weak, but it did provide me with the name of one of the MANLIEST MEN WHO EVER LIVED. Wikipedia him for yourself, if you think that I'm a liar.

Now "manley" has been redefined over the years to mean something less than it used to. It's become watered down, like coffee grounds that have had too much water passed through them (only the coffee grounds are manliness and the water is liberalism).

I've spent the better part of today reading Sullivan's new biography titled STRONG BOY by Christopher Klein and learned about this great hero in boxing history and have decided to list some more facts that are found in the book (but probably not on Wikipedia, though maybe they are, but if they are, rest assured that they are worth reading multiple times).

*Early in his career, JLS toured America (and its Western Territories) and posted $50-$100 that no one could last four rounds with him. No one ever did. (Well, one guy did, by repeated throwing himself on the ground w/o JLS ever laying a hand on him... for four rounds.) Some people who tried were happy just to have been knocked out by this great man.

*When JLS met the President, the newspapers reported "The President Met Sullivan", not the other way around, b/c JLS WAS MORE OF A MAN THAN HIM.

*JLS once got drunk and kidnapped an organ grinder (and his monkey) and forced him to play while he drove a carriage around town.

*For a title bout in Mississippi, fought bare-knuckled, for 2 hours and 16 minutes, in the sun, with the temperature over 100 degrees. In the 44th round he threw up b/c he mixed in too much whiskey with his iced tea. The match lasted 75 rounds.

*The above factoid was after he was recovering from consuming so much alcohol that he destroyed his stomach lining SIX MONTHS PRIOR.

*First athlete to make >$1,000,000, most of which went to support drinking... his and everyone else's... but mostly his. He also purchased two different bars.

*His scowl was so powerful that the one man who ever beat him would not look him in the eye before the fight.

*Was friends with Teddy "A Bullet Won't Stop My Speech" Roosevelt.

*Once mistook heart problems for over-eating, b/c HE ATE SEVEN CHICKENS.

*He denied his wife's request for divorce. He applied for divorce 25 YEARS LATER (b/c that's when he felt like it). His wife wasn't notified of the proceedings.

For real though, if you know anyone this Christmas who enjoys biographies, history, books, owning a piece of processed tree, sports, or anything close to those things, show this book a little love. As of this writing, this book had one review on Amazon and one on Goodreads (which was just stars, 5/5 stars, which is great, but nothing written, which is not). The book is amazingly well researched and runs just shy of 300 pages, so it's not overly long and tedious like some bios tend to be.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Almost A Knockout 13 août 2014
Par Alan Weiss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Learn about the times (reads like an historical novel) and the origins of the "fight game," when bare knuckles were the sign of tough men. Sullivan survived the hype and his own intemperate personality to dominate prize fighting and life. The story is told with great zest, especially of the outraged authorities trying to break up wagering on fights as uncivilized (and look where we are today).
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