Friday 15 March 2019

The Cambridge Companion to Boxing - Now Published in the United States

The cover of the Cambridge Companion to Boxing features Jack Johnson.

The Cambridge Companion to Boxing has now being published in the United Kingdom (January 24) and the United States (March 14) by Cambridge University Press. I have contributed the following chapters:

8. “The Africans: Boxing and Africa”
19. “Jose Torres: The Boxer as Writer”


While humans have used their hands to engage in combat since the dawn of man, boxing originated in Ancient Greece as an Olympic event. It is one of the most popular, controversial and misunderstood sports in the world. For its advocates, it is a heroic expression of unfettered individualism. For its critics, it is a depraved and ruthless physical and commercial exploitation of mostly poor young men. This Companion offers engaging and informative essays about the social impact and historical importance of the sport, listing all the important events and personalities. Essays examine topics such as women in boxing, boxing and the rise of television, boxing in Africa, boxing and literature, and boxing and Hollywood films. A unique book for scholars and fans alike, this Companion explores the sport from its inception in Ancient Greece to the death of its most celebrated figure, Muhammad Ali.


Gerald Early, Professor of English and African-American Studies at Washington University, St. Louis. He has written about boxing since the early 1980s. His book, the Culture of Bruising (1994) won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He also edited the The Muhammad Ali Reader (1998) and Body Language: Writers (1998). His essays have appeared several times in the Best American Essays series.


Byron J. Nakamura, Elliot J. Gorn, Adam Chill, Louis Moore, Colleen Aycock, Carlo Rotella, Troy Rondinone, Adeyinka Makinde, Benita Heiskanen, Cathy van Ingen, Steven A, Reiss, Tony Gee, Randy Roberts, Wil Haygood, Lewis Erenberg, Michael Ezra, Mark Scott, Kasia Boddy, Scott D. Emmer, Leger Grindon, Rebecca Wanzo, Benjamin Cawthra, Rosalind Early, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Gerald Early.

Table of Contents

1. "Boxing in the Ancient World" by Byron J. Nakaruma
2. "The Bare-Knuckle Era" by Elliot J. Gorn
3. "Jem Mace and the Making of Modern Boxing" by Adam Chill
4.  "Race and Boxing in the Nineteenth Century" by Louis Moore
5. "Joe Gans and his Contemporaries: The Contest for Supremacy in the Queensberry Realm" by Colleen Aycock
6. "Dempsey-Tunney, Tunney-Greb, and the 1920s" by Carlo Rotella
7. "Prime Time and Crime Time: Boxing in the 1950s" by Troy Rondinone
8. "The Africans: Boxing and Africa" by Adeyinka Makinde
9. "A Century of Fighting Latinos: From the Margins to the Mainstream" by Benita Heiskanen
10. "Women’s Boxing: Bout Time" by Cathy van Ingen
11. "Jews in Twentieth-Century Boxing" by Steven A. Reiss
12. "A Surprising Dearth of Top English-born Jewish Fighters in the Bare-Knuckle Era" by Tony Gee
13. "Joe Louis: ‘You Should Have Seen Him Then’" by Randy Roberts
14. "The Furious Beauty of Sugar Ray" by Wil Haygood
15. "Echoes from the Jungle: Muhammad Ali in the Early 70s" by Lewis Erenberg
16. "The Unusable Champions: Sonny Liston (1962-1964) and Larry Holmes (1978-1985)" by Michael Ezra
17. "Emile Griffith: An Underrated Champion" by Mark Scott
18. "Pierce Egan, Boxing, and British Nationalism" by Adam Chill
19. "Jose Torres: The Boxer as Writer" by Adeyinka Makinde
20. "‘Well, What was it really Like?’ George Plimpton, Norman Mailer, and the Heavyweights" by Kasia Boddy
21. "Jack London and the Great White Hopes of Boxing Literature" by Scott D. Emmer
22. "Body and Soul of the Screen Boxer" by Leger Grindon
23. "Black Slaver: Jack Johnson and the Mann Act" by Rebecca Wanzo
24. "Yesternow: Jack Johnson, Documentary Film, and the Politics of Jazz" by Benjamin Cawthra
25. "Opera for Boxers" by Rosalind Early
26. "The Voice of Boxing: A Brief History of American Broadcasting Ringside" by Colleen Aycock
27. "Ralph Wiley’s Surprising Serenity" by Shelley Fisher Fishkin
28. "Muhammad Ali, King of the Inauthentic" by Gerald Early

Book Details

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Hardback: ISBN 978-1-107-05801-9
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-107-63120-5
Price: £69.99 (Hardback)/£24.99 (Paperback)


Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

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