Prizefighting and Civilization
A Cultural History of Boxing, Race, and Masculinity in Mexico and Cuba, 1840-1940
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
In Prizefighting and Civilization: A Cultural History of Boxing, Race, and Masculinity in Mexico and Cuba, 1840-1940, historian David C. LaFevor traces the history of pugilism in Mexico and Cuba from its controversial beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century through its exponential rise in popularity during the early twentieth century. A divisive subculture that was both a profitable blood sport and a contentious public spectacle, boxing provides a unique vantage point from which LaFevor examines the deeper historical evolution of national identity, everyday normative concepts of masculinity and race, and an expanding and democratizing public sphere in both Mexico and Cuba, the United States' closest Latin American neighbors. Prizefighting and Civilization explores the processes by which boxing--once considered an outlandish purveyor of low culture--evolved into a nationalized pillar of popular culture, a point of pride that transcends gender, race, and class.
Chapter One. Introduction: The Problem of Prizefighting in Cuba and Mexico
Chapter Two. Prizefighting and Civilization in the Mexican Public Sphere in the Nineteenth Century
Chapter Three. "Who Will Say We Are Not Progressing?": Cuba, Race, and Boxing in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Chapter Four. "Nigger Prizefighters" in Havana: The Transnational Spectacle of Race and Boxing
Chapter Five. "The Revolution Came and Passed Out Gloves to Everyone"
Chapter Six. Marching at the Head of Civilization
Conclusion. Legacies of Domesticating the Exotic in Cuba and Mexico