The Rumble in the Jungle: Muhammad Ali and George Foreman on the Global Stage

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

The 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, staged in the young nation of Zaire and dubbed the Rumble in the Jungle, was arguably the biggest sporting event of the twentieth century. The bout between an ascendant undefeated champ and an outspoken master trying to reclaim the throne was a true multimedia spectacle. A three-day festival of international music—featuring James Brown, Miriam Makeba, and many others—preceded the fight itself, which was viewed by a record-breaking one billion people worldwide. Lewis A. Erenberg’s new book provides a global perspective on this singular match, not only detailing the titular fight but also locating it at the center of the cultural dramas of the day.

TheRumble in the Jungle orbits around Ali and Foreman, placing them at the convergence of the American Civil Rights movement and the Great Society, the rise of Islamic and African liberation efforts, and the ongoing quest to cast off the shackles of colonialism. With his far-reaching take on sports, music, marketing, and mass communications, Erenberg shows how one boxing match became nothing less than a turning point in 1970s culture.
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About the author

Lewis A. Erenberg is professor emeritus of history at Loyola University Chicago and the author of Steppin’ Out, Swingin’ the Dream, and The War in American Culture, all published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
May 22, 2019
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780226059570
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
Social Science / Black Studies (Global)
Sports & Recreation / Boxing
Sports & Recreation / General
Sports & Recreation / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For three decades at the end of the twentieth century – throughout boxing's most engrossing era – James Lawton was ringside, covering every significant bout, spending time with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hitman Hearns, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield and many other great fighters.

Lawton found himself captivated by the sport as he followed it around the world. From a big fight's initial announcement, through the fighters' punishing training regimes, the overblown press conferences and dramatic weigh-ins, up to the bout itself and its savage fall-out – Lawton observed and absorbed it all, grateful for the remarkable access he was afforded. He witnessed Ali screaming in pain for his dressing-room lights to be turned out after a fight; he was there to meet Tyson at the prison gates on his release in 1992; he listened as former champions wept while struggling to find their new place in the world. As part of a small, tight-knit group of sportswriters with the privilege of covering each fight in such intimate detail, Lawton formed lifelong friendships and found himself forever altered by being caught up in the whirlwind of a sport at its most spellbinding.

A Ringside Affair brings that brilliant epoch back to life – and puts it in the perspective it deserves. It salutes the epic quality of boxing's last years of glory, retraces arguably the richest inheritance bequeathed to any sport, and speculates on the possibility that we will never see such fighting again. It is part celebration, part lament, but perhaps most of all it is a personal record of some of most enthralling and challenging days produced by the world's oldest sport.
"Entertaining, insightful, and eminently colorful-the next best thing to being at the fights."--New York Sportscene

". . . anyone taking a trip through the sport's hardscrabble past couldn't ask for a better guide..."--The Ring

Known as the "guru" of boxing, Bert Randolph Sugar is one of the most charismatic writers ever to capture the drama of the fight on paper. With a passion for the sport that is rivaled only by his talent for writing about it, Bert Sugar is also regarded as the "unofficial historian" of boxing. With his trademark fedora and always-handy cigar, Sugar is a guaranteed ringside presence. His colorful personality and flamboyant mannerisms are unforgettable whether you are meeting him in person or through his writing. Bert Sugar on Boxing brings out his best.

Here's but a small sampling of what awaits readers:

Many a troubled and troublesome youngster has embraced "The Sweet Science" as a way out, a social staircase out of the mean streets that formed his limited world, fighting his way, bloody hand over bloody hand, up the ladder of acceptance the only way he knows: with his fists.

You see, I was raised in a society, many moons ago, which held to two general axioms: That men were stronger; and women, smarter. And if women are so damned smart, why are they interested in having their features rearranged and acquiring cauliflower ears so pronounced they can be covered with hollandaise sauce?

I will not be dissuaded from attacking those with souls like the undersides of flat rocks any more than ice can be welded or iron melted. There is no shaking-knee factor here.
Held 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.
"A teacher is never a giver of truth—he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst."—Bruce Lee

Within the pages of Striking Thoughts, you will find the secrets of Bruce Lee's incredible success— as an actor, martial artist, and inspiration to the world. Consisting of eight sections, Striking Thoughts covers 72 topics and 825 aphorisms—from spirituality to personal liberation and from family life to filmmaking—all of which Bruce lived by.

His ideas helped energize his life and career and made it possible for him to live a happy and assured life, overcoming challenging obstacles with seeming ease. His ideas also inspired his family, friends, students, and colleagues to achieve success in their own lives and this personal collection will help you in your journey too.

Sections include:On First Principles—including life, existence, time, and deathOn Being Human—including the mind, happiness, fear, and dreamsOn Matters of Existence—health, love, marriage, raising children, ethics, racism, and adversityOn Achievement—work, goals, faith, success, money, and fameOn Art and Artists—art, filmmaking, and actingOn Personal Liberation—conditioning, Zen Buddhism, meditation, and freedomOn the Process of Becoming—self-actualization, self-help, self-expression, and growthOn Ultimate (Final) Principles—Yin-yang, totality, Tao, and the truth This Bruce Lee Book is part of the Bruce Lee Library which also features:Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden DragonBruce Lee: The Tao of Gung FuBruce Lee: Artist of LifeBruce Lee: Letters of the DragonBruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human BodyBruce Lee: Jeet Kune Do
Compiled from Bruce Lee's own notes and writings, Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do is the seminal book presenting the martial art created by Bruce Lee himself.

Jeet Kune Do was a revolutionary new approach to the martial arts in its time and is the principal reason why Bruce Lee is revered as a pioneer by martial artists today, many decades after his death. The development of his unique martial art form—its principles, core techniques, and lesson plans—are all presented in this book in Bruce Lee's own words and notes. This is the complete and official version of Jeet Kune Do which was originally published by Tuttle Publishing in cooperation with the Lee family in 1997. It is still the most comprehensive presentation of Jeet Kune Do available.

This Jeet Kune Do book features Lee's illustrative sketches and his remarkable notes and commentaries on the nature of combat and achieving success in life through the martial arts, as well as the importance of a positive mental attitude during training. In addition, there are a series of "Questions Every Martial Artist Must Ask Himself" that Lee posed to himself and intended to explore as part of his own development, but never lived to complete. Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do is the book every Bruce Lee fan must have in his collection.

This Bruce Lee Book is part of the Bruce Lee Library which also features:Bruce Lee: Striking ThoughtsBruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden DragonBruce Lee: The Tao of Gung FuBruce Lee: Artist of LifeBruce Lee: Letters of the DragonBruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body
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