POSTPONED--Toby Smith, Crazy Fourth: How Jack Johnson Kept His Heavyweight Title and Put Las Vegas, New Mexico, on the Map

This event has been postpponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

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In 1912 boxing was as popular a spectator sport in the United States as baseball, if not more so. It was also rife with corruption and surrounded by gambling, drinking, and prostitution, so much so that many cities and states passed laws to control it. But not in New Mexico. It was the perfect venue for one of the biggest, loudest, most rambunctious heavyweight championship bouts ever seen. In Crazy Fourth Toby Smith tells the story of how the African American boxer Jack Johnson--the bombastic and larger-than-life reigning world heavyweight champion--met Jim Flynn on the Fourth of July in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The civic boosters, bursting with pride in their town, raised a hundred thousand dollars for the fight, pushing events like the sinking of the Titanic to the back pages of every newspaper. In the end, once the dust finally settled on the whole unseemly spectacle, Las Vegas would spend the next generation making good on its losses.

Toby Smith is a former sportswriter for the Albuquerque Journal. He is the author of nine previous books, including Kid Blackie: Jack Dempsey's Colorado Days and Bush League Boys: The Postwar Legends of Baseball in the American Southwest (UNM Press). He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Event date: 
Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Bookworks
4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Crazy Fourth: How Jack Johnson Kept His Heavyweight Title and Put Las Vegas, New Mexico, on the Map Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780826361431
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of New Mexico Press - March 15th, 2020

Bush League Boys: The Postwar Legends of Baseball in the American Southwest Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780826355218
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of New Mexico Press - November 15th, 2014