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Mark A. Leiter
5.0 out of 5 starsReview of A FLAME OF PURE FIRE, Roger Kahn (Boys of Summer) from Amazon Kindle
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2015
A Flame of Pure Fire Ordered from Amazon Kindle. This is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and I read many books. The book brings you into the exciting , and oft times, seamy world of the 1920's. You read about boxing. If you're interested, or merely curious, this is one of the best books on boxing by a great writer (Roger Kahn) who knows boxing. You get inside the world of promoting, which is a lucrative and artistic ( and often crooked) sport unto itself. This is a book about Jack Dempsey, a very sympathetic book, which puts the lie to the allegation that Dempsey would not fight Blacks. This simply is not true, including for the Heavyweight Crown. This was a great book and a great read.
...that places Jack Dempsey's personality and career in context with the culture that he lived in.A lot about the Roaring 20's, the Depression, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and other people from the era; also about other boxers. Maybe to much detail about culture and society if you just want to know about the boxer, but I thought it was a great portrait of the man.
Even better, the author clearly loves Jack Dempsey and deeply respects everything that he is about. After reading the book I understand why.
Dempsey was a fascinating character, and this biography captures him in all his complexity in context, within the times when he grew up and fought. A thorough, brilliant account of a man, one of the most aggressive and savage in the ring (witness his destruction of Willard), but gentle and easy-going outside of it, a soft touch, giving away a lot of his money to fighters down on their luck.
Roger Kahn has done a good job in writing this book. I have read many books about Dempsey and the time period in which he flourished but I found out a few things I did not know before in reading this book. There is a lot of insight into the characters that made up the time period and I found that exciting. You know that books like this are going to start becoming rare because the last living people who had contact with people like Dempsey are passing from the scene.
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2012
This was an excellent book about Jack Dempsey and the time period he lived in. His mother was reading a book about a great fighter when Jack was born so she felt as if this was prophetic for her son.
His early desire to be a fighter and his committment to make it happen against all odds definitely set him apart. Though a lot more worldly in his pursuits (women, Hollywood) than Tunney, he seemed to have more of a fierce fighting style.
4.0 out of 5 starsA Comprehensive and Illuminating account of the Life of Jack Dempsey
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 25, 2009
Well researched, detailed and authorative - but I did find the style a little meandering at times which caused me to lose interest and put the book down (perhaps because it was so authorative). Interesting to see how much of the text was copied/borrowed from Jack Dempsey's book on Championship Fighting - for those who have not got a copy of that book, the Flame of Pure Fire gives an interesting snippet of some of Jack's tips for punching hard!
Generally though, although authorative, I personally I felt some of the info would have been better off being left in the footnotes to keep the flow of the narrative going.
Worth reading if you are keen to learn more about Jack Dempsey and boxing's hey day at the turn of the twentieth century. The 'HarvestBook' is also a very fine copy and a pleasure to leaf through - contains some great photos.
If you like this you will love the Jack Johnson Biography by G Ward which is set at a time just prior to Dempsey's reign.
Jack Dempsey is one of the legendary figures of boxing. A man whose myth grows and grows and whose life is crying out to be turned into a hollywood film. His destruction of Jess Willard, his million dollar fights with Georges Carpentier and Gene Tunney and his 4 minute war with Luis Angel Firpo have turned him into a twentieth century icon. This book tells you all of the details of these stories and also catalogues some of the less well known aspects of his life. Dempsey comes across as a complex figure, a ferocious in ring warrior who would do whatever it took to win a fight, but also a gentle and generous man outside of the ring whose easy going nature made him a target for less charitable people. He lived a hard life before he became World Champion and even though he became immensely successful and popular in his later years he never forgot who he was or where he came from. If you are interested in Dempsey and the history of boxing in the early twentieth century, this is the only book you will ever need to read.
Very funny to read with the autor not hesitating going through little'stories around big events of dempsey's life. It gives also a good review of the time, and finnaly show very well how everything is so.intricated which is fascinating to me. It is an easy read reaally interesting for whom seek informations about boxing, dempsey's life, and america's history from the twenties to the end of the century