Unbeaten: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Rocky Marciano (Paperback)Mike Stanton (author)
'Unbeaten is one of the best sports books I've read in years.' - Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life.
Rocky Marciano accomplished a feat that eluded legendary champions like Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson: he never lost a professional fight. When he retired in 1956, his record was a perfect 49-0.
Unbeaten is the revelatory biography of one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Marciano rose from abject poverty and a life of petty crime to become heavyweight champion and one of the most famous faces of his era. He dominated boxing in the decade following the Second World War with a devastating punch, which he nicknamed the 'Suzie Q'.
But perfection came at a price.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Mike Stanton tells the story of Marciano's pursuit of greatness through the era of guys and dolls, hustlers and gamblers, glamorous celebrities and notorious mobsters. But boxing had its dark side, particularly at a time when Mafia mob bosses like Blinky Palermo and Frankie Carbo wielded immense power behind the scenes.
Marciano retired while still in his prime, weighed down by the mob's influence in the sport he loved. For the last decade of his life, he wandered America, disillusioned, untrusting, hiding his money, cheating on his wife, consorting with the mobsters he had loathed for corrupting his sport, until his death in a plane crash in 1969, the night before his 46th birthday.
Unbeaten by Mike Stanton is the story of a remarkable champion, a sport that was rotten to its core, and a country that may have expected too much from its heroes.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 282 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 27 mm
Unbeaten is one of the best sports books I've read in years. It's an irresistible story told with beautiful writing and a keen eye for detail. Like Rocky Marciano, this book hits hard and won't be easily put down -- Jonathan Eig, author of Ali, A Life
[A] hero whose portrait, complete with his fight-by-fight record, has hung behind the espresso machine in Soho's Bar Italia for as long as anyone can remember . . . No subsequent heavyweight champion has matched Marciano's record of going through a career without defeat -- Richard Williams * Guardian *
A meticulously researched and eminently readable account of the only heavyweight champion who exited a savage sport with a perfect professional record * Boston Globe *
It's an amazing story, and it was an amazing era, and it's all captured brilliantly . . . Stanton is so good at describing the shadowy boxing world of Providence in the late 1940s and early '50s you can almost smell the cigar smoke * Providence Journal *
Mike Stanton has done phenomenal work . . . Rocky Marciano was a legendary champion . . . his story transcends sports; it's a window into a changing America in the middle of the twentieth century -- Nicholas Pileggi, author of Wiseguy and Casino
This meticulously documented and well-written work should stand for both fans and scholars as Marciano's definitive biography -- Library Journal (starred review)
Uniformly superb . . . Mike Stanton has told the champ's life story in greater detail and with more pleasing complexity than any previous book has done * Open Letters Review *
A satisfying biography of the iconic boxer, the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated. . . [and] a sturdy contribution to the literature of the sweet science, reminding readers of a bygone era of fighting * Kirkus Reviews *
This is a story that has waited a long time to be told this well, by a gifted writer and reporter like Mike Stanton . . . Finally, at long last, the real Rocky has met his match -- Mike Lupica * New York Daily News *
Mike Stanton's book on Rocky Marciano teems with marvelous scenes and revealing insights into the chaotic boxing world of the unbeaten heavyweight champ -- David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi
Plug into the excitement, the jostle, the sweat and the grind, the 1950s action when boxing was important and the heavyweight champion of the world was the king of all athletes . . . This book is wonderful -- Leigh Montville, author of Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971
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