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Nurture of the Beast

Tyson by Ellis Cashmore
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Beast. Monster. Savage. Psycho. The glowering menace of Mike Tysonhas spooked us for almost two decades. And still we remainfascinated. Why? Ellis Cashmore's answer is disturbing: whitesociety has created Tyson as vengeance for the loss of privilegeproduced by civil rights.

Cashmore's eviscerating analysis of Tyson's life and the culturein which he grew up, rose to prominence and descended into disgraceprovokes the reader into re-thinking the role of one of the mostcontroversial and infamous figures of recent history. Told as anodyssey-style homeward journey to Tyson's multi-pathologicalorigins in the racially-explosive ghettos of the 1960s, Tyson'sstory is part biography, part tragedy and part exposition. Hisassociations with people like Al Sharpton, Don King and TupacShakur shaped his life; and events, such as the O J Simpson trialand the Rodney King riots, formed a turbulent background for theTyson psychodrama.

Over the course of an epic boxing career, Tyson was transformedfrom the most celebrated athlete on earth to a primal, malevolenthate-figure. Yet, even after being condemned as a brute, Tysonretained a power - a power to captivate. Cashmore reveals that thesources of that power lie as much in us as in Tyson himself.

Wiley; April 2013
288 pages; ISBN 9780745657332
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Title: Tyson
Author: Ellis Cashmore
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