"A stunning piece of work that transcends the genre of sports biography." — Kirkus Reviews "Boxing aficionados will be fascinated . . . a valuable addition to American social history." — Washington Post Book World "This outstanding book not only chronicles the career of a great boxer, but charts the rise of sports as a legitimate form of American recreation and the public's changing perception of the Afro-American athlete. . . . Thorough and compelling." — San Francisco Chronicle This critically acclaimed biography chronicles the life and times of Joe Louis, the famed African-American pugilist. Known affectionately as The Brown Bomber, Louis held the heavyweight boxing championship for a record eleven years and blazed a trail in professional sports for Jackie Robinson and other black athletes. A dynamic combination of sports and social history, this narrative traces the champion's rise from abject poverty in the segregated South to his gradual acceptance and eventual adulation by the American public of the 1930s and '40s. Dramatic accounts of his triumphs in the ring include his finest hour: the 1938 defeat of Max Schmeling, Hitler's champion, which made Louis the living symbol of American freedom and human rights. Fourteen photographs illustrate this compelling biography.