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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untold and extraordinary, 2 Sep 2003
By 
K. P. Quinn "KQ" (Hersham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens (Paperback)
This must be one of the best sports books ever never mind 2002. McRae's book wonderfully evokes the times and places in the lives of two great sportsmen. In places, as in the aftermath of Louis's last fight or in the final demise of the great men, it is unbearably moving. At other times, for example during Owens's world record-breaking streak in one afternoon during a college meet, it is thrilling, page-turning stuff. Other highlights include the recreation of Louis's key fights and the background detail of the appalling racism at the heart of American life. Louis and Owens come across as real, heroic figures with fiercely strong and weak human traits. Despite the fact that they were modest men achieving extraordinary feats in their fields, they also posted small victories in their society at large not least in the way American institutions regarded, valued and treated their non-white citizens. A must read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reservations Overcome, 27 Mar 2004
By 
R. Simpson (South Kirkby, Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens (Paperback)
At the outset McRae's telling of the story by snap-shots seemed to me irritatingly tabloid, as did the quantity of invented dialogue and somewhat sentimentalised psychology. It's difficult to remember when these reservations disappeared, but they were overcome by the narrative pace, the impressive research of primary and secondary sources and the sophisticated selection of material. The result is a book which tells much of the story of the lives of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens without being a biography of either and focuses crucially on their relationships with the white establishment represented, at its worst, by such figures as the appalling Avery Brundage whose career as Olympic supremo continued untroubled by his part in driving Jesse Owens out of sporting competition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, 21 Mar 2006
By 
adanield (Glasgow United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens (Paperback)
In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens chronicles the breathtaking acheivements and the horrendous institutionalised racism that both of these amazing athletes suffered. Louis and Owens did more for their country than almost any other major figure during the 1930's and both also helped to highlight the terrible adversities that were heaped against them in everyday life. Both were world famous performers who were held up as the ideal representatives of their nation but they still couldn't sit down and have a meal in many parts of their own country due to the colour of their skin. Owens was finished as a serious athlete at 24, kicked out of amatuer athletics by the repulsive Avery Brundage (the man responsible for also barring Jim Thorpe from Amatuer athletics) purely for questioning why he was being kept away from his family for weeks on end in order to make the AAU a lot of money on a European tour while the athletes themselves made nothing. Owens struggles to find a place for himself as he slowly loses touch with the younger generation of track and field athletes coming through. His humiliation at the hands of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics will bring a lump to your throat. Louis donated purses from two fights to the Army and Navy relief funds and was chased remorselessly by the IRS for the taxes on them for years and years. His descent into debt, drug addiction and insanity makes for uncomfortable reading. At the end it is the German fighter Max Schmelling his most famous adversary, who Louis destoyed in his most famous fight, who does more for him than the country he was held up as a representative of in their meeting. Donald McCrae is an excellent writer and in Louis and Owens he has two excellent subjects to work with. Two of the most famous men of the Twentieth century in any walk of life are presented to us with all of their virtues and faults on display and both come out as fundamentally decent men who were treated very shabbily.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First class, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens (Paperback)
Easy to read, brilliant writing, fascinating tale blah blah blah. Go buy it unless you're blind. If you're blind get the braille version, if there is one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's great., 25 April 2013
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This review is from: In Black and White: The Untold Story of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens (Paperback)
I received it in great shape without any damages. I would recommend it to others just because of the quality this item has.
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