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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Book Review: War in the Ring: Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight between America and Hitler by John Florio and Ouisie Shapiro

I've heard of this famous boxing match all my life, but I knew little about it. Admittedly, my knowledge of boxing in general can fit on the head of a pin. But I knew this one was famous--an African-American boxer beating a Nazi sympathizer at the outset of WWII is pretty easy metaphoric material.

This book does a great job of giving background info on both Joe Louis and also Max Schmeling. Neither was a saint or a devil--both pretty human. As with most boxers, they both were not privileged at all growing up and diligence, hard work, and persistence paid off for both. And yet neither's life turned out wonderfully well. Both struggled in their later years. It's interesting to get such a full look at these lives, of which most people, if they know of them, only know of a few hours. It truly makes them come to life. And it's nice to have a book give an ancillary WWII story, fleshing out that conflict in a more complicated way than how it's often presented to audiences this age.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

This book is published by Roaring Brook, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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