War in the Ring
Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, and the Fight between America and Hitler
John Florio, Ouisie Shapiro
America’s black boxing champion. Hitler’s favorite athlete. And a world at war.
Joe Louis was born on an Alabama cotton patch and raised in a Detroit ghetto. Max Schmeling grew up in poverty in Hamburg, Germany. For both boys, boxing was a way out and a way up. Little did they know someday they would face each other in a pair of battles that would capture the imagination of the world.
In America, Joe was a symbol of hope to a nation of blacks yearning to participate in the American dream. In Germany, Max was made to symbolize the superiority of the Aryan race. The two men climbed through the ropes with the weight of their countries on their shoulders—and only one would leave victorious.
The battles waged between Joe and Max still resonate today. War in the Ring is the story of these two outsized heroes, their lives, their careers, and the global conflict swirling around them.