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Come Out Swinging:
The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason's Gym
Lucia Trimbur

Book Description | Table of Contents
Preface [in PDF format]

ENDORSEMENTS:

"A brilliant, humane, and critically attentive book."--Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London

"What is work? Trimbur's exquisite ethnography reveals postindustrial New York as a socially and spatially segregated landscape shaped by disappearing jobs for--and relentless criminalization of--modestly educated people of color. By developing their bodies as worksites and instruments, the boxers Trimbur describes enact complex understandings of the contradictory struggles to remix their labor with the external world. These sobering insights give me hope."--Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California

"This book is a gem. Incisive, deeply principled, and acutely observed, it yields nothing to the idea that Gleason's Gym should be seen as an exotic place. The product of extensive fieldwork, Trimbur's writing overflows with insights into work, sport, masculinity, and above all 'the realization of the colonial model within the metropolitan heartland.'"--Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic

"Come Out Swinging is an extraordinary work of ethnography and theoretical reflection in the tradition of DuBois's understanding of double consciousness, Sartre's realization of 'the fight,' and Fanon's insights about the transformative force of engaged practice. The first emerges from Lucia Trimbur's double training in sociology and African American studies, which she brings together with unusual grace and skill as she draws out the contradictions of a society premised on narcissistic models of power in which those who rule dictate conditions over the very bodies of the dominated. The social reach of the white female and male amateur boxers who live out their fantasies of physical strength to match their political and social location illustrates and echoes American power relations in ways that strain traditional clichés about the intersections of class, gender, race, and sexuality. Trimbur's provocative, poignant, and often brilliant reflections enable the reader to see beyond what is at first seen. The unexpected, constantly transformative dimensions of human relations are brought to the fore in a genuine portrait of what it means to bring the human element, wrought with contradictions, to the study of a social world paradoxically based on brutal compassion. This is a must-read for scholars and general readers interested not only in the complexity of sports in postindustrial society but also in what it means to fight for one's humanity under rapidly changing conditions of identity and meaning."--Lewis R. Gordon, University of Connecticut and Rhodes University, South Africa

"Read this book for old times and new times. You will learn about the bodily disciplines and human practices, some surprisingly intimate, of boxing culture, but also about how a working-class sanctuary of racialized masculinity, the boxing gym, has been engulfed by postindustrial social and economic relations. A book about boxing and the perplexing inequalities and cultural inversions of the late-modern age, Come Out Swinging powerfully shows the unique ability of ethnography to shed light on and connect the macro and the micro."--Paul E. Willis, author of Learning to Labor

"In this rich and engaging book, Lucia Trimbur invites her readers into the everyday world of Gleason's Gym. With its beautifully rendered observations and conversations, along with its lively style, this is a terrific book that does a marvelous job of revealing the complexities of the postindustrial landscape."--David Grazian, author of Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs

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File created: 4/18/2014

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