Jack Dempsey: A Tale of Two Fists

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In 1919, Jack Dempsey challenged Jess Willard for the world heavyweight boxing championship, which took place in Toledo, Ohio on July 4. One of America’s great sports journalists, Damon Runyon, scooped his colleagues by securing Jack Dempsey’s life story, and serializing it over 28 parts from April to June under the title A Tale of Two Fists.

Damon Runyon detailed the life of Jack Dempsey, the “Jack London of Fistiana,” crisscrossing America as a hobo on the rods of freight cars, working in mines, being chased by irate bosses, and trying to make an honest buck by standing toe-to-toe with some of the biggest, meanest fighters America had to offer at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Often in Dempsey’s own words, the series is collected here for the first time, 100 years later, together with Runyon’s daily reports from Toledo in the week leading up to the big fight, as well as its bloody and ferocious denouement.

In addition to Damon Runyon’s texts, there is an introduction and notes by Paul Duncan, editor of Rocky: The Complete Films.

The Author: Damon Runyon became a worldwide literary figure after the publication and subsequent film adaptations (like Guys and Dolls) of his Broadway short stories in the 1930s, but before, during and after that time he was first and foremost one of America’s greatest newspaper columnists.

The Editor: Paul Duncan has edited and written over 150 books achieving sales of over 1 million copies worldwide.

This EXPANDED 2ND EDITION contains over 50 more pages of additional Damon Runyon articles and contemporaneous fight reports.
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