"FOR JIMMY, WHO TAKES A GAME WITH ATHLETES AND MAKES A WORLD WITH PEOPLE": EXCEPTIONAL PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION FIRST EDITION OF THE HARDER THEY FALL, INSCRIBED BY SCHULBERG IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION TO LEGENDARY SPORTSWRITER JIMMY CANNON
SCHULBERG, Budd. The Harder They Fall. New York: Random House, (1947). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition of a boxing classic by Schulberg, author of On the Waterfront, a highly memorable presentation/association copy inscribed in the year of publication by him to Hall of Fame sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, "For Jimmy, who takes a game with athletes and makes a world with people, With admiration and warm regards. Budd. July 15, 1947." This was the basis for the 1956 film starring Bogart in his final screen role.
Screenwriter, novelist and boxing fan, Schulberg followed the success of his Hollywood novel What Makes Sammy Run? (1941) with this powerful look at corruption in the world of boxing. On publication The Harder They Fall won high praise from The New York Times reviewer: "Schulberg has created a brilliant novel—the first of the modern prize ring, I believe, to be a worthy contender for literary novels… Schulberg owes something to Hemingway… but the final product is a Schulberg original." Schulberg "was the only non-boxer the World Boxing Association named a living legend of boxing" (Washington Post). Director Mark Robson's 1956 film adaptation starred Bogart in his final screen role. "First Printing" stated on copyright page. Schulberg and Jimmy Cannon were in the International Boxing Hall of Fame: Cannon was inducted in 2002 and Schulberg in 2003. A sportswriting legend, "Cannon ranks with Ring Lardner and Red Smith among writers who changed the face of the sports page…. It can be argued that when Cannon was at his best nobody was better, and he was at his best covering boxing" (Sports Illustrated). Cannon recalled that he "once wrote a piece saying Hemingway was a sportswriter and he sent me a letter thanking me for it. Ernest and I were very good friends… he might have been a heavyweight champion… he could hold his own with a lot of tough guys" (New York Magazine). Hemingway returned the tribute, saying of Cannon: "He's an excellent sportswriter and he's also a very good writer aside from sports… He's able to convey the quality of the athlete and the feeling, the excitement, of the event" (New York Times). Cannon was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1986.
A fine presentation copy with an especially distinctive association.