Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Review: A Pictorial History of Boxing By Sam Andre and Nat Fleischer

The Boxing Glove Sunday Night Book Review By Peter Silkov

“A Pictorial History Of Boxing” by Sam Andre and Nat Fleischer

Here at The Boxing Glove we are going to attempt to start a regular boxing book review feature, as this seems to be something that readers may well find useful! We hope!  I’m not quite certain how regular these reviews will be, but time and energy willing, we are looking at doing at least one a week. Reviews will be varied between boxing books, both new and old.  So I will be looking at some books that have only recently come out, plus others that have been out a long time, or may even be out of print. As usual, readers feedback and comments are very welcome. 

For my first book, I thought it would be fitting to look at the first boxing book that I received, “A Pictorial History Of Boxing” by Sam Andre and Nat Fleischer.  For me, this is in many ways the book that started it all; it was the first of many hundreds of boxing books and magazines. I received this book as a present in 1982. 33 years (yikes!) and  hundreds of boxing books later, I still believe that this book is the definitive encyclopedia of boxing. At least up to the stage where boxing became muddled and flooded by multiple world champions at every weight and the champions of all sorts of titles began to out-number the contenders.

“A Pictorial History Of Boxing” looks at the history of boxing through every division, from Heavyweight through to Flyweight, with the emphasis on the original eight weight divisions. Every champion, of every division, is mentioned, with the great fighters and great fights highlighted. 

First published in 1959, "A Pictorial History Of Boxing" was written and edited by Nat Fleischer and Sam Andre. Nat Fleischer was the founder and editor of The Ring magazine, while Sam Andre was a photographer and editor. The book was updated in 1979 by English boxing historian Gilbert Odd, then again in the early and mid 1980s.

This is a book in which you can really gain a insightful view of some of the most important, exciting, and controversial moments in boxing history. The coverage of the heavyweight division , usually regarded as the most important division in boxing, is especially impressive, with detailed analysis of  the divisions great fights, going right back to the sports bare knuckle days. From Cribbs victory over Molineaux, to  Ali vs. Frazier, it is very detailed. Although boxing’s other weight divisions are not given as much space as the heavyweights, each one is still portrayed in an insightful and illuminating manner. In addition to having the respective histories of each division highlighted, this book has a huge collection of photos, many of which are very rare and cannot be seen elsewhere.

The beauty of this book is that it is just as useful and engaging for the experienced boxing fan as it is for the newcomer. Despite all of the years that have passed since I first received this book, and all the boxing books of so many descriptions which I have collected in the intervening years, this  book still hit’s the spot for me. I would recommend “A Pictorial History of Boxing” to anyone who wants to have an easy-to-access and good-on-the-eye guide to boxing’s rich and storied history.

Copyright © 2015 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

No comments:

Post a Comment