Although not for the casual fan—if those exist in boxing anymore—students of the sport will find plenty to chew on.

NO WAY BUT TO FIGHT

GEORGE FOREMAN AND THE BUSINESS OF BOXING

An account of a punch man–turned-pitchman and the business in which he made his name.

A two-time heavyweight champion of the world and Olympic gold medalist, George Foreman (b. 1949) has led a fascinating life in and outside of the ring: a poor child who became a rich man; an overweight man and a world-class athlete; a devoted man who has been married five times; a sports commentator; a reality show subject and sitcom actor; and, of course, a home-shopping network star who sold a staggering number of meat cookers. Most pertinently, he went toe-to-toe with some of the best pugilists in the history of a quintessential American sport. In his first book, Smith (Sport Management and History/Nichols Coll.) approaches his subject in a scholarly manner, and readers receive such conclusions as, “He had not yet achieved the ‘emotional invulnerability’ of a soul aesthetic even if he looked the part,” and are regularly referred to more than 50 pages of footnotes. Unquestionably, the author did his homework, including research into declassified government documents, and he takes readers to far-flung locales, including Zaire in 1974 for the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" with Muhammad Ali. “Like a matador,” writes Smith of the fight, “he circled the ring, using his fists and his words to manipulate Foreman into a position for the estocada. Foreman looked to gore him, but he had been weakened by seven rounds of Ali’s physical and verbal banderillas.” In addition to Foreman’s bouts, the author also offers detailed (sometimes overly so) examinations of how those fights came to be, illustrating the nature of the sport—what Foreman says is “truly a gangster’s game”—more than providing a nuanced picture of the man.

Although not for the casual fan—if those exist in boxing anymore—students of the sport will find plenty to chew on.

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4773-1976-5

Page Count: 408

Publisher: Univ. of Texas

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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