Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History

Version: Abridged
Author: Jeremy Schaap
Narrator: Jeremy Schaap
Genres: Sports & Recreation, Biography & Memoir, Sports, Biography, Other
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published In: April 2005
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours
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Includes a one-hour interview from 1970 with boxing legend James Braddock!
Lost in the annals of boxing is the sport's true Cinderella story. James J. Braddock, dubbed "Cinderella Man" by Damon Runyon, was a once promising light heavyweight for whom a string of losses in the ring and a broken right hand happened to correspond with the Great Crash. With one good hand, Braddock was forced to labor on the docks of Hoboken. Only his manager, Joe Gould, still believed in him, finding fights for Braddock to help feed his wife and children. The diminutive, loquacious Jew and the burly, quiet Irishman made one of boxing's oddest couples, but together they staged the greatest comeback in boxing history. In less than twelve months Braddock went from the relief rolls to face heavyweight champion Max Baer, the Livermore Butcher Boy, renowned for having allegedly killed two men in the ring. A charismatic, natural talent and in every way Braddock's foil, Baer was a towering opponent, a Jew from the West Coast who was famously brash and made great copy both in and out of the ring. A ten-to-one underdog, Braddock carried the hopes and dreams of the working class on his shoulders. And when boxing was the biggest sport in the world, when the heavyweight champion was the biggest star in the world, his unlikely upset made him the most popular champion boxing had ever seen.
Against the gritty backdrop of the Depression, Cinderella Man brings this dramatic all-American story to life, evoking a time when the sport of boxing resonated with a country trying desperately to get back on its feet. Rich in anecdote and color, steeped in history, and full of human interest, Cinderella Man is a classic David and Goliath tale that transcends the sport.

Reviews (8)

Braddock the Boxer

Written by BJ Strickland on May 3rd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I did not see the movie but was curious about this man. The book was interesting even to someone who does not care for boxing. The interview with him at the end was a particularly nice addition - you can tell a lot about someone from listening to them and Mr. Braddock was unassuming, gentlemanly and confident in his achievements. I'd heard some static about Max Baer's portrayal in this book but there were a number of very complimentary things said & the others seemed truthful, if highlighting some less than stellar behavior (which was not terribly surprising behavior at that). Other than the annoying skips in the disks, I enjoyed the story & commend the author for not indulging in hype, as befits the man himself.


Written by Bruce Bachmeier on December 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Time went very fast listening to this book, although Schaap sometimes repeats himself with the exact same sentences, then other parts weren't presented very clearly. But, I can't complain. I enjoyed it. A good job recounting a great story and I'm thankful for it!

Don't let Schaap narrate another book. Ever.

Written by Erik on November 15th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Jeremy Schaap has written a compelling and interesting account of Jim Braddock and the world of boxing during the Depression. Even this abridged version gave me what I wanted to know. Schaap as narrator, though, is atrocious. Every sentence sounds the same. There's no artistry to the reading whatsoever. He blasts through narrative, quotes, everything with the same non-inflection and sportscasting tone. I realize he's not an actor or professional audiobook narrator, but please, someone give him some lessons on how to read out loud. Painful to listen to what is otherwise a cool story.

Cinderella Man

Written by Gonnabeez on October 18th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great feel good story with fast paced narrative to keep you listening.

Good Information But Very Dry

Written by Anonymous on September 17th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I love the story of James Braddock but this was pretty dry.

Cinderella Man

Written by Anonymous on June 18th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I have to admit, not being a boxing fan, that I was surprised as to how much I really enjoyed this book. Book was historical in nature and focused on the boxers of the time.

Cinderella Man

Written by Anonymous on June 29th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I thought the reading was excellent and the subject captivating. Only problem was some confusion over dates and time. It was somewhat difficult following the chronology. Otherwise, I didn't want to get out of the car!

Drawn out

Written by Anonymous on February 26th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I couldn't finish the CDs, it just didn't capture my attention. The author/narrator did a good job of reading, but the story line was drawn out. I got through about 3 of the 5 CDs and sent it back. Going to rent the movie instead.

Author Details

Author Details

Schaap, Jeremy

Jeremy Schaap is the author of the New York Times bestseller
Cinderella Man. An ESPN anchor and national correspondent, his
work has been published in Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine,
Time, Parade, TV Guide, and the New York Times. He has also appeared on ABC's World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News. He is the son of
the award-winning journalist Dick Schaap.