Author Mike Silver: Official Homepage

Events

Wednesday June 14, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas
7900 Northaven Road
Dallas, Texas, 75230
Event sponsored by the Dallas Jewish Historical Society
Lecture and Power Point presentation by author Mike Silver
Books available for sale

Sunday April 30th, 2017 at 1 p.m.
Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Stamford
1035 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, Connecticut 06905
(Sponsored by The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County)
Lecture and PowerPoint presentation by author Mike Silver
Light Refreshments at 1 p.m. Program begins at 1:30 pm
Books available for sale

Sunday April 23rd, 2017 at 10 am.
Temple Beth Sholom
171-39 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, New York, 11358
Lecture and PowerPoint presentation by author Mike Silver
Breakfast will be served
Books available for sale. No reservations necessary.

Thursday January 5th, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Manhasset Public Library
30 Onderdonk Ave., Manhasset NY 11030
(corner of Onderdonk and Northern Blvd. One block east of Plandome Rd.)
(Library has parking lot.)
Mike Silver presents lecture and PowerPoint presentation.
Sponsored by Long Island Book Collectors and LIABDA
Books available for sale.

Sunday, December 11th, 2016 at 1 pm.
Jewish Museum of Maryland
15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore MD., 21202
Lecture and PowerPoint presentation by author Mike Silver
Books available for signing

Thursday, December 8, 2016 7:30 pm
Congregation L'Dor V'Dor - Oakland Little Neck Jewish Center
49-10 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck, NY 11362
Lecture and PowerPoint presentation by author Mike Silver
Collation to follow!
Books available for signing


Sunday November 13th, 2016, 10 a.m.
Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington
6125 Montrose Road
Rockville, Maryland, 20852
Mike Silver presents lecture and PowerPoint presentation
Books available for signing.

Thursday November 10th, 2016, 6 p.m.
Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester
1200 Edgewood Ave.
Rochester, N.Y. 14618
"Beer, Books & Boxing"
Mike Silver presents lecture and PowerPoint presentation
Books available for signing
NOTE: The following article appeared in THE ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE newspaper on November 9,2016:

BOOK SPOTLIGHTS JEWISH ATHLETES IN GOLDEN AGE OF BOXING
by
Leo Roth

With his fast hands and sterling image, Benny Leonard was one of boxing’s first major stars in the early 1920s.

The son of Jewish immigrants born on New York’s East Side, Leonard held the lightweight championship for a record seven years. His fight against Lew Tendler in 1923 was the first title fight at Yankee Stadium, drawing nearly 60,000 fans. He earned more than $1 million in his career, a huge sum for his time.

In this context, it’s easy to comprehend why Leonard was considered to be more famous than even the great physicist Albert Einstein when it came to celebrities of Jewish descent during their day.

“Albert Einstein was well-known of course and certainly to be counted but less than two dozen people can understand the theory of relativity,’’ boxing author and historian Mike Silver says. “Everyone can understand a punch in the nose.’’

Helping others understand an important but little discussed era in American sport, one that cut and stitched our country’s social fabric, was the impetus for Silver’s latest 15-round study of the “sweet science.’’

The celebrated author of the seminal 2009 work The Arc of Boxing, which examined the modern fighter vs. his counterparts of yesteryear and settled many a barroom argument, has now published Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing.

Silver will be at the Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave., at 6 p.m. Thursday for a “Beer, Books and Boxing’’ event, part of the 24th annual Lane Dworkin Jewish Book Festival.

From about 1890 to the 1950s, more Jewish athletes (about 3,000) competed as boxers than in all other professional sports combined. Silver’s exhaustive research shows that at one point there were 29 Jewish world champions and more than 160 Jewish boxers ranked among top contenders in all weight divisions.

The likes of Leonard, Tendler, Barney Ross, “Slapsie’’ Maxie Rosenbaum, Abe Attell, Joe Choynski, Kid Lavinsky, Ted Kid Lewis and Max Baer helped Jewish immigrants assimilate by earning the attention and the respect of their fellow American citizens during a time when boxing held sway over sports fans like the NFL does today.

Any young Jewish man from humble means who laced on gloves was refuting the stereotype they were all “bending over books studying or being accountants,’’ Silver says.

And every fighter, particularly if they were successful, helped fight anti-Semitism. In turn, Jewish fight fans packed arenas to help grow the "cauliflower'' industry with Yiddish language newspapers covering the matches.

“We’re not just talking about a sport. This is much deeper than that,’’ Silver says. “Boxing takes on political ramifications, racial ramifications, social ramifications that other sports simply cannot match, and it has a lot to do with the one-on-one, primal aspects of the sport.’’

This same sociological phenomena applied to Italians, Irish and later on, African-Americans, other persecuted groups. Fifteen rounds of courage had a way of stoking pride and putting prejudice against the ropes.

“You came to respect the other group,’’ says Silver, who noted one of the great rivalries of the day pitted Ross against Irishman Jimmy McLarnin, a trilogy that packed Madison Square Garden twice and the Polo Grounds once. “Look at what the great Joe Louis did for black people in the 1930s and 1940s. He really was the most important civil rights icon of the 20th century and boxing produced that. Because it was so important to the culture of the time it had the impact of changing people’s perceptions.’’

In smaller cities such as Rochester, fighters such as world featherweight contender Joey Goldberg and lightweight Ossie Sussman were having the same impact on society. In the Golden Age, the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor had a major impact on boxing and boxing on it.

“The local fighters didn’t have to establish a national or international reputation for young Jewish kids in those cities to look up to them,’’ Silver says. “These fighters were heroes in their neighborhoods because boxing was a very popular sport and considered a test of character.’’

Even though their families may not have approved. There were many instances where Jewish boxers adopted an alias.

Albert Rudolph became "Kid'' McCoy, Morris Scheer was "Mushy'' Callahan, Gershon Mendeloff was Ted "Kid'' Lewis and Dov Rosofsky fought as Barney Ross, a World War II hero. Even Benny Leonard tweaked his ring name from Leiner.

“Jewish fighters were brave and tough,’’ Silver says, “but they did fear their mothers.’’

Maybe as an indication of how far we’ve come, American sports writing today will not mention an athlete’s race or ethnicity unless integral to the story. But there was a time when referring to the “Negro’’ baseball star Jackie Robinson was commonplace or when an athlete’s heritage was used in promotion.

Louis was the “Brown Bomber.’’ Attell was “The Little Hebrew.’’ In Rochester, Goldberg was known as “The Jewish Jewel’’ and Sussman “The Jewish Buzzsaw.’’

“You do get a twinge reading about it because of today’s air of political correctness,’’ Silver says. “But you have to understand, it would be impossible to write about the history of boxing without bringing in the fact it is a very ethnocentric sport. You had your Jewish boxer stepping into the ring with the Star of David on his trunks. You had the Irish boxer with the shamrock and the green robe and his group cheering for him. The newspapers played that up.’’

Boxing historian and author Mike Silver gives talk
Boxing historian and author Mike Silver gives talk on role of Jewish fighters in Golden Age Thursday at 6 p.m. at JCC. (Photo: PROVIDED)
Silver’s passion for boxing was incubated as a boy growing up in Queens in the 1950s and ‘60s. He even trained a few years as an amateur at Stillman’s Gym, one of boxing’s temples, alongside guys he watched on TV on Gillette’s Cavalcade of Sports.

“I had just gotten interested in boxing and it was like a match that lights a fuse,’’ Silver says. “Suddenly I was really interested and wanted to learn everything I could. So I went to Stillman’s. It’s like a kid who likes baseball becoming the Yankees bat boy.’’

Silver went on to become a boxing promoter and inspector for the New York State Athletic Commission and, of course, a prolific writer for The Ring Magazine, The New York Times and many websites. A member of the International Boxing Research Organization, he has worked as a historical consultant and on-air commentator on 19 documentaries broadcast by ESPN, HBO, PBS, the History Channel, A&E and Madison Square Garden television.

His program Thursday will include a power point with historical photos gleaned from more than 200 that appear in Stars in the Ring. The handsome coffee table style book also includes fighter biographies, sidebars and fun-to-read lists. One can open to any page and step back in time for as long as desired.

“From the age of 14 boxing was the major interest in my life and I was accumulating knowledge and facts, talking to fighters and trainers,’’ Silver says. “You could say my whole life was in preparation for writing these two books.’’

Like Benny Leonard and his 70 knockouts, he sure did it well.

Sunday October 9th, 2016, 2 p.m.
Yiddish Book Center
1021 West Street
Amherst, MA.
Mike Silver presents lecture and PowerPoint presentation
Books available for signing

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25th, 2016, 5 p.m.
BOSTON FILM FESTIVAL, AMC Boston Common, 175 Tremont St.
Screening of documentary "UNFORGOTTEN: THE STORY OF PAUL PENDER"
Q & A with Director Felice Leeds, Boxing Author & Historian Mike Silver, former world champion Tony DeMarco, Boston Sports Museum Curator Richard Johnson, Neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Cantu and Paul Pender Jr.

SUNDAY MAY 15th, 2016
Temple Israel, 140 Central Avenue, Lawrence, Long Island, N.Y.
Lecture and PowerPoint presentation by Mike Silver author of "Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing: A Photographic History"
Time: 10:30 am to noon.
Books available for signing.


TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2016
Book Launch Reception and Lecture:
Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Location: The Eldridge Street Museum, 12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002
Inquiries and RSVP: http:/​/​www.eldridgestreet.org/​events

Relive an era when fabulous boxers named “Slapsie Maxie” Rosenbloom, Ruby Goldstein (“The Jewel of the Ghetto”), and Leach Cross (“The Fighting Dentist”), literally fought their way out of poverty to become instant heroes to a generation struggling to enter the social and economic mainstream at this reception, lecture, and book signing celebrating the publication of historian Mike Silver’s “Stars in the Ring: Jewish Champions in the Golden Age of Boxing” (Lyons Press).


Ring 10 Annual Gala
Date: September 13th 2015 Time: 11 a.m to 4 p.m.
Location: Marina Del Ray, Bronx, N.Y. (Throgs Neck).
Honorees:
Arthur Mercante Award: Pete Santiago
SALDA Award: Teddy Atlas
Bert Sugar Award: Mike Silver
Jose Torres Award: Ron Lipton
Steve Belloise Award: Alex Ramos
Special Guests: Howard Davis, Jr., Lou Savarese, Tyrell Biggs, Henry Winchman, Danny Aiello.
Tickets: $ 135
Info: Ring10NY.com

JULY 10th, 2011
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF BOXING (AAIB) ANNUAL LUNCHEON.
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL, WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK. TIME:12 NOON.
AUTHOR MIKE SILVER AWARDED "THE ROCKY MARCIANO WRITERS AWARD" FOR HIS BOOK
THE ARC OF BOXING: THE RISE AND DECLINE OF THE SWEET SCIENCE

APRIL 3, 2011
9:45 a.m.
FLUSHING-FRESH MEADOWS JEWISH CENTER
193-10 PECK AVENUE
FRESH MEADOWS, N.Y. 11365
SUNDAY MORNING BREAKFAST CLUB
GUEST LECTURER MIKE SILVER
WILL SPEAK ON THE PREVALENCE OF
JEWISH BOXERS DURING THE FIRST
HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY

DATE: September 19, 2010
TIME: Doors will open 2 p.m., Banquet commences at 3 p.m.
WHERE: FLORIAN HALL, 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester, MA.
EVENT: VETERAN BOXERS ASSOCIATION RING 4 ANNUAL BANQUET
GUEST OF HONOR: BOXING HISTORIAN & AUTHOR MIKE SILVER
RECIPIENT of the RING 4 CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
AWARD.
PRICE: $60.00 per ticket. Send check made payable to Ring 4
c/​o John O'Brien, 41 Summit Avenue, Hull, MA. 02045
Contact #'s: Bobby Franklin, 617-484-0263; Mickey
Finn, 617-838-0055; John O'Brien 617-968-7068

February 18th, 2010 @​ 4pm
Professional Boxing: Its Past and Present, Special Guest Speaker: Mike Silver
In the Woody Tanger Auditorium of Brooklyn College Library
Reception to follow in room 142
Special exhibit and program brought to you by Brooklyn College Library's Archives and Special Collections & The Friends of Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive