Review of Max Baer & the Star of David on New Pages

In June of 1933, American boxer Max Baer and German heavyweight Max Schmeling, a former world champion, fought a highly publicized bout in front of sixty thousand fans in New York’s Yankee Stadium. Schmeling was Hitler’s favorite fighter and was favored to win. In the days leading up to the fight, Schmeling told American reporters that stories of Germany’s persecution of Jews were untrue. Max Baer, in a move that was part publicity stunt and part sincere act of defiance, sewed a large Star of David to his trunks. Baer’s subsequent victory over Schmeling became an international symbol of Jewish resistance to fascism. One year later, Baer, still with Star of David on the left leg of his trunks, became heavyweight champion of the world.

Boxing is the “sweet science” of beating the living daylights out of another human being. The writing of successful historical fiction is the sweet science of turning real-world figures into believable, fascinating characters and of molding the known events of their lives into dramatic stories. Max Baer and the Star of David, Jay Neugeboren’s fifteenth published book of fiction, is an exciting blend of fact and fiction. .

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