"Black men look like they rule sport in America today. It was nothing like that in the 1930s. America was white and that was that. It didn't do you no good to dream of making it to the big time. It was impossible. And then, y'know, along came Jesse and along came Joe." -- Ruth Owens, Jesse's late wife n the summer of 1935, within weeks of each other, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens emerged as the first black superstars of world sport, and their subsequent political and social impact on America was nothing short of sensational. To fans (and even critics) the world over, they seemed larger than life, and yet in their endeavors they were unfailingly human: as vulnerable as they were courageous; as troubled as they were brilliant; as unsettled in themselves as they are now fixed in history. Scrupulously researched and written in spare, eloquent prose, Heroes Without a Country vividly re-creates some of the most dramatic sporting events of the past century. In August 1936, in front of Hitler and an imposing phalanx of Nazi commanders, Jesse Owens, "the fastest man on earth," won an unprecedented four medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin. Two years later, in "the fight of the century," his great friend Joe Louis crushed Germany's Max Schmeling to signal the end of white supremacy in boxing. Like Jesse, Joe had been born to black sharecropping parents in a country demeaned by racism; together their victories became a rallying point for the disenfranchised black population of America. Idolized across the world, they were two young men at the pinnacle of their careers who overcame prejudice and fear to achieve their goals. Yet for both of them, success brought its own perils. In 1938, two years after winning his gold medals in Berlin, Owens was hounded out of amateur sports by the infamously tyrannical Olympic boss "Slavery Avery" Brundage and, facing financial ruin, he was reduced to running for money against dogs, horses, and even his friend Joe Louis. Later the two would be subjected to FBI investigations, harassed by the IRS, and beleaguered by debt and despair. Jesse watched Joe slip into drug addiction and mental illness. In Heroes Without a Country, award-winning writer Donald McRae captures the uncanny coincidences and intertwined events that bound these men together -- through both triumph and tragedy -- and provides an intimate and thought-provoking dual portrait of two of the most important athletes of the twentieth century.
America's Betrayal of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens
Author: Donald McRae
Category: Sports & Recreation
And Other Tales
Author: Edward Everett Hale
Category: Burr Conspiracy, 1805-1807
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “[This] may be as close as Vonnegut ever comes to a memoir.” –Los Angeles Times “Like [that of] his literary ancestor Mark Twain, [Kurt Vonnegut’s] crankiness is good-humored and sharp-witted. . . . [Reading A Man Without a Country is] like sitting down on the couch for a long chat with an old friend.” –The New York Times Book Review In a volume that is penetrating, introspective, incisive, and laugh-out-loud funny, one of the great men of letters of this age–or any age–holds forth on life, art, sex, politics, and the state of America’s soul. From his coming of age in America, to his formative war experiences, to his life as an artist, this is Vonnegut doing what he does best: Being himself. Whimsically illustrated by the author, A Man Without a Country is intimate, tender, and brimming with the scope of Kurt Vonnegut’s passions. “For all those who have lived with Vonnegut in their imaginations . . . this is what he is like in person.” –USA Today “Filled with [Vonnegut’s] usual contradictory mix of joy and sorrow, hope and despair, humor and gravity.” –Chicago Tribune “Fans will linger on every word . . . as once again [Vonnegut] captures the complexity of the human condition with stunning calligraphic simplicity.” –The Australian “Thank God, Kurt Vonnegut has broken his promise that he will never write another book. In this wondrous assemblage of mini-memoirs, we discover his family’s legacy and his obstinate, unfashionable humanism.” –Studs Terkel
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Publisher: Dial Press
Category: Literary Collections
... and Other Stories from the 'Atlantic Monthly.'
Category: Short stories, American
The story of a U.S. Navy officer involved in the treason of Aaron Burr and condemned to remain at sea without news of the United States for the rest of his life.
Author: Edward Everett Hale
Category: Adventure stories
Athletics and politics collide in a critical event for Nazi Germany and the contemporary world. The torch relay—that staple of Olympic pageantry—first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain. The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi regime's mobilization of power. Nazi Games offers a superb blend of history and sport. The narrative includes a stirring account of the international effort to boycott the games, derailed finally by the American Olympic Committee and the determination of its head, Avery Brundage, to participate. Nazi Games also recounts the dazzling athletic feats of these Olympics, including Jesse Owens's four gold-medal performances and the marathon victory of Korean runner Kitei Son, the Rising Sun of imperial Japan on his bib.
Author: David Clay Large
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
The second Louis-Schmeling fight of 1938 sparked excitement around the globe. For all its length--the fight lasted just two minutes--it remains one of the most memorable events in boxing history and, indeed, one of the most significant sporting events ever. In this superb account, Lewis A.Erenberg offers a vivid portrait of Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, their individual careers, and their two epic fights, shedding light on what these fighters represented to their nations, and why their second bout took on such international importance. Erenberg shows how after Schmeling's dramatic win in his first fight with Lewis he instantly became a German national hero and an unwilling symbol for white supremacists, leading the second fight to be viewed by many as a symbolic match between Nazism and American democracy. Erenberg discusseshow Louis' dramatic first-round victory was a devastating blow to Hitler, who turned on Schmeling and, during the war, had the boxer (then serving as a paratrooper) sent on a series of dangerous missions. Louis, meanwhile, went from being a hero of his race--"Our Joe"--to the first black championembraced by all Americans. Here then is a stirring and insightful account of one of the great moments in boxing history, a confrontation that provided global theater on an epic scale.
Louis Vs. Schmeling
Author: Lewis A. Erenberg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Sports & Recreation
In a collection of compelling, original portraits, the CEO of Starbucks and a National Book Award Nominee celebrate the extraordinary heroism on the battlefield and the equally valuable contributions on the home front of this generation's American veterans. Co-written by the author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City. Simultaneous.
What Our Veterans Can Teach Us about Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice
Author: Howard Schultz,Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Explores the life of Jesse Owens, including his childhood and family, his rise to excellence in track and field, his 1936 Olympic triumph, and his death and legacy.
I Always Loved Running
Author: Jeff Burlingame
Publisher: Enslow Publishing, LLC
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Discusses the universal legend of the hero in world mythology, focusing on the motif of the hero's journey through adventure and transformation.
Author: Joseph Campbell
Publisher: New World Library
"A rich portrait of Louis, Schmeling, and the era to which they belonged." —Nation
Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling
Author: Patrick Myler
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
Category: Sports & Recreation
A look at the accomplishments of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympic Games draws on interviews, family sources, and archival research to provide a portrait of a remarkable man in relation to the intrigues, controversies, and political machinations that took p
The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics
Author: Jeremy Schaap
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author: William Makepeace Thackeray
This poignant coming-of-age story is set against the verdant landscape and sultry atmosphere of the Florida Keys Ben Floyd has a lot on his mind. In only eighteen months he will be old enough to get a learner’s permit to drive, but that seems a lifetime away. Ben enjoys the close-knit group of friends in his small neighborhood, but lately he has been longing for a taste of adventure. Keeping an eye on his younger brother Cody is getting to be a big responsibility. And he is confused by complicated feelings he has for his lifelong friend, Cass. An unexpected turn of events finds the Floyd family in the Florida Keys over Christmas vacation and offers Ben a welcome opportunity to escape the neighborhood routine. Here he meets Mica, an independent, strong-willed girl who lives a nomadic life aboard a boat with her marine biologist father. Mica teaches Ben and Cody to fish, sail, and snorkel, and together they explore the interior canals and coastal waterways. But Ben soon realizes that adventure sometimes brings danger, and that at the center of Mica’s seemingly charmed life lies a mysterious loneliness. Young readers will relate to Ben’s conflicting feelings and growing restlessness as they experience this realistic, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous portrait of adolescence by award-winning author Adrian Fogelin.
Author: Adrian Fogelin
Publisher: Open Road Media
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Children choose their heroes more carefully than we think. From Pokémon to the rapper Eminem, pop-culture icons are not simply commercial pied pipers who practice mass hypnosis on our youth. Indeed, argues the author of this lively and persuasive paean to the power of popular culture, even trashy or violent entertainment gives children something they need, something that can help both boys and girls develop in a healthy way. Drawing on a wealth of true stories, many gleaned from the fascinating workshops he conducts, and basing his claims on extensive research, including interviews with psychologists and educators, Gerard Jones explains why validating our children's fantasies teaches them to trust their own emotions and build stronger selves.
Our Children's Need For Fantasy, Heroism, and Make-Believe Violence
Author: Gerard Jones
Publisher: Basic Books
A Novel Without a Hero
Author: William Makepeace Thackeray
Philip Nolan is Chuck Pfarrer’s captivating adaptation of “The Man Without a Country,” the short story originally published in The Atlantic in 1863. Masterfully blending history and fiction, Pfarrer transforms an allegory promoting the Union cause into the story of a young artillery officer, Phillip Nolan, who becomes embroiled in Aaron Burr’s 1807 conspiracy to invade the territories acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Insinuating that his plot has official approval, Burr convinces Nolan to carry a coded message into the Orleans Territory. Nolan has no idea that the former vice-president intends to set himself up as a dictator—and Burr has no idea that his scheme has been discovered. Soon both Burr and Nolan are in military custody, and Nolan is an accessory to treason. The nation holds its breath as Burr is put on trial for attempting to dismember the union. The charges against Burr seem ironclad, but his lawyers are clever, and Burr is acquitted. An embarrassed prosecution looks for a scapegoat, and they expand the charges against Nolan to include desertion and treason. Learning that his own court martial will proceed, even though Burr has walked free, Nolan denounces his accusers, damns his country, and tells the court he wishes never again to hear the words “United States” as long as he lives. Nolan’s fateful words stun the court. The judges return with an ominous verdict: the prisoner’s wish will be granted. Nolan is exiled, sentenced to life aboard a series of U.S. warships, never to hear news from or be allowed to speak of his country again. After years of being shuttled from ship to America’s first secret prisoner ship realizes he is a stateless person, estranged from his keepers and forgotten by his country. Decades after his trial, Nolan is passed aboard an American frigate in the Mediterranean. There, he comes into the custody of a newly commissioned lieutenant, Frank Curran. When Barbary pirates capture an American whaleship, the pair finds themselves drawn into a complex web of international deceit and mortal danger. As a desperate rescue mission is launched, Nolan teaches the young officer a poignant lesson about duty, loyalty and the meaning of patriotism. Philip Nolan is equal parts adventure, naval history and morality tale. Brilliantly evoking the age of sail, Pfarrer brings alive convincing details of that courageous and sometimes brutal world. More than broadsides and small boat actions, Philip Nolan is a clear-eyed examination of the human condition. Philip Nolan is beautifully crafted, and it deserves a place among the classics of the genre.
The Man Without a Country
Author: Chuck Pfarrer
Publisher: Naval Institute Press