With all the negative books being written these days by the children of celebrities, it's unusual to see a "good guy" biography for a change.
Such a book is "Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero" by Joe Louis Barrow Jr., son of the longtime heavyweight boxing champ.Not that Barrow doesn't see the flaws, though.
Barrow and co-author Barbara Munder have written an intimate biography about the popular athlete that shows the warts as well as the wonder of this great fighter.
They haven't spared any of Louis' foibles: his extramarital entanglements that led to three divorces, his addiction to drugs and alcohol and his mental illness in later years, and his terrible business sense that left him virtually penniless at the end of his life.
But this is also a story of a good-natured, generous man who donated two of his heavyweight purses to service relief funds during World War II and gave money to those in need.
This is the good, bad and ugly of Louis' life, but always with a loving touch. Barrow's adoration for his father shines through every page. The book is also given a wider perspective through first-person accounts by people who knew Louis.
Best of all are Barrow's family stories and anecdotes about his dad. Who better than his son to tell them? - Ken Rappoport (AP).