The Prizefighter and the Playwright
Gene Tunney and George Bernard Shaw
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The curious story of the unlikely relationship between a champion boxer and a celebrated man of letters.
Gene Tunney, the world heavyweight-boxing champion from 1926 to 1928, seemed an unusual companion for George Bernard Shaw, but Shaw, a world-famous playwright, found the Irish-American athlete to be "among the very few for whom I have established a warm affection." The Prizefighter and the Playwright chronicles the legendary -- but rarely documented -- relationship that formed between this celebrated odd couple.
From the beginning, it seemed a strange relationship, as Tunney was 40 years younger and the men could not have occupied more different worlds. Yet it is clear that these two famous men, comfortable on the world stage, longed for friendship when they were out of the celebrity spotlight. Full of surprises and revelations about Shaw and Tunney, this handsome book is also a fascinating look at their times.
Author Jay R. Tunney is the son of the famous fighter, and his book is a beautifully woven and often surprising biography of the two men. The book evolved from the acclaimed BBC radio program The Master and the Boy.
Fans of George Bernard Shaw will enjoy the little-known stories in this intensely personal account that includes never-before-published images from Tunney's own family collection.
- Firefly Books, December 2011
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