Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Whitechapel Whirlwind: The Jack Kid Berg Story
John Harding


Jack Kid Berg dominated boxing in the early 1930s like no other British-born boxer before or since. Born of immigrant Russian-Jewish parents, he grew up in the East End of London, gaining a fearsome reputation for scrapping in the streets of Whitechapel. Berg’s American battles with Tony Canzoneri and Kid Chocolate gained him worldwide fame.

His 1930 victory over Mushy Callahan made him world junior welterweight champion, and he won the British lightweight title at his first attempt in 1934. Old-timers recalled, ‘When you think Berg is going to slow down, he goes faster. He punched so fast he demoralised opponents rather than demolished them.

No boxer was bolder and gamer.’ The Whitechapel Whirlwind features exclusive interviews with Berg in the years before his death in 1991, and makes deft use of eyewitness accounts, newspaper cartoons, statistics and photos of Jack’s 200-plus fights. Never a man to display false modesty, Berg is brutally frank about his wins, his losses, even his love life.

Paperback, 288pp
Pitch Publishing, 2018
ISBN 9781785314438