Book Reviews and Comments
"Deb, I'm in China doing a series of concerts. Alas, I brought the book Ted wrote with me across the ocean and I just finished reading it. It was a wonderful and informative book on such a wonderful man of dignity and grace. I only wish I would have gotten to know him better. Thank you for including me with this wonderful book. It was totally my pleasure. Ted, you did great."
"During my own journey as a lifelong follower and fan of boxing, I can remember first reading about Tony Zale at the age of about 8, and reading about how he emerged the overall winner from his three bloody wars with Rocky Graziano. I would go on to read as much as I could about both of these fighters, and remember my puzzlement when I found so little literature on Zale, in comparison to that upon Graziano. In many ways, this is a boxing biography that I have been waiting for ever since I first read the name Tony Zale, as a wide-eyed eight-year old. Having finally read it almost 40 years later, I am happy to say that the wait has been worthwhile. This is a biography which I feel positive that the champion himself would have been proud. Much of it is bittersweet, Zale did not have an easy life, and there are some episodes within this book when you feel moved and disturbed upon Zale’s behalf. However, what shines through the pages of this biography, most strongly, is the constant strength of character, which Zale exhibited, even in his lowest times. This man truly had a steely resolve not to give in to the blows of misfortune and fate, and faced the many ups and downs of life with the stoical determination with which he faced his opponents inside the boxing ring.
Despite this steeliness, Zale comes across as having a warm and gentler character beneath the external toughness. Tony Zale emerges from “Tony Zale: The Man Of Steel” as a champion in life, not just in the ring, which is perhaps the greatest compliment that can be bestowed upon anyone. Just like Zale himself, this biography packs a hefty punch, and I would regard it as a must read for anyone who is a serious boxing fan, and especially those who are fascinated by the great champions of Tony’s era, when the top fighters thought nothing of fighting on a monthly basis, and every weight division had just one world champion. “Tony Zale: The Man Of Steel” not only portrays the life and fighting career of Tony Zale, but it also brings the reader back to an era in boxing that will probably never be seen within the sport again.
Hopefully this biography will bring Zale back into the minds of today’s modern boxing fans, and he will be granted the kind of respect and recognition that for so long seemed to elude this iron man of years gone by. Thank you Thad Zale & Clay Moyle for the gift of this book.
If you would like to read my full review, please visit the link:
http://theboxingglove.blogspot.com/2015/02/book-review-tony-zale-man-of-steel.html " -Peter Silkov
"Just wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying the book about Tony.
It's an easy read and very interesting, particularly the parts about his childhood and early career. It's wonderful to learn about the man behind the career. And the pictures are great!!
I always try to tell our son that it's o.k. to admire someone famous based on their accomplishments (whether it's an athlete, movie star, pop singer, etc.) but complete judgment should be reserved until you know about the person behind the scenes. How does he carry himself (humble or egotistical)? How does he treat others (with respect or contempt)? Does he always try to do what's right? Is God and family foremost in his thoughts and actions?
Sometimes it's difficult to explain to a nine-year old, but I plan on handing this book to Brandon one day, to show him an example of a true American hero. Tony seemed to have all the qualities that are sometimes missing in today's "heroes." It's a pleasure to read about the boxer's many successes, but it's equally compelling to understand the type of person that filled those boxing shoes.
Congratulations on the book! It'll no doubt be a great commercial success. But more importantly, I'm sure that Tony would have been extremely proud of the finished product and humbled by your portrayal of his life. The work speaks volumes about his storied ring accomplishments, strong faith, indomitable courage, compassion for others, and the support of a loving family. Although immensely popular during his career, I wouldn't be surprised if the book attracts a whole new generation of fans.
One final comment about the book - Somebody up there likes It. And everyone down here will love it." -Steve Lane
"As an avid boxing fan of many years, I have read many books about our past boxing champions. However, none have equaled the organization, painstaking detail, or personal touch of the “Man of Steel.”
This remarkable work flows chronologically, is well sourced, and easily read. The many personal photos arranged throughout the book both compliment the text and bring the reality of Tony’s story to the forefront. The blow-by-blow details of his many fights including his famous trilogy with Rocky GRAZIANO, are well presented and put you right there at ringside!
But what separates this boxing biography from others is that it does not “pull any punches” in sharing with us the very human side of this great man. It is much more than a conventional “boxer story.” In an honest and down-to-earth fashion, the book portrays Tony Zale as a humble, simple, and faithful man who weathered many personal crises outside of the ring. Some of his toughest battles involved his personal life. On an emotional level, I am certain that many readers will unexpectedly find a common bond with this man and identify with him in some personal way.
Tony Zale was not just a Champion of the Ring, his story clearly illustrates that he was a Champion Human Being…. with a heart stronger than his punch… a true inspiration for all!
In true Tony Zale form, this book is a “right to the body, left to the chin” KNOCKOUT!!!
I’m waiting for the movie……" -Harry Maxwell
"I became interested in athletics and athletes in the mid and late 40's. This was a great era for boxing, and Tony Zale was acknowledged as one of the best. The Zale v. Graziano fights were legendary. Tony Zale The Man of Steel highlights the boxers of this period. Names like Zivic, Graziano, Basilio, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marcel Cerdan amd others made the Golden Era a reality. Tony Zale was the best. Outside the ring he was a dedicated human being and servant to his community. Tony Zale The Man of Steel is enjoyable reading. -- Tony Zale is truly a Champion among Champions. I give it ***** ." - John S.
"I recently finished a wonderful book titled “Tony Zale ; The Man Of Steel”. It was written by Tony’s nephew Thad Zale and the astute Clay Moyle. The first thing that impressed me about this fine book was its attention to detail. The time and effort that went into researching this book jumps off the pages. What also impressed me was the fact that this was not just a book on Tony Zale’s boxing career. It was also about Tony Zale, the man.
Tony Zale was a devout and religious man but he was dealt several issues in his personal life that only his unyielding faith was able to lead him through. Zale was surely a champion inside and outside the ring. Tony is considered by many to be among the greatest fighters to ever wear the middleweight crown. That in itself speaksvolumes about his talent. In this book there are great chapters covering Tony’s fights with Georgie Abrams, Al Hostak, Billy Conn and many others. Also the famous trilogy with Rocky Graziano.
After Tony’s retirement he dedicated himself to helping others. He loved working with kids and in the end Mr. Zale gained the respect and admiration of all who knew him. I highly recommend this book. Hats off to the authors for a job well done. This book will be placed on the “keeper” shelf in my boxing library."
For information on ordering this book, go to www.tonyzale.org
Before Mayweather, Jones and Hagler. there was Tony Zale, The Man of Steel.
The challenges he faced in his family and professional life will make you cheer for this spiritual warrior. This humble, family man was a role model that mentored community youths and served his country while a champion in his prime.
The Man of Steel story pulls you in his journey with pictures to back it up. It's a new classic!
Thad, Clay and Deb did Tony proud." -Dennis Jay Funny
A fascinating journey through the life of a true American icon! Driven by his values of faith and family, Tony Zale lived and taught what it means to be a true champion. Tony's story inspires the reader to set goals and strive for greatness.
Starting out from a small town in Indiana to the bright lights of Chicago, Tony overcame the odds to become a fan favorite and a legend in his own time. The lessons he provides the reader are timeless as we follow him through several dark periods of his life only to emerge into the brightness of making a difference in so many lives. The example of giving back to his community, focusing on the youth in the city, helps each of us understand the true meaning of compassion.
Entertaining, thought provoking and exciting - Tony Zale The Man of Steel should be on everyone's must read list!
Tony Zale gets the book his wonderful career and fascinating life deserve courtesy of boxing historian Clay Moyle and Zale's nephew, Thad. Like all of Moyle's previous works, this book is steeped in love and respect for its subject and for boxing. The attention to detail in terms of research and sources is impeccable and extremely thorough while the collection of photos and other images which appear throughout the book is stunning. The twists and turns of Zale's colourful career are dealt with in engrossing fashion and the book is a joy to read. Highly recommended. ***** -L. G. Williams
"'Man of Steel,' the Zale magnum opus, is a treasure for anyone even marginally interested in sports, 20th Century American history, Polish-American culture, a great human interest story, or nostalgic detail about the Calumet Region or the greater Chicagoland area. The countless photos alone make the book worth its price, and I am very glad I bought one. It is a tour de force by authors Ted Zale and Clay Moyle. Thank you, guys, for doing it." -John Gaski, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Marketing University of Notre Dame
"I grew up on Gary's east side. I went to St. Luke's and Emerson - I loved boxing from the first time my dad took me to the Golden Gloves Bouts. My friends and I worked our hind ends off, dragging railroad ties from the Wabash tracks. It took us four days. We dug holes and set the ties in to make the corner posts. My dad got us some good heavy rope from the mills. We had a great boxing ring. I met Tony when he came to visit neighbors across the street. The Suleskies (I think there was a Tony-Ted-Blackie.) My younger brother went to school with a young Tony - I went with my dad to see the "Steel Harder Than Rock" Parade. It was great and I was so proud -it was after that when Tony came to visit the Suleskies I asked him to sign my autograph book. He did and it's one of my keepsakes." -Bob
"I really loved the book. Having known Tony and Philomena for a number of years, having written stories about Tony Zale, I thought I knew a lot. I really learned so much more reading this book. It was well written, enlightening and a true gem. Ted and Clay deserve all the kudos that come their way. The Man of Steel came alive in their effort. Anyone who loves boxing or human interests must read this wonderful gem!" -Jerry Fitch
"Dad finished the book and wanted me to tell you how much he enjoyed it. He said it was so well written and he was very impressed with it. I am sure it brought back a lot of memories as he said he saw Tony fight on TV and in news reels at the movies!" -Cheree DeGolia
"What a great story and book!!!! Tony Zale was a great fighter and even a better man. I only knew bits and pieces of his life story before this book. It blew me away to read it cover to cover.
Tony's inspirational life had been lost to some degree even with my generation of the Zale’s let alone my children. This book has insured his story to be passed on for generations to come and more individuals to be inspired by Tony’s story."
"I agree with Jerry Davich that the book, Tony Zale, Man of Steel was a knockout. As you may know, I am not an avid reader. It usually takes me several weeks to go through a book. I'm lucky to read three a year. I read Tony Zale, Man of Steel in about 4 days. It held my interest so strongly that I found myself wondering what was going to happen next whenever I wasn't reading it. I'm proud to know the author also." -Frank Wyrick
"Just wanted to let you know that Frank read the book and couldn't put it down. He never reads and read The Man of Steel in a week. He usually takes months to read a book. He hopes they make it into a movie and so do I." -Shelly Harper
"I am not a reader. I picked up Tony Zale The Man of Steel with the sole intention of just looking at the photos and perhaps skimming a few captions. As it turns out, I read the book cover to cover and enjoyed the experience! It kept my attention and gave me great insight into the good man that Tony was. It was interesting to read all the names that I had grown up hearing over the years and learn more about those people. While boxing is not a sport I follow nor relish, this book told me about the lives of the real people involved in it. Well done!" -Fred Schnarr
"I'm just now nearing the end of the book. Tony Zale truly epitomized a boxer of the highest caliber. Unfortunately, the values that he lived by are no longer held by the vast majority of the athletes of today. Having been raised in Gary, IN, the book brought back many memories. It was well written, well researched, informative, but most importantly, a likable book to read. The co-authors did a superb job. Having attended Catholic grade school and high school with author Ted Zale made it even more enjoyable to read." -Darryl Heintz
"I never met Tony Zale, but I do remember the Zale vs. Graziano fights in the late 1940s. I listened to those fights on the radio as a teenager, glued to my chair. They are the greatest fights I ever listened to! Then I find out sixty years later not only was Tony Zale one of our greatest fighters, but more important, a great human being. What an inspiration he must have been to all those around him and a good man too. This is a good book!"
-Moe Hickey, Retired Publisher for The Detroit News
"I am writing this letter to commend Ted Zale and Clay Moyle for their outstanding work in the writing of "Tony Zale The Man of Steel. "
As someone who was an avid boxer in my former days, I have spent many hours in my life following the sport of boxing and the stories in the book rang true as real life scenarios that brought the champion boxer to life as a human being with deep passion for his sport.
The Champ's "rags to riches" story is one for the ages and will be an inspiration for young Americans everywhere who wish to excel in their chosen path in life. I remember Zale's rise to the top and I recall how much I enjoyed following his career. This book helped to bring those memories back to life in an inspirational and celebratory fashion.
I would recommend this book to any sports fan or to just anyone looking for inspiration in their quest to be the best.
With Congratulations" -Ruben A Gurrola, Hawthorne, CA
"I have just finished reading the book on Tony Zale. In a nutshell… I really enjoyed it :)
The balance between factual content based on newspaper / film and the personal anecdotes from Thad is spot on in my opinion. There are plenty of wonderful photos all the way through which literally helped to visualise the person I was reading about. I think this book is unique in the way you and Thad approached it and is a great addition to my small but growing book collection.
On the subject of book collections, reading Zale’s book has given me a real appetite to read Rocky Graziano’s autobiography Somebody Up There Likes Me. I have seen the film starring Paul Newman on a few occasions but have never read the book - it is one that I have never owned. I presume it is easy to obtain a copy of the 1st or 2nd editions from 1955?" -Glenn Wilson, Canterbury, Kent, UK
"Excellent and absorbing read!" *****
“If you see a man undaunted in danger, untouched by passion, happy in adversity, calm in the raging storm, viewing mankind from a higher level and the gods from their own, will you not be moved by veneration?” –Seneca
The great Roman stoic teacher Seneca might have been thinking of a man not unlike Tony Zale when he made the above comment. Though after reading this marvelous book it would be hard to imagine the humble Zale thinking of himself as a god or anyone as being “beneath” him, one cannot finish these pages without coming away with a deep sense of admiration for the way “The Man of Steel” carried himself throughout his life. It was impossible not to root for him at every phase of his life and during every trial he faced and any endeavor he pursued.
I’ve read a ton of boxing books over the decades and this was easily one of the best. What makes this one so different from the rest is that Zale comes out as a hero not so much because of what he did, which is a matter of record, but because of WHO HE WAS. His considerable accomplishments inside the ring are covered in wonderful detail throughout the book. But as gripping as those accounts were, for me they took a back seat to his rich spiritual life, generous heart and deep faith. His life should be used as a guide for young men on how to be a “real man”- Zale was a fighter and a gentleman, a lover but not a lothario, proud but not flashy, relaxed yet disciplined, dapper but not ostentatious. He led by example, not empty talk and he conducted himself with consummate sang froid. All of these sterling qualities made him a top notch role model for the thousands of wayward youths he mentored and guided to becoming successful and productive citizens over the decades.
Words like “moderation” “temperance” and “self-control” constantly came to my mind while reading about Zale and the reader finds himself wanting to be more like him. He ruled his passions, they didn’t rule him. The old adage “true humility is strength under control” had no better living example than this Polish pugilist from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana.
In these angry, over the top offended and reactionary times that we live in the world sure could use a few more Tony Zale’s to show us the way. This one gets a spot in my library, to be reread in the near future." -Douglas Cavanaugh