BOOK REVIEWTracy CallisIN THE RING WITH MARVIN HARTBy Adam J. Pollack
Adam J. Pollack’s fifth book, In The Ring With Marvin Hart, is an excellent work. It is well-researched and well-written. As with his other books, Pollack relies on local next day newspaper reports to discuss each bout and surrounding events. The book contains fight facts and details, many of which have never been included in earlier descriptions. The result is that we now have a more detailed picture of the combative, two-fisted fighter from Kentucky than has ever been put forth.
Besides discussing Hart's fights and opponents, Pollack presents a rich understanding of the times in which Hart fought and the difficulty of measuring up to the image of Jim Jeffries - much as Jimmy Goodrich experienced in following Benny Leonard, as Ezzard Charles and "Jersey" Joe Walcott had in following Joe Louis and Larry Holmes dealt with in coming after Muhammad Ali. The awesome image of Jeffries by the people of that time had much to do with the downgrading of Hart's skills - and he was an attacker and hitter, indeed.
Adam's discussions of George Gardner, "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jack Root, Joe Choynski and Jack Johnson are thought-provoking and his accounts of Hart's battles with Gardner, O'Brien, Root, Choynski, Johnson and others are closely analyzed and take the reader to ringside. The discussion about O'Brien and Fitzsimmons confirms our views about Bob and his immense skills and punching power even though he is older at the time.
This book is clearly the authority on Marvin Hart. No other work compares or comes close. It is interesting as well as informative. Not only will the reader come away with a greater appreciation of Marvin Hart as a fighter but the skills of a number of other talented fighters will also become more appreciated. True boxing fans and real historians will want to read it. As usual, as a result of this book, I will update my Hart record on the Cyber Boxing Zone.
Adam J. Pollack is a staff writer for the Cyber Boxing Zone, chair of USA Boxing’s Judicial and Rules and Regulations Committees, a boxing coach, and an attorney living in Iowa City, Iowa.
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In the Ring With Marvin Hart
Adam J. Pollack
77 photographs/sketches, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
247 pp. hardcover (6 x 9) 2010
This is the fifth book in Adam J. Pollack's series on the heavyweight champions of the gloved era. It is a thoroughly researched boxing-detailed biography on Marvin Hart, the most extensive work ever written about the fighter.
This the the first biography ever written on Marvin Hart, the forgotten heavyweight champion from the South. Hart gained popularity as a middleweight and light-heavyweight in the Louisville, Kentucky area before moving up to heavyweight and defeating the highly touted top contender Jack Johnson. Hart then won the vacant world's heavyweight championship in a fight to the finish against Jack Root. Like other books in Pollack's "In the Ring" series, this book is meticulously researched using next-day local primary source materials, and details Hart's boxing career.
Callis description --
Hart was not a stylish boxer, being somewhat awkward and clumsy in technique, but he was durable and underrated in his overall ability; He was a tough, determined fighter who could withstand punishment; In addition, he was a relentless attacker who carried firepower in each fist
He was not a physical specimen to behold but he was strong, stubborn and persistent - and kept at the task - always hammering away; Hart's most impressive wins came in 1905 - against Jack Johnson in San Francisco and Jack Root in Reno
During his career, Hart defeated such men as Johnson, Root, Peter Maher, John "Sandy" Ferguson, Tommy West, Dan Creedon, Kid Carter, Jack Bonner, Tony Ross, John Wille, Dick O'Brien, Al Weinig and Billy Stift