By Jeremy Schaap
New York Times Bestseller: This true Depression-era story of a down-and-out fighter’s dramatic comeback is “a delight” (David Halberstam).
James J. Braddock was a once promising light heavyweight. But a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to coincide with the Great Crash of 1929—and Braddock was forced to labor on the docks of Hoboken. Only his manager, Joe Gould, still believed in him.
Gould looked out for the burly, quiet Irishman, finding matches for Braddock to help him feed his wife and children. Together, they were about to stage the greatest comeback in fighting history. Within twelve months, Braddock went from being on the relief rolls to facing heavyweight champion Max Baer, renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring. A brash Jewish boxer from the West Coast, Baer was heavily favored—but Braddock carried the hopes and dreams of the working class on his shoulders, and when he emerged victorious against all odds, the shock was palpable—and the cheers were deafening. In the wake of his surprise win, Damon Runyon dubbed him “Cinderella Man.”
Against the gritty backdrop of the 1930s, Cinderella Man brings this dramatic all-American story to life, telling a classic David and Goliath tale that transcends the sport.
“A punchy read with touches of humor.” —The New York Times
“A wonderful, thrilling boxing story, and simultaneously a meticulous look at Depression life.” —Jimmy Breslin