View Full Version : America on the Ropes - Johnson/Jeffries

12-30-2005, 11:26 AM
Any see this new book ? Does it have anything new that we have all not seen over and over, especially after the Burn's doc ? Please let me know.

12-30-2005, 01:36 PM
Evan on the Pat Putnam Johnson/Jeffries thread that book is reviewed as well as others. I'll bring the thread back to the top of the page.


12-30-2005, 02:13 PM
I have the book and highly recommend it. It didn't contain a lot of information that I didn't already know, but there was certainly some, and I've read books like Jeffries 'Two Fisted Jeff', and some others that many people may not have access to. What I really like about the book is that it is full of so many great pictures and many that I hadn't ever seen before. It's also a real nice quality book. It's a monster though, weighing 8 lbs.

12-30-2005, 02:15 PM
One more comment I should have made. I thought the information in the book was very well organized and thorough. It is a nice addition to anyone's boxing book collection.

01-01-2006, 10:29 AM
Does it have many of the Percy Dana photos taken of the day ? I'm interseting in knowing if the photos are more related to the fight or sociological photos of the time.

01-01-2006, 12:23 PM
Yes, it contains many of the Dana photos. The majority of the photos are of the fight and the fighters, but there are some of the other as well.

01-01-2006, 01:09 PM
Sounds great...thanks.

01-01-2006, 06:13 PM
On another thread, I wrote that the December
28, 2005 Hollywood Reporter had an article
about that the Librarian of Congress added
the film of the Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries
bout to the National Registry of Films.

- Chuck Johnston

01-01-2006, 08:01 PM
you know what is strange, This bout had more inpact on America history than any other bout.

Sure we have Louis Schmling, but were there any roits because of one or the other fighter being the winner??
Sure there was a war and all, but that war was going to happen with or with out the Louis 'Schmling bouts.

Johnson Jeffies had race roits, I being born in 81 and all, relly has a some what hard time understaning why they would killed each other over a boxing match.

01-02-2006, 01:29 PM
One of the most amazing things about Jack Johnson was that he was never killed ... when you consider the time he lived in it is facinating that he lived to the age of 68...

01-02-2006, 11:53 PM
he was KILLED in a car crash.

But it is pretty amazing he made it 2 68 with his life style in that era.

01-03-2006, 07:31 AM
I was refering to by the hands of another human being.

Roberto Aqui
01-03-2006, 09:23 PM
[[[[But it is pretty amazing he made it 2 68 with his life style in that era. ]]]]]

Whatever Johnson was, he was not stupid. He knew his way around the South and the North and money lubricated his passage along with some Texas charm and a little Step'nFetchit appetizer.

Still, after the Jeffries riots, it's amazing he wasn't strung up at some point. It's really a testament to the tolerance of the bulk of the citizens of this country, who may not have liked him, but weren't willing to go to the extreme step of hatred.

01-03-2006, 10:08 PM
You nailed it...that plus some dumb luck...

01-05-2006, 10:43 PM
roberto... disagree in re to tolerance being the factor in wh/ he avoided bodily harm from others...

sure there were a % of whites who actually admired johnson back then (probaly more then the convenient current martyr angle that people like k burns like to frame)...

lets face it, regardless of his lifestyle... he was as remarkable a horatio alger story as there was then (& still one of the most remarkable in the history of this nation) rising as a son of a slave off the sweat docks of galveston all the way to the high cotton $$$ & fame of the jefferies fight during the worst violence of the jim crow era... that in any fair minded observer of the time brought w/ it a level of respect...

but to say that inturn equated to a safety zone as he lavishly enjoyed his belt in the states thru '12... is to ignore the larger prevelant % of people (% impossible to guage, but certainly in the majority), even some in his own race, in those times who harbored seething hatred and resentment against the man...

as you well know the klan then wasnt the closet fringe group it is today... it was a well organized network throughout the usa, wh/ esp in the south was even endorsed by mainstream politicians and papers... to think many of those individuals didnt want to see him in between a different set of ropes... is to ignore the blatant violence they unleashed on so many during that era...

bottomline, many murmors of threats & plots i'm sure were thrown about ... tolerance isnt what saved johnson from these being played out...

instead, imo it was 2 clear factors wh/ johnson himself may have shrewdly (as you partially pointed to in re to his knowledge in how to move in all circles) knew himself was vital in staking:

first, the safety of fame itself... holding the most coveted sports position of its time meant people were around him at all times (not all enemies) .... thus trying to take the guy out in that sense was very risky.... not only b/c of witnesses... but also b/c the title itself, even w/ the racism of his time... would demand in itself some level of public justice and fair play... again, not b/c of johnson.. but b/c of the title itself... thus anyone thinking people would look the other way if johnson was shot, knew better when they balanced w/ that the level of power johnson had by holding the title itself...

secondly, johnson himself was big, powerful, in great shape, carried pistol heat & was as bold & fearless as napoleon... that in itself created a level of fear in presence even to the most radical of racist in that time.... lets face it, many had to think... what happens if your shot doesnt take this guy out?... one thing they knew about johnson, he certainly didnt carry fear... my quess is many thought twice b/c of either fisted or worse, armed retaliation itself by the hands of the galveston giant himself.

01-05-2006, 11:24 PM
handtomouth...absolutely brilliant and 100% on the money ! :eek Finally , someone else here who actually gets just what this facinating man had to endure....

just look at that famous photo of Johnson surrounded by dozens of white men at the signing of the Jeffries contract. Jeffries sits with his back turned to Johnson, a complete act of disrespect. It is one of the few photos I have ever seen where Johnson actually looks a bit ill at ease...imagine what his life must have been like...too many judeg him as if he lived by and under todays standards...keeps me rom feeling one iota sorry Jeffries when I see that exceptional photo of Johnson standing over the bloodied and humilated Jeffries at the KO, with the mass audience silenced in disbelief ...

I find the man to be exceptional, all things considered.

Roberto Aqui
01-05-2006, 11:31 PM
Let's remember though that Johnson liked to travel by car and passed through many a podunk town and many who didn't follow boxing didn't know Johnson from Adam. He was just this big, flashy, duded up nigger roaring around in his fancy sports cars passing out money like candy to children. He was also working the surprise factor here as few had any experience with that type.

Now it could also be that sometimes he passed himself off as a negro barnstormer baseball promoter like some of his friends were. Those guys had a lot of pull in communities and were widely welcomed when they came through.

I also suspect in later years he limited his forays into the South although I have no way to substantiate that. At the end of the day, I still say it's a testament to the overall character of the American people that he wasn't lynched. He may have been hated, but was usually at least respected when he wasn't his dazzling sleight of hand best.

01-06-2006, 12:39 AM
Johnson fought and trained in front of hostile crowds from his challanger days until post Willard...this was in the days when the Klan was still lynching black men for simply looking at a white woman. I think he was incredibly lucky that he never came across the one nut it took to plug him with a bullet.

It's true that the vast majority of men then might have held rage in their hearts abut would never act. However, it was far different than it is today. The crowds openly taunted him with racial slurs. This was out in the open.

I feel Johnson was quite lucky. I'm sure his street and common sense helped quite a bit as well.

01-06-2006, 02:57 PM
Again we must remember that the Johnson v Jeffries bout was perfect propaganda for both the right and left for their agendas. Jack Johnson lived his whole life without ever being attacked by anyone save the beating he took for Boston toughs for his opinion on John L. Sullivan. He could have been killed at anytime and his muscles and the gun he carried meant little if any organized group or nut wanted him killed. Again, most of the hysteria is built up to serve a agenda of sorts. What makes JOhnson interesting is that on either end of opinion was either love or hatred of intense kind, but Im sure most of America could have cared less.

01-07-2006, 05:49 PM
Of course Johnson could have been killed at any time. That's why it is a minor miracle that he was not.

In an age when racially motivated lynchings were common, the Klan marched openly and proudly, fifty years before Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movements, one generation after SLAVERY, in an age where a twenty year old kid could have had parents who could have owned and whipped their slaves in front of them, Jack Johnson was beating up white men for the greatest title in sports and basically banging white women in front of the world...this was the world Johnson was fighting in...it was no conspiracy...his audacity was only superceded by his luck.

Has anyone seen that clip where Ali is interviewed and speaks about Jack Johnson ? It was brilliant and hilarious..

01-07-2006, 08:24 PM
I always wondered if Jim Jeffries wanted to punch those idiots in the mouth personally ,who put on the public pressure to return to the ring and fight Jack Johnson.
Can you imagine the peer preure put on Jim Jeffries,especially since he was by then a old far*t and let himself go to seed,like gaining over 100 pounds of blubber.
You cant tell me that didnt shock his system.
BTW IMOP,That why Roy Jones Junior was never the same after the fight with John Ruiz,except Roy had to let his bulk muscles atrophy apparently.

01-07-2006, 09:50 PM
I think it was acombination of elements.

First of off, as always, money. There is never enough and while Jeffries had more than many think, the thought of another huge payday always makes you think.

Secondly, he had huge pride. After hearing everyone under the sun praise him as a superman, it began to stroke his ego. He simply lost perspective and bought into the hype.

I do believe that going into the fight Jeffries said he was in the best chape possible, expected to win but would have no one but himself to blame if he lost.

However, there is little doubt that he was seduced into the fight. He did not persue it as Ali persued Holmes.

02-25-2006, 09:47 AM
I purchased the book and have a few comments:

A noble effort. A nice job on the writing.

There are many candid and posed photos I never saw before anywhere. Great stuff on Jeffries, Choynsky, Corbett. Not a ton as you might expect but still some I have never seen and I have been watching forever.

However, one big problems. A vast amount of the photos are very blurry, as if they were copies of copies of copies. I know this because I have seen copies of most of them in far better condition. It was a huge letdown to see these photos so inky and almost smugged. I don't know if this was the only way the author and the publishers could get access but honestly they look like crap and it was very disappointing. This was after all a picture book.

02-25-2006, 05:43 PM
Yes,that one of the set backs of instant technology as far as photo reproduction.I think they send them by e-mail or something.
I like it when quality books reproduce photographs from the original negatives.