Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Sweet Science: Boxing and Boxiana, A Ringside View
A J Liebling


Taking us into the raucous stands, the smoky saloons and the ring itself, this is a peerless portrayal of America’s golden age of boxing. A. J. Liebling had a ringside seat at some of the greatest fights in history. Here is Joe Louis’s devastating final match; Sugar Ray Robinson’s dramatic comeback; and Rocky Marciano’s rise to heavyweight glory. The heated ringside atmosphere, the artistry of the great boxers and the blows and parries of the classic fights are all vividly evoked in a volume described by Sports Illustrated as “the best American sports book of all time.”

Paperback, 256pp
Penguin Books, 2018 (1956)
ISBN 978


A. J. Liebling, born in Manhattan in 1904, joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1935 and contributed innumerable articles to the magazine throughout his lifetime, on subjects ranging from food to boxing and France to horse racing. As a war correspondent during the Second World War, he reported from France, England and Algeria, and participated in the Normandy landings. In later life he married the writer Jean Stafford, his third wife. He died in 1963.

“A rollicking god among boxing writers… before Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson were out of diapers, Liebling was taking his readers on excursions through the hidden and often hilarious levels of this bruised subculture… the Master” – Los Angeles Times

“Nobody wrote about boxing with more grace and enthusiasm” – The New York Times