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Jack Dempsey And The Roaring Twenties By Thomas Myler

Release date: 18th October, 2020
Publisher: Know The Score Books

List Price: 19.99
Our Price: 15.99
You Save: 4 (20%)
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Author Thomas Myler is an accomplished boxing writer; his credits include two of the sport’s very best tomes (Boxing’s Hall of Shame and his excellent biography of Joe Louis), although many consider his latest book, chronicling Jack Dempsey’s fascinating story, to be the pick of the bunch.

In Jack Dempsey and the Roaring Twenties, Myler cleverly set’s the former world heavyweight champion’s life in historic context for, as the book’s cover reminds us: “The Roaring Twenties was an era of high living and extravagance, of hot jazz and new fashions, when America lived as if there were no tomorrow.”

Dempsey could never be described as extravagant, at least not in his early years. His rise to the top of the sport began in down-at-heel bars where he would fight all-comers for a few bucks. The money would at least be enough to buy food, but Dempsey was homeless, a hobo who would move from town to town and earn his next few dollars from boxing by jumping into a railroad boxcar and travelling for free.

Eventually, the man who became known as the 'Manassa Mauler' proved so effective in the saloon ring that a route to glory became apparent, not as though he did anything the easy way.

His bouts were usually dramatic (the destruction of Jess Willard comes to mind) and often controversial (the infamous ‘Battle of the Long Count’ against Gene Tunney, Dempsey’s last fight), but irrespective of the label retrospectively applied to a particular contest, boxing fans loved him, which explains why his duel with Frenchman Georges Carpentier was the world’s first million dollar gate.

Myler, who interviewed Dempsey before he died, has an impressive eye for historic detail which adds both substance and context to a genuine rags-to-riches story in which our hero fights his way to the top, becoming a renowned figure in an era when boxing’s heavyweight champion of the world was one of the most famous men alive.

Over the years, the conspiracy theories that often developed in the wake of Dempsey’s fights have become even more obtuse and outrageous, but Myler succeeds in separating fact from fiction, making this one of the very best boxing biographies.


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