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A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring '20s par [Kahn, Roger]
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A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring '20s Format Kindle

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"The fact that Jack Dempsey was one of America's preeminent celebrities in the 1920s was the result of both the man himself and the special decade in which he flourished. That is why Roger Kahn devotes almost equal attention to the two phenomena. Together, they give us a brilliantly written picture of a champion and his era."—Ring Lardner, Jr.

Présentation de l'éditeur

Jack Dempsey was perfectly suited to the time in which he fought, the time when the United States first felt the throb of its own overwhelming power. For eight years and two months after World War I, Dempsey, with his fierce good looks and matchless dedication to the kill, was heavyweight champion of the world. A Flame of Pure Fire is the extraordinary story of a man and a country growing to maturity in a blaze of strength and exuberance that nearly burned them to ash. Hobo, roughneck, fighter, lover, millionaire, movie star, and, finally, a gentleman of rare generosity and sincerity, Dempsey embodied an America grappling with the confusing demands of preeminence. Dempsey lived a life that touched every part of the American experience in the first half of the twentieth century. Roger Kahn, one of our preeminent writers about the human side of sport, has found in Dempsey a subject that matches his own manifold talents. A friend of Dempsey's and an insightful observer of the ways in which sport can measure a society's evolution, Kahn reaches a new and exciting stage in his acclaimed career with this book. In the story of a man John Lardner called "a flame of pure fire, at last a hero," Roger Kahn finds the heart of America.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1913 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 496 pages
  • Editeur : Mariner Books; Édition : Reprint (28 novembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00BE64WV2
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 2 commentaires client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°400.119 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Excellent snapshot of an era, not just about boxing, a brutal spot the book describes vividly, but the speakeasies, politics and corruption . Kahn deserves reputation as on of the great sportswriters, and Dempsey as an authentic champion..
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This is an interesting insight about the champ's life, although it describes a tad too much the general context and lacks a bit of technicality in the description of the bouts, styles, etc...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5 53 commentaires
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another Gem From Roger Kahn 2 novembre 2000
Par Bill Emblom - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I have to admit that I am a special fan of Roger Kahn's writings, especially his books on baseball. I don't claim to be a boxing fan, but, as the author said, more than enough has been written on Babe Ruth and not enough on Jack Dempsey. Kahn gives descriptive accounts on Dempsey's bouts with Jess Willard, Georges Carpentier, Gene Tunney, Luis Firpo, and others. The 1920's has often been called The Golden Age of Sports and the author enlightens the reader with happenings from the political and social world of the '20's as well. The great sports writers of the period such as Haywood Hale Broun, Paul Gallico, Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner, and William O. McGeehan are all here as well. In reviewing the Demspey/Tunney fight in Chicago it is interesting to note that Kahn says, "I am looking at a crooked referee." You do not have to be a boxing fan to enjoy the book. I am not. If, however, you enjoy American history the decade of the Roaring Twenties provided us with a cast of characters that Roger Kahn will bring back to life for you. What are you waiting for? Give yourself a treat.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mesmerizing! 14 décembre 1999
Par Ed Galloway - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Roger Kahn has done it again! In this mesmerizing biography of Jack Dempsey, Kahn has brought back to vivid life a time in America's history that my parents and grandparents used to talk of with such fondness. I was hooked from beginning to end. This book is a must-read for not only people interested in the life of Jack Dempsey, but for anyone who longs to experience another time and place as can only be conjured up by a magical author. Surely as spellbinding as anything Kahn has written and easily the most enjoyable read I've had in a long time.  
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "A gentleman and a gentle man." 18 octobre 1999
Par T. E. Vaughn - Publié sur
Format: Relié
For almost anyone the name Jack Dempsey is synonymous with "Champ." Born in 1895, William Harrison Dempsey came to fame in the turbulent, jingoistic, bigoted aptly named "roaring '20's." His is an authentic rags to riches saga of a young man who at 11 years of age decided he would be the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He devoted himself full time to his chosen profession, assuming the name "Jack" from a past boxing champion that died young. Immensely strong, he worked hard at anything he did. He knew poverty, saying, "I was often a hobo, but never a bum." He literally battled his way to the top, knowing personal grief along the way, being cheated by unscrupulous managers, loving many women, marrying disasterously twice, becoming the most famous man in the world, and losing the championship in what was probably a rigged fight by the time he was 32. He maintained his dignity throughout and was as his epitaph stated, "a gentleman and a gentle man." Roger Kahn does a wonderful job of capturing Dempsey and his times. The book is not so much a biography as a history of an era, full of fascinating information. The actual fights Dempsey had play only a small part of the book, but are well presented. Kahn actually knew the champ and his respect for the man and his life show through in this very readable and worthwhile book. It deserves a wide audience. Jack Dempsey lost his championship to Gene Tunney in 1927, but he lost it with guts. His personal credo was always to fight hard, never alibi, and never whine. Not bad rules for today.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great portrait of the Roaring '20s and its Champ. 2 novembre 1999
Par Kevin Mahon ( - Publié sur
Format: Relié
If you like sports, boxing, or history, you must read this book. If you're fascinated by the world of celebrities, read this book. Roger Kahn has put together an engaging, fast-moving biography that often reads more like a novel. His portrayal of the many colorful characters populating the boxing scene at the time is incisive and humorous. The boxing scenes are engrossing and, not knowing much about Dempsey's career, I was as enthralled and eager for the outcome as if the matches were happening today. More than the boxing, I learned that Jack Dempsey was even more of a champ outside the ring than inside it. He handled himself with class and dignity, and conducted his affairs with honesty and integrity. He also remained humble and generous throughout his life. Not what you'd expect from the most ferocious boxer in history. At his peak in the ring Dempsey was unmatched; as a celebrity he was second to none, even years after he retired. As a magnet for attention and the ability to fill an arena, Dempsey was easily the equal of modern-day stars such as Michael Jordan--if not superior. Roger Kahn brings it all to life, vividly, and for me this is an unforgettable book about an unforgettable man. Here's to the Champ!
14 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 High Drama and Infomercials 22 janvier 2004
Par Robert Slocum - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I come from a long line of Dodger fans. I met Jackie Robinson at my first game in 1956. (My mother wrote him a letter.) I was seven, so I barely remember the moment, but it may have been the highlight of my father's life. So Roger (Boys of Summer) Kahn gets every benefit of the doubt with me, but his book on Jack Dempsey disappoints hugely. It's an odd mix of fabulous boxing material and pedestrian social commentary. And far too much of the latter.

The digressions are never more ponderous than in the recounting of the new champion's trial for draft evasion in 1920. It's a compelling story of backstabbing by the first of his three wives. (Dempsey was acquitted, but taunts of "slacker" would follow him for years.) Nevertheless, for every two pages of high legal drama we get a page about the Republican convention or something. Is Kahn afraid that, having just read about the mauling of Jess Willard, his readers will find it hard to withstand a little courtroom tension? Nor does he limit his generic social history to the 1920's. He informs us long-windedly that the early settlers in Dempsey's native Colorado had to be tough. "As Hollywood reminded America so often in later times, hostile Plains Indians were a persistent menace." Duh! Does Kahn expect a large readership from Mars?

When he sticks to boxing, Kahn is a champ. Against Willard in 1919 for the heavyweight championship, "Dempsey landed a left jolt to the jaw and then, in seconds, he landed the most devastating combination of punches in boxing history." Shortly thereafter: "Has there ever, before or since, been such a punch as the single left hook that destroyed half of Willard's face?" And then: "At this point, Willard's life was in peril." These are lines I won't easily forget.

After Willard and the draft evasion ruckus, Dempsey fought Georges Carpentier, a Frenchman who trained secretly. Dempsey's camp professed to be concerned, perhaps about a new punch. "Others were less impressed. Damon Runyon and Westbrook Pegler suggested that Carpentier wanted secrecy because his workouts would reveal that he didn't stand a chance. Ring Lardner drove to [Carpentier's camp] from Great Neck with his nine-year-old son, John, and was turned back by the guard at the front gate. 'Mr. Carpentier is sleeping,' the guard said. A second visit produced the same result and the same excuse. Lardner drove home and wrote a line for the ages: 'M. Carpentier is practicing ten-second naps.'"

Dempsey knocked out Carpentier in 1921, and the following year he took out Tommy Gibbons in Shelby, Montana (a pathetic, weird story of small-town boosterism). In 1923 it was Argentinian Luis Firpo, who famously knocked Dempsey out of the ring. Think you'd like to try boxing? Dempsey says, "I have no memory, none at all, of the most spectacular moment in my career." Then there were the two big losses to studious, pompous Gene Tunney, the second marked by the "long count" (eighteen seconds; Kahn suspects a fix). Finally, now that he'd lost, the public loved Jack Dempsey.

Kahn doesn't need his ceaseless Hollywood vignettes and cheap shots at Warren Harding to convince us: this sandlot world is long gone. Nowadays Firpo's sneaker company would have too much at stake for that illegal boost by the ringside sportswriters to stand. (Dempsey should have been disqualified.) Football broadcasts record the hang time of every punt; imagine the furor that would be created by replays of the long count! The evolution of the newly domesticated sport of boxing is fascinating. The reason Willard's life was in danger is that in 1919 there was no neutral corner rule. Unlike a few years later against Tunney, Dempsey was allowed to stand over Willard and resume hammering him as soon as he got up.

Every raw detail counted. Kahn's pugilistic players discuss the timeless issue of sexual abstinence vis-a-vis performance. (Kahn throws in a great Casey Stengel quote, but the one I remember is "It isn't the sex itself, it's the time it takes to find it.") Dempsey "soaked his hands in brine to toughen them. He sloshed bull urine on his face." That's on page 20; on page 188 it's the other way around. The image is irrepressible, so this slip-up in the raw detail called copy editing rankles. (Five pages from the end of the book, when anyone with a soul is reading through his own tears, we are confusingly introduced on the same page to daughter Barbara and stepdaughter Barbara. Aaugh!)

Dempsey often had to fend off people who wanted to go a round or two with him. Hemingway was the worst, and here Kahn issues one of his many well-turned phrases: "Any amateur who threw down a serious challenge was delivering an insult and it is remarkable that Dempsey remained as gentle as he did with such pretenders."

Kahn painstakingly explains the biomechanics of what goes on in the "squared circle called the ring." In Dempsey's artistry, you account for every movement of every part of your body. When you start a punch, relax your arm: "As the relaxed left hand speeds toward the target, suddenly close the hand with a convulsive, grabbing snap. Close that left fist with such a terrific grab, that when the knuckles smash into the target the fist and the arm and the shoulder are frozen steel-hard by the terrific grabbing tension. That convulsive, squeezing grab is the explosion."

This is Dempsey's instruction book talking, but it sounds to me like Dante. I wish there was more of this. Jack Dempsey wasted no motion in his craft, but his biographer lets his guard down continually. Big Jess Willard should have been so lucky.
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