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Chapter Chats: Sparring with Smokin’ Joe


  • Date:
  • November 4, 2021

  • Time:
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Thursday
  • FREE


Moderated by Joe Weinstein.




Just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of The Fight of the Century (Ali-Frazier I), Sparring with Smokin’ Joe provides a penetrating, candid look at legendary champion Joe Frazier. While the more flamboyant, media-accessible Ali continues to receive the lion’s share of the ink on their epic rivalry, Glenn Lewis rectifies that imbalance by focusing on the man whose ferocious fighting spirit enabled Ali to be viewed as truly great.


Based on several months Lewis spent in the gym, on the road, and in verbal tussles with Frazier as part of his inner circle in 1980, the book includes compelling, never-before-heard anecdotes that give new insight into Frazier and make readers reevaluate their impressions of Ali. Lewis argues that Joe actually won their second fight and even questions whether the wrong man got the mantle as “The Greatest.”


Glenn Lewis is Director of Journalism at York College, CUNY and Professor of Print Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Lewis is also a veteran journalist and author whose celebrity profiles have appeared in publications including Sport, Car & Driver, Publishers Weekly, US and The Philadelphia Inquirer, among many others. He covered Joe Frazier during a crossroads in the iconic champion’s life and career, and waited four decades to tell the story. Lewis has been an on-air media and journalism expert for Fox 5 TV-News. He lives in New York City.


The Book Festival is supported by the the Jewish Book Council, the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center, and the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties.