The Great White Hopes; the quest to defeat Jack Johnson by Graeme kent.
This was a very fascinating book. When the black Boxer Jack Johnson won the World Heavyweight title in Australia against the white Tommy Burns in 1908; becoming the first black man to win the title it shocked the white prejudiced society around the world. The quest was on to find the “White Hope” who could bring “their” title back to white society. The book looks at those that challenged or where in the running as white prospects. The book looks at how they ended up. Who eventually took the title of Jackson (the white Jess Willard) and what eventually happened to him.
Jack Johnson didn’t help matters either by flirting with white girls; eventually being married to three of them. The book also looks at the prejudices of the time. It took 30 years for another black man to win the world heavyweight title (Joe Louis); before that black boxers weren’t allowed to challenge for the title. Even when Louis did win the world title in 1937 he was told never to gloat over a win if it was a white boxer, never be seen in the company of white women and to behave like a good “uncle Tom”.
I’ve just started reading “The Reapers are the Angels” by Alden Bell. This is a zombie book; but not the usual zombie book. The story concentrates on Temple, a young girl who makes her way around America, while trying to survive.