Cover image for Beyond the ring : the role of boxing in American society
Beyond the ring : the role of boxing in American society
Sammons, Jeffrey T. (Jeffrey Thomas), 1949-
Illini Books edition.
Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1990.

Physical Description:
xix, 318 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1125 .S26 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Documents the ruin waiting for almost all those ill-advised enough to become professional boxers. The author confirms the legends, of crime, of swindling, of the miserable economic rewards allotted to the vast majority of fighters, and the traditional racism of the American ring.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Sammons, a history and Afro-American studies scholar, presents a social history of boxing in America. He weaves the contributions of John L. Sullivan, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson, etc.mostly heavyweightsinto an account of a sport blighted by brutality, racial prejudice, corruption, and criminal exploitation. Though the author's overemphasis on black Civil Rights gives short shrift to the struggles of other ethnic strains to rise through boxing, this is a well-presented, appealing narrative that merits comparison with Joyce Carol Oates's less detailed On Boxing ( LJ 1/87). For college and large public libraries.Morey Berger, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Sammons (history, Rutgers University-Camden) has written perhaps the best book concerning the history and role of boxing in American society. It is not merely a collection of biographies of prizefighters but a probing study that reflects societal changes that have taken place in America. Sammons highlights the careers of Joe Louis and Muhammed Ali along with the importance of other heavyweight champions as Sullivan, Johnson, Baer, Schmeling, Dempsey, and Foreman. The author presents a detailed study of the relationship between boxing and organized crime, the law, race, the media, public opinion, and worldwide events. Joe Louis, especially from a southern view point, is a welcomed addition to those who study the career of the ``Brown Bomber.'' The treatment of Muhammed Ali's antiestablishment stand against America's involvement in Vietnam is well written and offers new insights into the reasoning behind his stand against military service. This book is most useful when used to trace the history of boxing and its role in American society. The endnotes are current and informative. Highly recommended for all libraries.-F.D. Handler, St. Bonaventure University