Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling and a World on the Brink
David Margolick, Author . Knopf $26.95 (423p) ISBN 978-0-375-4
Fought with thunderclouds of war on the horizon, the 1938 heavyweight rematch between Detroit's Joe Louis and Germany's Max Schmeling qualifies as the sort of sporting event that coalesces into a symbolic moment with much larger themes. The African-American Louis's success and demeanor were an unsubtle rebuke to the Aryan theories of race; the affable Schmeling, for his part, would be shoehorned into the role of "Nazi Max," despite the uneasiness of the fit—later that year, on Kristallnacht, he would courageously protect two German Jews.
Reviewed on: 07/11/2005