The notion of Jewish boxers sounds like a contradiction in terms. American Jews in popular view have been portrayed as a people who settle their differences through wit, guile and rhetoric, not violence. But the Jewish warrior goes back as far as biblical times, the Maccabeees and up to the modern, doomed resisters of the Warsaw Ghetto. There was a time when Jews dominated the sport of boxing in numbers greatly exceeding their proportion in the population. From 1900-1945, there were some 20,000 Jewish amateur and professional boxers. Between 1910 and 1940 there were 27 Jewish world-boxing champions.
Their names themselves tell a rich story: “The Ghetto Wizard” (Benny Leonard). “The Jewel of the Ghetto” (Ruby Goldstein). “The Pride of the Ghetto” (Jack Bernstein). “The Fighting Dentist “(Leach Cross). “The Galloping Ghost” (Sid Terris). “The Little Hebrew” (Abe Attell). Al “Bummy” Davis. “Schoolboy” Bernie Friedkin. Yussel “the Muscle”. “Kingfish” Levinsky. These fighters were the sons of the Eastern European immigrants who filled the ghettos of grimy Eastern cities where the competition for hard manual labor was as brutal as the work itself. For a four-round fight (a mere 12 minutes of boxing), a young Jewish boy could earn fifteen dollars, more money than his father did in a week. Initially many fought under Irish or Italian names because to their parents, boxing was a shondeh, a shame, worse than being a gangster. The late Charles Gellman, a veteran boxer of 100 fights, was chased around the ring by his father with a two-by-four after his father saw his son’s face on a barbershop fight poster. It ended well when his father realized that he had been earning money for college. In fact, Charlie went on to an illustrious career as a doctor and founder of hospitals in New York and Israel.
Beyond their role as boxers, many Jews were participants on the sidelines of American boxing - as managers, trainers, cut men, promoters and journalists. In 1910, a 17-year-old tailor’s son, Jacob Golumb, founded the Everlast Company, a name synonymous with boxing. The Ring magazine was founded by the great Nat Fleischer in 1922. The sweet science itself, what we know today as the modern style of boxing, was invented by a Spanish Jew, Daniel Mendoza, in England in the late 19th century. Mendoza invented a highly sophisticated improvisation of movement, feints and “slips” to counter an opponent’s attack and avoid injury. Countless schools appeared to teach this new “science” and boxing achieved a new respect in the upper reaches of European society, culminating in the Rules of the Marquis of Queensbury and the legitimacy of boxing as a noble art form.
"The birth of Cubism in Paris in 1907 had a major impact on Modern art. Young artists all over the world were mesmerized by Picasso's and Braque's radically new representations of reality. In Prague however, the response to Cubism was internationally unique, extending far beyond the realm of fine arts. Working alongside painters and sculptors in 1909, a group of avant-garde architects and designers created the all embracing style of Czech cubism. Crystalline shapes, sharp points, electrifying zigzags are their trademarks. Their distinctive angular style appears in everything from apartment blocks and villas to furniture, ceramics, book covers and even set designs for the stage.
The definitive publication on the Czech Cubist Movement, this beautifully designed, scholarly volume collates important articles written on the subject by Czech and other experts from around the world.
Scholars will find essays here on all aspects of the movement, while casual readers can feast their eyes on its 750 illustrations.
Extracts from correspondence and art manifestoes, as well as personal life stories, bring this extraordinary period to life Helping the reader to understand the special circumstances that led a handful of radical artists to create a uniquely Czech form of cubism."
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"Vlastislav Hofman (1884-1864) was a respected designer, painter and architect. He was a leading figure among Czech Modernists who came on the scene in the first decade of the twentieth century. A close associate of Karel and Josef Capek and many others who, with an eye on developments in Europe, helped to change the face of art in their country, his works were published in avant-garde journals at home and abroad. Together with pavel Janek and Josef Gocar he was one of the chief proponents of Czech Cubism - an internationally unique movement that applied the ideas of Cubist art to architecture and the decorative arts. It was in theatre, however, where Hofman’s many talents came together. Working with foremost Czech theatre directors he designed sets and costumes for hundreds of plays and operas, attracting international attention. The Current publication, lavishly illustrated with contributions by leading scholars, is the first to show Hofman’s life and works in all dimensions."