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Hardcover book by Todd D. Snyder (Author)
Fifty years after he coined the iconic phrase Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, Drew “Bundini” Brown remains one of boxing’s most mysterious and misunderstood figures. His impact on the sport and the culture at large is undeniable. Cornerman and confidant to two of the greatest fighters ever—Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali—Brown lived an extraordinary American life.
After a poverty-stricken childhood in Jim Crow Florida, Brown came of age traveling the world as a naval steward. On being discharged, he settled in New York City and spent wild nights in the jazz joints of Harlem, making a name for himself as the charismatic street philosopher and poet some called “Fast Black.” He married a white woman from a family of Orthodox Jewish immigrants, in dramatic defiance of 1950s cultural norms, and later appeared in films such as the blaxploitation classic, Shaft.
In Bundini, Todd Snyder digs deep into Brown’s expansive story, revealing not only how he became Muhammad Ali’s “hype man”—the prototype for his successors in that role, especially Flavor Flav of Public Enemy—but also, as boxing’s greatest motivator, a model for others who seek to inspire, in any endeavor.
“Mr. Snyder writes lyrically, and his research appears to be impeccable: It’s hard to imagine that anyone has slipped through his interview net…When Bundini died—in September 1987, at age 59—Ali was abroad and unable to attend the funeral, but he sent flowers with a card that read: ‘You made me the greatest.’ Many members of the boxing fraternity, George Foreman and Larry Holmes included, think that Ali wasn’t exaggerating. Mr. Snyder’s affecting portrait will convince the rest of us as well.”—Gordon Marino, Wall Street Journal
“[Bundini] has now been rescued from the margins of history by an excellent, new book. In Bundini: Don’t Believe the Hype, Dr. Todd Snyder revisits Brown’s role, putting flesh on the bones of his legend, offering a warts and all, three-dimensional portrait of the man behind so much of the doggerel central to the Ali mythology…Fascinating, entertaining.”—The Irish Times
Dr. Todd D. Snyder is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing at Siena College in Albany, New York. He received a B.A. and an M.A. in English from Marshall University (2004, 2006) and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Ohio University (2011). Snyder is the author of The Rhetoric of Appalachian Identity and 12 Rounds in Lo’s Gym: Boxing and Manhood in Appalachia. His scholarly research draws from a variety of fields: rhetoric and composition, community literacy studies, communications studies, cultural studies, and critical theory. Snyder also teaches a course at Siena College in hip-hop studies and contributed a chapter to The Oxford Handbook of Hip-Hop Studies. The son of a West Virginia boxing trainer, Snyder’s work is also intimately connected to his life experience, the theme of working class masculinity serving as primary focus of his writing projects.
Publisher: Hamilcar Publications; 1st edition (August 25, 2020)
Hardcover: 344 pages
Item Weight: 1.6 lb (0.73 kg)
Dimensions: 6 x 9 x 1 inches (15.2 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm)
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