You're probably thinking....what? But hold on, memoirs and autobiography are self-serving propaganda to a large extent. Do you really believe that "All of Gaul is divided into three parts" as Caesar contended? Or is this more likely a over generalization employed to move the story (which is all about Himself and Himselfs greatness) along? I go with the over generalization myself. This is not to say there's not good history in The Gallic Wars, just that it may be informed by a self serving perspective.
Likewise this memoir, written in France after Johnson fled the US of A one step ahead of The Feds (for Mann Act violations) it might be naive to expect the author to relate his life with professional detachment. Needless to say, Johnson doesn't. This doesn't really matter as serious biographies exist. Regarding this book, it must be said that Johnson is a master storyteller, he has a lot of stories to tell, and that he does a grand job telling them; from the color line (never really bothered him as he followed it himself, after fighting 140# Sam Langford he ducked him as he grew into a heavy), his fight with Stanley Ketchel, seasickness, kangaroo hunting, his fight with Jeffries, and more, all great stories wonderfully told.
The forward is by Geoffrey C. Ward author of Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson regarded by many as the definitive work on Johnson (if you want a straight work it would be Ward's book). The Preface is by the editor/translator Christopher Rivers, he is to be congratulated for rescuing such a marvelous book from the dust bin of history. In spite of all my equivocations regarding memoirs in general and this book in particular, it must be said it is an extremely well written book, as comes through in this book Johnson was a very bright man, his writing is often droll and almost always amusing.
Just keep in mind as you peruse the book that fighters are often creative with their past, sometimes they remember things that never happened. Sometimes they remember what happened different from everyone else. It would also do to remember that pro boxing and pro wrestling have a lot in common. Baby faces, heels, trash talk, scaming smartmarks; appearances may be deceiving.
Controversy may be stage setting. Consider the color line, 100 years ago there were more boxing gyms and boxers in America then there are now, with a population of 300 million. The color line allowed for more fights/championships; kind of like all the alphabet organizations now. Most people don't know boxing is the activity trained but, PRIZEFIGHTING is the thing they do. It's all about money. Great fighters often avoided tough contenders (Mayweather for example) so to make easier money. A loss could have profound economic repercussions. But I digress, this is a very good book, would make a great movie. Buy the book but remember, it's PRIZEFIGHTING.