Gerald Early The Muhammad Ali Reader

ISBN 13: 9780062233578

The Muhammad Ali Reader

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9780062233578: The Muhammad Ali Reader

Muhammad Ali—arguably the finest athlete of the twentieth century and incontestably one of the most famous Americans of his time—is known the world over, not only for his boxing prowess, but for his rebellious courage and resilience against controversy. He has been both underdog and champion, villain and prince, playboy and staunch Muslim, exalted American and punished conscientious objector. He was the ultimate athlete—Heavyweight Champion of the World—and today confronts the physical debilitations of Parkinson's disease.

A one-of-a-kind volume, The Muhammad Ali Reader collects more than thirty of the best writings about this boxing legend in an incredible anthology by the greatest about The Greatest. This is the amazing story of Muhammad Ali—and the world's reaction to him—told by a stellar array of authors, athletes, and social commentators. Floyd Patterson defends Ali's right to criticize America's participation in the Vietnam War; Malcolm X explains how Ali went from "entertainer" to "threat" with his declaration as "a man of race"; Ali himself shares some intimate and definitive thoughts in a Playboy magazine interview; and Gay Talese gives us a front seat on a ride to Cuba, where Ali meets up with Fidel Castro.

Organized by decade, chapters begin with a few opening remarks by Ali himself, and a spectacular sixteen-page photo insert captures The Champ in all his guises. With an introduction by Gerald Early, one of the finest contemporary writers on boxing, The Muhammad Ali Reader confirms Ali's standing as one of the most controversial and charismatic Americans of our time.

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Review:

There is no mistaking the marvels of the Ali Reader. It begins with the cover, which leaves you wordless--literally; there is nothing on it except the face of The Greatest linking you in his gaze, toying with your curiosity, and inviting you to step inside.

And what's inside is a knockout collection of 30 essays (and a poem from Nobelist Wole Soyinka) on the most remarkable sportsman of the 20th century, written by a stable of some of the most powerful contemporary literary heavyweights ever assembled in one ring: A.J. Liebling, Tom Wolfe, George Plimpton, LeRoi Jones, Murray Kempton, and Irwin Shaw spar with the Ali of the '60s and his metamorphosis from Cassius Clay; Norman Mailer, Pete Hamill, Gary Wills, Hunter Thompson, and Ishmael Reed pick up the saga in the '70s; and Jose Torres, Joyce Carol Oates, and Gay Talese bring the myth into the present.

From his entrance onto the world stage in 1960, Ali exuded a fascinating mixture of personality and skill, which he combined with an ability to mesmerize, charm, infuriate, and cajole. He has always been a writer's dream subject. His inherent poetry seemed to demand nothing less than worthy efforts from the legion of scribes who tried to corner him in prose; Ali possessed the goods that bring writers up to his level.

There are several surprises here, particularly in the early rounds, in which both former heavyweight champion Floyd Paterson (humiliatingly taunted by Ali in and out of the ring) and Jackie Robinson defend his embrace of the Black Muslims. Hamill writes poignantly about what Ali's individualism and his principles cost him in the eyes of the white public: "He had, quite simply, broken too many rules on the way to becoming a man." Thompson provides a dizzying chronicle of "the brown Jay Gatsby." Mailer writes searingly on ego and the body. And Oates, one of the most insightful of all observers of the Sweet Science, sums up his "Parkinsonian" present of muscular shakes and slurred speech with a single, thrilling line: "Who is to presume to feel sorry for one who will not feel sorry for himself?" Ali's own marvelous voice rings clear in a long Playboy interview as well as a shorter, but no less substantial, Q&A for Sport magazine conducted by former light heavyweight titlist Torres.

Though Ali is always on center stage, you don't need to like boxing--or even The Greatest--to be held in the spell of the Reader's literary wallop. The power of its pens should rivet your interest the way Ali himself used to hold ringsiders spellbound. --Jeff Silverman

About the Author:

Gerald Early is the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies, and director of the Center for Humanities at Washington University. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the editor of several volumes, including This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s; The Sammy Davis Jr. Reader; Body Language: Writers on Sport; Speech and Power; Lure and Loathing: Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation; and My Soul's High Song: The Collected Works of Countee Cullen, as well as the author of The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism; One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture; Daughters: On Family and Fatherhood; and Tuxedo Junction.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Muhammad Ali-arguably the finest athlete of the twentieth century and incontestably one of the most famous Americans of his time-is known the world over, not only for his boxing prowess, but for his rebellious courage and resilience against controversy. He has been both underdog and champion, villain and prince, playboy and staunch Muslim, exalted American and punished conscientious objector. He was the ultimate athlete-Heavyweight Champion of the World-and today confronts the physical debilitations of Parkinson s disease.A one-of-a-kind volume, The Muhammad Ali Reader collects more than thirty of the best writings about this boxing legend in an incredible anthology by the greatest about The Greatest. This is the amazing story of Muhammad Ali-and the world s reaction to him-told by a stellar array of authors, athletes, and social commentators. Floyd Patterson defends Ali s right to criticize America s participation in the Vietnam War; Malcolm X explains how Ali went from entertainer to threat with his declaration as a man of race ; Ali himself shares some intimate and definitive thoughts in a Playboy magazine interview; and Gay Talese gives us a front seat on a ride to Cuba, where Ali meets up with Fidel Castro.Organized by decade, chapters begin with a few opening remarks by Ali himself, and a spectacular sixteen-page photo insert captures The Champ in all his guises. With an introduction by Gerald Early, one of the finest contemporary writers on boxing, The Muhammad Ali Reader confirms Ali s standing as one of the most controversial and charismatic Americans of our time. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062233578

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Gerald Early
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Muhammad Ali-arguably the finest athlete of the twentieth century and incontestably one of the most famous Americans of his time-is known the world over, not only for his boxing prowess, but for his rebellious courage and resilience against controversy. He has been both underdog and champion, villain and prince, playboy and staunch Muslim, exalted American and punished conscientious objector. He was the ultimate athlete-Heavyweight Champion of the World-and today confronts the physical debilitations of Parkinson s disease.A one-of-a-kind volume, The Muhammad Ali Reader collects more than thirty of the best writings about this boxing legend in an incredible anthology by the greatest about The Greatest. This is the amazing story of Muhammad Ali-and the world s reaction to him-told by a stellar array of authors, athletes, and social commentators. Floyd Patterson defends Ali s right to criticize America s participation in the Vietnam War; Malcolm X explains how Ali went from entertainer to threat with his declaration as a man of race ; Ali himself shares some intimate and definitive thoughts in a Playboy magazine interview; and Gay Talese gives us a front seat on a ride to Cuba, where Ali meets up with Fidel Castro.Organized by decade, chapters begin with a few opening remarks by Ali himself, and a spectacular sixteen-page photo insert captures The Champ in all his guises. With an introduction by Gerald Early, one of the finest contemporary writers on boxing, The Muhammad Ali Reader confirms Ali s standing as one of the most controversial and charismatic Americans of our time. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062233578

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