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The First Superstar: Bareknuckles: John L. Sullivan Paperback – 24 Jan 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris (24 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142575466X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1425754662
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,754,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well researched book of the life and times of, and the people behind a man who deserves to be remembered - they don't make men like John L anymore, more's the pity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started this book with moderate expectations. I was so wrong. I was gripped from the start by this thrilling tale of a mythical giant of the sporting world made real. John L Sullivan was a complex mixture of brutal fighter yet generous to his beaten opponents; in the bloody era of the boxing of his time he epitomised fairness; open handed to all. He bestrode boxing with his skill, power and courage. He was a drunk and within two months of a world championship fight he was an alcoholic sodden with drink, grotesquely overweight and dangerously out of control. How he was brought into fighting shape with a detailed description his physical ordeal and his emotional trauma is one of the most enthralling chapters of the book. Trained by methods far in advance of his time his redemption set new standards for the rehabilitation of the human body which are still valid today.

The description of the fights, and particularly the centre piece, are genuinely blood curling. Uneducated men, knowing only fighting, were used cynically as pawns and thrown to their bloody fate. The integration of the societal attitudes of the time with the main story are wonderfully well done. These include the aristocratic, and respected, governor who had had an arm and a foot shot off in the civil war to the contemptible second constantly throwing his beaten boxer into the maw of Sullivan.

This is not just an exciting story but offers information, indeed an education, of an era now past and which can never return. Warmly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great read 20 Feb 2014
By Malikye - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Provided well researched detail into not only Sullivan's life, but into the world of 19th century boxing which lurked precariously on the fringes of society. A must read for any historical boxing fan.
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