Wil Haygood’s THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SUGAR RAY ROBINSON is an almost literary portrait of one of the most revered boxers ring history. It is an intimate portrait of Robinson’s life and career blended with the cultural details of America during his lifetime. The reader is exposed to Robinson’s love/hate relationship with the “sweet science” as well as his desire to immerse himself in the world of jazz and the Harlem cultural scene. We are presented with the details of his major fights, though in a rather disorganized chronological fashion that at times leaves the reader somewhat confused. But Haygood’s blend of music, civil rights, and the generosity of his subject is well done. What is sad is that as Robinson’s boxing career should be ending, like others, he is forced to retire and unretired because of financial woes. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a truly in magnificent life that reads much more than a sports biography.

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