In this captivating and complex portrait of an American sports legend, Russell Sullivan confirms Rocky Marciano's place as a symbol and cultural icon of his era. As much as he embodied the wholesome, rags-to-riches patriotism of a true American hero, he also reflected the racial and ethnic tensions festering behind the country's benevolent facade. Spirited, fast-paced, and rich in detail, "Rocky Marciano" is the first book to place the boxer in the context of his times. Capturing his athletic accomplishments against the colorful backdrop of the 1950s fight scene, Sullivan examines how Marciano's career reflected the glamour and scandal of boxing as well as tenor of his times.
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Sullivan, a business writer and owner of a corporate education company, offers a solid if unspectacular biography of the only undefeated heavyweight champion in history. He recounts Marciano's career from his first professional fight in 1947 through his death in a plane crash in 1969, looking at the sports hero as a symbol of both the optimism and the darker cultural currents of the 1950s. Sullivan provides a detailed and complete history of Marciano's fights, as well as some rich contextual background on the characters and atmosphere of boxing during the 1950s. Marciano, the child of Italian immigrants, who grew up in working class Brockton, Mass., was presented by the press as the ideal '50s man: a wholesome, patriotic family man with an all-American rags-to-riches story and worshipped by his fans as such. He was another Great White Hope in a sport dominated by black men, and though many 1950s sportswriters strove for a colorblind approach, it was nonetheless clear that they rooted for Rocky. The cultural analysis is the strongest part of the book; Russell's portrait of the private man (sometimes ambivalent about his family and notoriously obsessed with collecting and never spending money) is well researched and complex, but hampered by his often clunky and repetitive writing style. Though Marciano never achieved the popularity of Ali or Louis, his story offers a fascinating glimpse of boxing at midcentury and boxing buffs will be glad to have this overdue biography.
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Cursed with two left feet and no ring speed, Marciano never looked like a great heavyweight champion. But he sure won like one, riding his knee-buckling right hand all the way to history as the only heavyweight champ to retire undefeated. In this well-researched biography, Marciano is portrayed as a symbol of America in the early 1950s. Like his nation at the time, Marciano led an Ozzie and Harriet life--superficially. But beneath the surface, the champ's ambivalence about race, his infidelity, and his almost comic stinginess (Rocky even cheated pay phones) revealed the 1950s as you didn't see them on TV: multifaceted and complex. This isn't a flashy biography--there are no new revelations about Rocky's life--but Marciano wasn't a flashy boxer. If the fight scenes aren't exactly gripping and the narrative is often weighed down by voluminous detail, fans of the Rock will appreciate the book's broad scope and savor every last detail. This supplants Skehan's Rocky Marciano (1998) as the definitive Marciano biography. John Green
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Descripción University of Illinois Press, 2002. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110252027639
Descripción University of Illinois Press, 2002. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 4th. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0252027639
Descripción University of Illinois Press, 2002. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0252027639
Descripción Estado de conservación: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 97802520276351.0