Interview: Boxing and Writing Binnie Klein

For interview month we met up with author Binnie Klein.  She is releasing a book about her journey through life which includes some time in the ring. I suggest you all give it a read. She sounds like a really nice woman with an amazing story. Below are links if you want to purchase it. Enjoy!



1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been a psychotherapist in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut since 1984.  As a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, I supervise mental health trainees.  I trained at Smith College School for Social Work.  I wear a few other hats, as well – I’ve been writing and publishing (poetry, essays, articles) since the 1970s.  I produce and host a weekly music and interview show on WPKN, a listener-supported radio station in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  I’ve interviewed many authors and personalities.  Some of these interviews can be heard at My show airs Thursdays from 9 AM until Noon and can be streamed online at

2) What is your book about?

“Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind” (Suny Press) is a memoir about my unexpected midlife journey into the world of amateur boxing.  I was quite the unlikely contender – quite sedentary – and certainly did not come from a background of athleticism, growing up in Newark, New Jersey in the 1950s.  One day, while training with my coach John Spehar, a former middleweight state champion, and quite a history buff, I asked: “John, where there ever any Jewish boxers?”  I was amazed and fascinated to hear about the 26 champions between 1910 and 1940.  For reasons I could not fathom at the time, the existence of these Jewish athletes was very important to me, and led me to research their lives and their achievements.  Along the way, I came in contact with aspects of my own heritage and history that had been long buried.

3) Are you going on a book tour? How is the book being received?

I’ll be doing select readings and signings.  So far, reactions to the book have been wonderfully positive.  I was also fortunate to have terrific blurbs, among them famed sports historian Bert Randolph Sugar, and novelist Katherine Weber.  The Forward published an excerpt, and asked me to write an article covering the recent Salita vs. Khan fight in England.  These pieces can be read at my website.

4) What is your Jewish life like?

I’m not particularly observant, but I feel a tremendous connection to my ancestors and to the struggles of the Jewish people.

5) Where can the TGR world find your book?

My book can be ordered through Amazon via my website

Also other online bookstores, and independent bookstores.

Thank you to Binnie Klein for helping us out here at TGR. Good luck.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine


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