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Dancing Shoes is Dead: A Tale of Fighting Men in South Africa

Gavin Evans

Gavin Evans became obsessed with boxing at the age of six. Infatuated with the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis, Gavin devoured everything he could find on the sport and determined to become the heavyweight champion of the world, in spite of being the smallest kid in the class. After a less than wildly successful junior career, Gavin resigned himself to the role of spectator rather than participator in the sport he loved, becoming a journalist, often with a ringside seat. But, growing up in South Africa, it was politics that filled the void, becoming Gavin's new Goliath, and it was politics into which he poured his energy and his pent-up frustrations. Recruited in the ANC underground, Gavin's active role in the struggle against apartheid would frequently place him in far greater danger than he had ever faced in the ring. Detentions, assaults, 5am meetings, spy-catching, murder attempts, all these became a part of Gavin Evans' new world. A memoir of twin passions, boxing and politics, set against the backdrop of South Africa under apartheid, Dancing Shoes is Dead is a vivid, incisive and poignant portrait of two disparate yet strangely connected worlds, and of the characters, brave, brutal and often bizarre, who inhabit them both.

470 pages
Doubleday, 2002
218mm 135mm

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  • Seller location: Napier, Hawke's Bay, NZ

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