A Fighter's Heart
9, 10, 11
Biography, Nonfiction, Growing Up, Sports, Boys, American
In 1999, after a series of adventurous jobs—working construction at the South Pole, ranching in Montana, fighting wildfires in New Mexico, and sailing private yachts around the world—Sam Sheridan found himself in Australia loaded with cash and intent on not working until he’d spent it all. He quit smoking and began working out at a local gym, where it slowly occurred to him that now, without distractions, he could finally indulge a long-dormant obsession: fighting. Within a year, Sheridan moved to Bangkok to train at the legendary Fairtex gym with the greatest fighter in muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) history. Driven by a desire to know what only a fighter can—about fear and violence, about the dark side of masculinity, and most of all about himself—he stepped through the ropes for a professional bout. That single fight wasn’t enough. Sheridan set out to test himself on an epic journey into how and why we fight. From small-town Iowa to the beaches of Rio, from the streets of Oakland to the arenas of Tokyo, he trained, traveled, and fought with Olympic boxers, Brazilian jiu-jitsu stars, and Ultimate Fighting champions. This is the chronicle of Sheridan’s quest, part insightful look at violence as a career and spectator sport, and part dizzying account of what it’s like to reach the peak of finely disciplined personal aggression—to hit and be hit. --From Grove / Atlantic
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