The Greatest Fight of Our Generation
Louis vs. Schmeling
By (author) Lewis A. Erenberg
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Greatest Fight of Our Generation by Lewis A. Erenberg
Book DescriptionHeld on June 22, 1938, in Yankee Stadium, the second Louis-Schmeling fight sparked excitement around the globe. For all its length-the fight lasted but two minutes-it remains one of the most memorable events in boxing history and, indeed, one of the most significant sporting events ever. In this superb account, Lewis A. Erenberg offers a vivid portrait of Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, their individual careers, and their two epic fights, shedding light on what these fighters represented to their nations, and why their second bout took on such international importance. Erenberg shows how in the first fight Schmeling shocked everyone with a dramatic twelfth-round knockout of Louis, becoming a German national hero and a (unwilling) symbol of Aryan superiority. In fact, the second fight was seen around the world in symbolic terms-as a match between Nazism and American democracy. Erenberg discusses how Louis' dramatic first-round victory was a devastating blow to Hitler, who turned on Schmeling and, during the war, had the boxer (then serving as a paratrooper) sent on a series of dangerous missions. Louis, meanwhile, went from being a hero of his race-"Our Joe"-to the first black champion embraced by all Americans, black and white, an important step forward in United States race relations. Erenberg also describes how, after the war, the two boxers became symbols of German-American reconciliation. With Schmeling as a Coca Cola executive, and Louis down on his luck, the former foes became friends, and when Louis died, Schmeling helped pay for his funeral. Here then is a stirring and insightful account of one of the great moments in boxing history, a confrontation that provided global theater on an epic scale.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195319996
(236mm x 156mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Lewis A. Erenberg
Swingin' the Dream, Paperback (October 1999)
Exploring 1930s swing bands, this book looks at the racial mixing-up and musical swinging-out that shook the American nation and has kept people dancing ever since. Studying the big band era, Lewis A. Erenberg places the music within a larger context and makes his case for its importance.
War in American Culture, Paperback (May 1996)View all books by Lewis A. Erenberg
Exploring the role of World War II in the transformation of American social, cultural and political life, this book includes essays covering topics as varied as government censorship, Hollywood movie-making, swing music, family life, sexuality, cultural images and working-class life.
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Author Biography - Lewis A. Erenberg
Lewis A. Erenberg is Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. An authority on World War II and American culture, he has been on NPR, the Milt Rosenberg Show, and the Studs Terkel program and has been interviewed for articles in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Vanity Fair, and The Nation.
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