The best Books King of the World Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero release There were mythic sports figures before him Jack Johnson Babe Ruth Joe Louis Joe DiMaggio but when Cassius Cl
The best Books King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero release There were mythic sports figures before him Jack Johnson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio but when Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene from his native Louisville in the 1950s, he broke the mold He changed the world of sports and went on to change the world itself As Muhammad Ali, he would become the most recognized face on the planet Ali was a transcendent athThere were mythic sports figures before him Jack Johnson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio but when Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene from his native Louisville in the 1950s, he broke the mold He changed the world of sports and went on to change the world itself As Muhammad Ali, he would become the most recognized face on the planet Ali was a transcendent athlete and entertainer, a heavyweight Fred Astaire, a rapper before rap was born He was a mirror of his era, a dynamic figure in the racial and cultural battles of his time This unforgettable story of his rise and self creation, told by a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, places Ali in a heritage of great American originals.Cassius Clay grew up in the Jim Crow South and came of athletic age when boxers were at the mercy of the mob From the start, Clay rebelled against everything and everyone who would keep him and his people down He refused the old stereotypes and refused the glad hand of the mob And, to the confusion and fury of white sportswriters, who were far comfortable with the self effacing Joe Louis, Clay came forward as a rebel, insistent on his political views, on his new religion, and, eventually, on a new name His rebellion nearly cost him the chance to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world.King of the World features some of the pivotal figures of the 1960s Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, John F Kennedy and its pivotal events the civil rights movement, political assassinations, the war in Vietnam Muhammad Ali is a great hero and a beloved figure in American life King of the World takes us back to the days when his life was a series of battles, inside the ring and out A master storyteller at the height of his powers, David Remnick has written a book worthy of America s most dynamic modern hero.. The best Book King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."-- Muhammad AliPre-Review Smack Talk:I will review this sucker tomorrow. David Remnick better quake. I'm coming for this book. I read it from cover to cover. I know the words better than Remnick could hope to ever know it. Of course he wrote it, because the words ran from him. I know Remick's words better than his mamma knows him. Tomorrow. Yes. I'll give this book till tomorrow. And then I'm coming. I'm coming with a pen. I'm coming with poetry. I'm coming with the majesty of Muhammad Ali. The G.O.A.T.. The Greatest. The man who fought a nation. The man who fought for a people. A pretty man. So pretty. He was a butterfly that Nabokov couldn't catch or pin. Tomorrow I will take on this book and take my piece in three rounds. But the Man and the book will have to wait for tomorrow. Tonight I've got a bed to contend with. And I'm the greatest sleeper of all time.Weight in:I read the hardback version of Remnick's book, which was 306 pages (326 with acknowledgement, sources, and index). My edition was a 4th printing, 1st Edition from 1998. I also had the Audible/audio version which I debated about listening to because it was abridged and I really hate abridged books (in any format). No. Hate is far too simple a word. I despise abridgments. I abhor them. I abase and disdain them. It is a lazy and cheap way to do an audio-recording and all you end up with is an ugly, deformed homunculus of the original. Go all the way or go home David. I mean for GOD's sake Remnick. Why would you let people abridge the audio version? Your audio choice was just stupid. It was a 6-hour abridgment which usually translates into cutting 1/3 to 1/2 of this book. So, I ended up listening while I did work around the house and at points where it jumped, I'd rn over to the book and read the gaps. Seriously. I had to read the gaps because you couldn't pay for Dick Hill to read the whole thing or Brilliance Audio thought it was only going to sell if you cut it from 12 hours to 6? Stupid. Reckless. Chump. IT wasn't like this was some William T. Vollmann 3000+ word book on Violence. This was a 300 page book on Muhammad Ali. The Greatest. Do you not respect yourself or do you not resect Ali? Or did you just let the producers talk you down?And yes Remnick, I know you are the editor of the New Yorker, but really man. Besides a nice bio of Obama and your Russia books, what have you done for me lately? Get out there and write something more. Or hell, don't write. Just stop cutting. Stop leaving the bloody body of your own work on the audio floor.Round 1: Poem by AliClay comes out to meet Liston And Liston starts to retreatIf Liston goes back an inch farther He'll end up in a ringside seat.Clay swings with his left, Clay swings with his right,Look at young Cassius Carry the fight.Liston keeps backing But there's not enough roomIt's a matter of time Till Clay lowers the boom.Now Clay lands with a right, What a beautiful swing,And the punch raises the Bear Clean out of the ring.Liston is still rising And the ref wears a frown,For he can't start counting, Till Sonny goes down.Now Liston is disappearing from view.The crowd is going frantic,But radar stations have picked him upSomewhere over the Atlantic.Who would have thought When they came to the fight?That they'd witness the launching Of a human satellite.Yes the crowd did not dreamWhen they put up the moneyThat they would see A total eclipse of the Sonny!I am the greatest!Round 2: The Greatest!The book does a nice job of painting a broad picture of Muhammad Ali (and young Cassius Clay) while focusing primarily on the Liston - Clay fight that made him famous. It touches on a lot of the major points of Clay's life: Growing up in Kentucky, Finding Boxing, High School, the Olympics, The Louisville Syndicate, First Fights, the Liston Fight #1 (FL), the Liston Fight #2 (ME), the Nation of Islam, the Women of Ali (or the Pelvic Missionary) Malcolm X, the Vietnam War, Floyd Patterson, Later Years, Parkinson's Disease.Some of these were new things, but many were just told well and told with details that were both surprising and intimate. I loved the whole early relationship between Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. It is hard to walk away from this type of book without loving the subject a bit more, no matter where you started from.Round 3: The Knock-outThe end of the book was sad and beautiful. Remnick talking with an Ali that is saddled with age and disease. The Man, however, is also at peace. Remnick does a good job of exploring not just the limits of boxing, but the largeness of man:There is a beauty in it--there is terrible beauty in battle, too, particulary for the noncombatant--but if you meet enough former boxers, if you try to decipher their punch-drunk talk, you begin to wonder. What beauty is worth this?Ali is an American myth who has come to mean many things to many people: a symbol of faith, a symbol of conviction and defiance, a symbol of beauty and skill and courage, a symbol of racial pride, of wit and love. Ali's physical condition is shocking not least because it is an accelerated form of what we all fear, the progression of aging , the unpredictability and danger of life. In Ali we see the frailty even of a man whose job it was to be the most fearsome figure on the globe.Coda: RIP!Asked how he would like to be remembered Muhammad Ali once remarked: "I'll tell you how I'd like to be remembered: as a black man who won the heavyweight title and who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up at him and who helped as many of his people as he could--financial and also in their fight for freedom, justice, and equality. As a man who wouldn't embarrass them. As a man who tried to unite his people through the faith of Islam that he found when he listened to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And if all that's asking too much, then I'd guess I'd settle for being remembered only as a great boxing champion who became a preacher and a champion of his people. And I wouldn't even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was."
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