The Great White Hopes : The Quest to Defeat Jack Johnson, Paperback

The Great White Hopes : The Quest to Defeat Jack Johnson Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


In 1908 black fighter Jack Johnson won the heavyweight championship of the world.

There was an immediate storm of protest: it was predicted - accurately - that his reign would lead to civic unrest and race riots.

Over the next seven years, more than 30 fighters lured by the prospect of fame tried to beat Jackson.

This title tells the story.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages, 16 illustrations
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: sport
  • ISBN: 9780750938921



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Being an account of the panicked scramble to groom a white heavyweight who could redeem the championship from the flamboyant black man, Jack Johnson, who won it in the ragtime era. This is a well-researched journey through a period which is very interesting sociologically. Unfortunately, the author doesn't go very deeply into the wider attitudes of society as a whole, but mostly tells the stories of the boxers and, especially, the managers and promoters involved. As a result, the book is a trifle disjointed and its interest level varies with how interesting the subject of each vignette is; some are quite interesting, many are not.

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