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The Sweet Science and Other Writings: The Sweet Science / The Earl of Louisiana / The Jollity Building / Between Meals / The Press

de A. J. Liebling

Outros autores: Pete Hamill (Editor)

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1411193,474 (4.3)1
One of the most gifted American journalists of the twentieth century, A. J. Liebling learned his craft as a newspaper reporter before joining The New Yorker in 1935. This volume collects five books that demonstrate his extraordinary vitality and versatility as a writer. Named the best sports book of all time by Sports Illustrated in 2002, The Sweet Science (1956) offers a lively and idiosyncratic portrait of boxing in the early 1950s that encompasses boastful managers, veteran trainers, wily cornermen, and the fighters themselves: Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Archie Moore, "a virtuoso of anachronistic perfection." No one has captured the fierce artistry of the ring like Liebling. "A boxer," he observed, "like a writer, must stand alone." A classic of reporting, The Earl of Louisiana (1961) is a vivid account of Governor Earl Long's bid for reelection after his release from a mental asylum in 1959--and an insightful look at Southern politics during the civil rights era. The Jollity Building (1962) collects hilarious stories about Manhattan cigar-store owners, night-club promoters, and the scheming "Telephone Booth Indians" of Broadway, as well as a profile of "The Honest Rainmaker," the racing columnist and confidence man extraordinaire Colonel John R. Stingo. An unabashed celebration of the pleasures of unrestrained eating, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris (1962) is a richly evocative memoir of Liebling's lifelong love for Paris and French food and wine. The Press (1964) brings together the best of Liebling's influential "Wayward Press" pieces, in which he perceptively examined the flaws of American journalism and presciently warned of the dangers of consolidated media ownership. "Freedom of the press," he wrote, "is guaranteed only to those who own one." LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.… (mais)
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The Sweet Science, the first book in this volume. The sweet science refers to boxing, which is one of my secret pleasures. It's not politically correct to be interested in seeing men beat each other up. The book is a collection of articles Liebling wrote for the New Yorker. The writing is excellent journalism and Liebling is a writer not an author. Reading the articles is very pleasant and not dry or thick, almost the opposite of Dostoevsky but the same quality. I think Liebling could have written about paint drying and made it interesting reading. I am sure Liebling is one of the writers that gave the New Yorker their reputation.
One of the more interesting features of the articles is Liebling's references to the writings of Pierce Egan an English journalist who wrote on boxing in the early 1800's. Liebling periodically refers to Egan's descriptions of fights, boxers or specific moves in the ring. I don't know how he found out about Egan but he has obviously read a lot of Egan's writing. Liebling has a number of other ongoing characters whose words of wisdom appear in the articles regularly.
These articles cover the period of the early 1950's. Each article is usually about a specific fight and also covers some background on the fighters involved. The author often talked to the fighters or their managers and trainers before the fight. Writing about the fight he would discuss previous fights at the same venue or other fights with similar moments as the one he was watching. He writes about what happens at each fight but not in a blow by blow fashion. He might write as much about what the people sitting around him were doing as what was going on in the ring. At the end of the article I had a real feel for what was involved between the fighters and what the experience of going to the fight was like. Somehow the violence of the fight was tempered and that part of the experience largely omitted. Liebling would always write about where he went to have a drink or a cup of coffee after the fight.
The writer's style is literary but not highbrow. He imparts the experience indirectly but in a fashion that is more thorough than if he wrote what happened each second. I went right into the second volume in the book which is about Earl Long of Louisiana. I look forward to reading much more of Mr. Liebling's writings.
The Earl of Louisiana. This is the second book in this volume. This book by A. J. Liebling is based on three articles he wrote about the 1959 gubernatorial primary in Louisiana for the New Yorker and later expanded into a book. The book opens right after Earl Long had extricated himself from a State mental hospital where his wife had committed him. It follows through the Governor's race and a Congressional primary that Earl Long won right before his death. In reading a Wikipedia article to get my facts straight I discovered that Earl Long in 1944 was defeated for the office of Lieutenant Governor by someone from Iberia parish. Some Dave Robicheaux related trivia I had to pass on.
The politics of Louisiana in 1959 had the corruption and racial contention of all Southern politics. This was complicated by the fact that it was the only Southern State that had a viable Roman Catholic constituency and in New Orleans the only real city in the South at that time. Liebling spends as much time as possible in New Orleans eating its fine food and describes it as a Mediterranean city more like Marseilles than Atlanta. He does a masterful job of guiding the reader through the politics of the primary and providing an insightful portrait of Earl Long. In this primary Long as the sitting Governor could not run for Governor and so ran for Lieutenant Governor.
His ticket was defeated and the winner in the runoff was Jimmie (not Jimmy) Davis, who is more famous for his association with the song " You Are My Sunshine" which was made the official State song of Louisiana in 1977. Long then ran in the Congressional primary for the Eight District. He had a heart attack the night before the voting and would only go into the hospital after the polls had closed. He died very soon thereafter and was given a splendid funeral while receiving the heart felt praise of all of his political friends and enemies, his enemies outnumbered his friends.
Earl Long gave a new meaning to the word eccentricity and the tales of his antics are more than worth the effort it takes to read this book. The information on the down and dirty of Louisiana politics contained in the book has an equal or greater value. I recommend that you make every effort to acquire a copy of this book and read it as soon as possible. When you do you will wish you had done it sooner. ( )
2 vote wildbill | May 29, 2009 |
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Liebling, A. J.Autorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hamill, PeteEditorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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One of the most gifted American journalists of the twentieth century, A. J. Liebling learned his craft as a newspaper reporter before joining The New Yorker in 1935. This volume collects five books that demonstrate his extraordinary vitality and versatility as a writer. Named the best sports book of all time by Sports Illustrated in 2002, The Sweet Science (1956) offers a lively and idiosyncratic portrait of boxing in the early 1950s that encompasses boastful managers, veteran trainers, wily cornermen, and the fighters themselves: Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Archie Moore, "a virtuoso of anachronistic perfection." No one has captured the fierce artistry of the ring like Liebling. "A boxer," he observed, "like a writer, must stand alone." A classic of reporting, The Earl of Louisiana (1961) is a vivid account of Governor Earl Long's bid for reelection after his release from a mental asylum in 1959--and an insightful look at Southern politics during the civil rights era. The Jollity Building (1962) collects hilarious stories about Manhattan cigar-store owners, night-club promoters, and the scheming "Telephone Booth Indians" of Broadway, as well as a profile of "The Honest Rainmaker," the racing columnist and confidence man extraordinaire Colonel John R. Stingo. An unabashed celebration of the pleasures of unrestrained eating, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris (1962) is a richly evocative memoir of Liebling's lifelong love for Paris and French food and wine. The Press (1964) brings together the best of Liebling's influential "Wayward Press" pieces, in which he perceptively examined the flaws of American journalism and presciently warned of the dangers of consolidated media ownership. "Freedom of the press," he wrote, "is guaranteed only to those who own one." LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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