Friday, October 15, 2010

Booklist: "The Best"

"Let’s get Hauser’s credentials out of the way. He has written an outstanding Muhammad Ali biography (Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times, 1991) as well as 17 other books about boxing. His first boxing book, Black Lights (1986), remains a classic study of a young fighter’s perilous journey in the fight game. He is a frequent contributor to, where most of these articles first appeared. The collection begins with a detailed biographical examination of the career of Sugar Ray Robinson, considered by many to be the greatest pound-for-pound fighter ever. It’s a sadly familiar tale of poverty, ascendancy, fame, and decline, related in a respectful, objective style. The rest of the book is focused on the boxing events of 2009, from the high-profile career of Manny Pacquiao to the progress of several relatively unknown young fighters learning the trade in New York’s gyms. Hauser also explores the business end of boxing, especially its painful relationship with television, but above all, he is drawn to the people of the sport: the fighters, trainers, promoters, and hangers-on. Virtually every piece is notable for its carefully drawn characters who will linger on the edges of readers’ minds long after the book has been shelved. As always, Hauser is the best."
--Wes Lukowsky, Booklist, September 1, 2010

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