Finishing this book took much longer than other books I d been reading recently, which is a testament to the density of material presented here Though Thomas Hauser is listed as the author of this book, I d argue that it s co written by everyone interviewed for this massive tome.Hauser presents his narrative Studs Terkel style, often with lengthy monologues on his subject The story is presented chronologically, with chapter titles such as Origins and The Birth of Ali I enjoyed getting to know characters such as Don King, Bundini Brown and Howard Bingham, scurrilous, outrageous, steadfast The spectrum of people that Ali surrounded himself with was Technicolor But what this book offers most of and does best for the leisurely reader is a fuller portrait of a man coming of age in his times.We re presented with a man who entered the public spectrum as a boxer, a gold medal Olympian, someone who has grown into a myth, an icon, an important historical figure The narrative is thorough in filling in the details left out of this mythic story, such as the politics behind the stripping of his world championship title after his draft dodging conviction and what he did in the three year interim Who knew that he traveled the college lecture circuit and that he surrounded himself with mooches that took advantage of him every chance they got I had no idea how deep and true the rivalry between Joe Frazier and Ali was, nor how in financial strait s the champ was, despite good hearted and competent intervention.To help tell this story, Hauser relies on extensive testimony from a strange variety of sources Angelo Dundee Ali s trainer to James Michener who met him once , Arthur Ashe a fellow African American sports figure paving the way to Ted Kennedy There are personalities that have nothing to do with boxing, and who are not part of Ali s inner circle Bryant Gumble, for example who talk at length about Ali s influence and persona When reading these, I often think they got put in the book because they were black.Which highlights the point that Hauser is a white journalist evenThough I haven t read his previous books which include Black Lights, about boxing , I take it into consideration because a majority of this book is focused on race, the Black Muslim movement and many of its key players are of a different race than the author How does this play out The chapter on Ali s conversion into the Nation of Islam The Birth of Ali is awfully unedited, going into length about the belief system Both Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad are quoted for pages on end Jeremiah Shabazz gets four plus pages, uninterrupted If Hauser had beenfamiliar with the subject matter, he would have been able to edit it into areadable primer It was the only part I skimmed over Why not write it with the same cursory hand that wrote Frazier s backstory The strategy is echoed oncelater on in the book, in exploring Ali s current diagnosis of Parkinsonism The medical records are very detailed and unnecessary Again, it feels as if the author erred on the side of TMI This bit of info the modern reader islikely to know about anyway.Often times Hauser over indulges in his adulation, but I suppose one can t help it Even though there are the Joe Fraziers in the world, who will always have quarrel with Ali and who could blame him , by the final pages, the reader is left to think that Muhammad Ali is one of the best loved personalities on the face of this planet So in all, I learned a great dealthan ever possible, had Hauser done a straightforward narrative, especially about the people involved in Ali s life It s a lot to read thought and halfway through, I was ready to put the book down but I hadn t even reached the Rumble in the Jungle, much less the Thrilla in Manila. i came of age after ali s reign in the ring so while i was always aware that he was a great man, it wasn t until i read this book that i finally learned how he completely revolutionized the boxing world and how he unflinchingly gave away his enormous fortune this book is well written and combines numerous perspectives from those closest to ali whether they wished him well or otherwise. Thirty Years After He Burst Onto The Scene As A Gold Medal Light Heavyweight At The Rome Olympics, Muhammad Ali Is Still A Magical Figure His Accomplishments In The Ring Were The Stuff Of Legend The Two Fights With Sonny Liston, When He Proclaimed Himself The Greatest And Proved He Was The Three Epic Wars Against Joe Frazier The Stunning Victory Over George Foreman In Zaire And The Shocking Loss And Final Win That Made Him The First Man To Win Back The Heavyweight Crown Twice, Fourteen Years After He Had First Claimed It Ali S Life Has Been Played Out As Much On The Front Pages As On The Sports Pages With Brilliant Immediacy And Unprecedented Candor, Bestselling Author Thomas Hauser Recreates This Extraordinary Man In The Words Of ThanOf Ali S Family Members, Opponents, Friends, World Leaders, And Others Who Have Known Him Best, The Real Muhammad Ali Emerges Deeply Religious, Mercurial, Generous, A Showman In And Out Of The Ring This is the greatest story ever told of possibly the greatest man who has ever walked this earth Thomas Hauser has succeeded in putting together a unique compilation of different peoples accounts of the Muhammad Ali The book is written to match the gravitas of his life story This book will definitely make the level headed person rethink his life and embark on several reforms in order to lead a better life Muhammad Ali s journey from being an uneducated black man in a then prejudiced America to the most loved and recognized person in the world, is truly inspirational The book contains detailed accounts of all his memorable fights, the rumble in the jungle, the thrilla in manila and the fight against Sonny Liston It also includes the remaining Ali Frazier fights which was regarded as the greatest rivalry of the century Ali stood as an icon fighting society s norms and paved the way for many people who then began to believe they could be great cause of Ali. Muhammad Ali is a legend, not only in America, for being a great athlete, and a black celebrity who took a stance on the Vietnam war but also in the Muslim world and in Africa This is so, because his accomplishments were a source of pride, for both groups, in a post colonial world, when Ali surfaced on the world stage Ali was once the most famous man alive, without a shadow of doubt The younger global crowd may not know him today, but back in his day, even the village folks in the Arab world, knew him, because his fights were shown on cinema since TV was not common.That said, this book does not cover his life in a chronological fashion, rather it simply states various people s views on Ali For outsiders, this quickly get boring, particularly, if you don t know much about Ali s life.I don t think I will be finishing this book. This was a cracking read.Sure, there are flaws it definitely goes soft on Ali on a few things his strict adherence to Elijah Muhammad, at a time where the Nation of Islam was preaching strict segregation Ali converted to Sunni Islam in the 70s and now practices Sufism his philandering his attitude to Ernie Terrell and especially Joe Frazier That said, I don t believe we d have the range of voices in this book, without the overall positive approach and tone that the author has brought to the project, which has clearly encouraged just about all the major figures in this story to give first hand accounts It s also not as if the author doesn t allow negative views there are people in this story who genuinely don t like Ali, albeit that just about everyone here finds something positive to say about him and it s clear that just about everyone considers him a remarkable figure, in the way he conducted his life in the public eye.The version I read also stops in the early 90s This may be a blessing, given Ali s physical deterioration since it freeezes Ali in a moment in time, where he s still got a moderate amount of physical capability but it does mean we miss on 20 years of his story, no matter how miserable or heartbreaking those years are.Nevertheless, the raw ingredients are tremendous Olympic boxer, title challenger, underdog Championship winner, undisputed champ, draft troubles, exile, title near miss, long slow climb back to the top, the titanic series of battles against Frazier Norton Foreman etc The use of multiple voices to tell the story gives you a rounded view of events, especially the fights it s here that the book is tremendous the inside view offered by people like Ali, his opponents, Angelo Dundee etc., open a whole new world of insight on those incredible and sometimes not so good bouts Watching them on Youtube after reading this book, the key moments spring to life you get an appreciation of just how incredible those fights were in the moment.Recommended. En ole suuri kamppailulajien yst v , mutta nyrkkeilyss on ripaus jotakin sellaista, mik vetoaa minun alkukantaisempaan puoleeni Lis ksi olen ollut perinteisesti kiinnostunut 1960 luvun yhteiskunnallisesta liikehdinn st , joka ilmeni muun muassa Vietnamin sodan vastustamisena ja mustien kansalaisoikeustaisteluna.Niinp ei olekaan yll tt v , ett jo vuonna 1991 ilmestynyt Thomas Hauserin Muhammad Ali Suurin ja kaunein Minerva, 2017 p tyi lukulistalleni Lukukokemus olikin mielenkiintoinen, eik ihme, sill kyll h n maailmanhistorian kuuluisimman nyrkkeilij n ja 1900 luvun v rikk impien urheilupersoonien joukkoon lukeutuvan Alin eli syntyj n Cassius Clayn kiehtovissa el m nvaiheissa niin keh ss kuin keh n ulkopuolella riitt aineistoa vaikka useampaan teokseen.Thomas Hauser k ytt ns oral history tekniikkaa, eli luvut koostuvat paitsi Alin itsens , my s nyrkkeilij n l hipiiriin kuuluneiden ihmisten kommenteista N kemykset voivat poiketa joskus radikaalistikin toisistaan, mutta niinh n se el m ss yleens kin menee, etenkin kun kyseess on etenkin uransa alkuaikana mielipiteit jakanut ja urallaan monenlaisia typeryyksi kin tehnyt persoona Kriittisist nist huolimatta teoksen peruss vyu on kuitenkin peruspositiivinen ja ihailevakin.Keskivertoa parempi urheiluel m kerta, v itt isin. 13 days and 515 pages later I feel like it has been a true privilege to have read this book for all it, and Muhammad Ali, has revealed to me about strength, about heart, about perseverance, about humility, about confidence, about respect, commitment, principle, pride, generosity, humanity, spirituality, and love Hauser did an extensive job of capturing all of the different perspectives on Ali s boxing career from the smallest fights to the Thrilla in Manila , personal life, spirituality, and everything in between A must read. My life is better for having read this book and for me it doesn t feel dramatic, and it doesn t feel like an exaggeration when I read this sentence back and think about it As I write this review I m shaking with amazement I was so engrossed by this biography of Muhammad Ali akin to the way I felt when reading Nelson Mandela s Long Walk To Freedom that at times I forgot that with each page turn I was getting closer to reading about the demise of this incredible man s health Muhammed Ali is so famous that despite the fact that I was not yet born when he was a professional boxer, despite the fact that I wasn t alive during the peak of his powers, or popularity, I d grown up hearing about him So long before I picked up this 1991 autobiography wonderfully written by Thomas Hauser when I was about eighteen years old and finally getting around to reading it , I was aware of Ali s suffering from Parkinson s syndrome In fact, despite the fact that I now understand that my primary school head teacher suffered from the condition, I had never heard of Parkinson s syndrome until I had heard of the legendary boxer Every so often, in between the constant moments of inspiration I experienced whilst reading, I d be overcome with feelings of guilt at the thought of the punishment boxers inflict on each other for our anybody who is a fan of or watches the sport enjoyment It got me thinking about the history of the black man s involvement in the the sport the gladiatorial nature of letting those n s beat the hell out of each other The short gaps in between boxers bouts before and during Ali s time is another thing that I m struggling to remove from mind in the biography s five hundred plus pages, I worked out that for a significant period of his career the average time in between fights for Ali was eight weeks This is when a fight was scheduled for fifteen rounds a fact alone that will make sure I never, ever again have the audacity to attempt to compare boxers from different eras It makes me sick when I think about it, and despite it being impossible for me to want to see n s beat the hell out of each other I love being black too much I feel guilty because I am a fan of the sport With each chapter of this biography my emotions would take another huge swing as certain aspects of Muhammad Ali s story made me appreciate the amazing courage black people from his era and before his time displayed in using this brutal sport to supercede their circumstances, and survive during an unimaginable period of racial prejudice As a black man I thank Muhammad Ali This is because no matter what we say, we still live in a world of racial prejudice I am on television, therefore sometimes I get treatedfavourably but I know for a fact that I would be treated in the same negative way some of my black friends and family members are if I wasn t an actor Going back to thanking Ali, I often wonder what personality I would possess if I wasn t born in 1986 What type of person would I be if I was alive during Ali s era I ll never know but it s highly unlikely that I d be as confident a person as I am now Even today, with the negative stereotypes assigned to my race, and often being told in round about ways that I should appreciate my success evenbecause of the odds stacked against black people, I hold my head high and love myself I m quite sure it s because of the constant negative reminders I get about my skin colour that I made a choice early on to reject every single notion of beauty that didn t involve black people, and to reject the suggestion that my life was likely to go a certain way because I am black, that I forced myself to grow thick skin I ve never felt inferior to anybody because of my race, and I ve always worked hard, so although it annoyed me whenever I was told that black people have to work harder a statement that I m not afraid to say I agree with my attitude was always eventually bring it on and you will all see what I can do From a very early age I decided that anybody who had a problem with my skin colour was the one that possessed the ignorance and lack of intelligence, and that I would not let it hold me back.I must say, though, I really do not understand how Muhammad Ali was able to have one billion times my confidence in America of the 1960 s Anybody who doesn t want to acknowledge the fact that black men, women and children were told that they were pieces of s t, that they were humiliated, denied human rights, and subjected to other hellacious and unimaginable acts, is in denial So this is what makes Ali eveninspirational to me And the fact that the great man himself pops up in the biography to give quotes to the author adds to the authenticity of The Life and Times And the fact that Hauser documents the good, the bad, and the ugly of his subject gives the book balance It wouldn t be possible for me to be inspired by somebody without flaws and obviously no such person exists anyway.Despite his other worldly talent three time heavy champion of the world , bravery refusing to be drafted into the US army during the Vietnam war because it was against his religious beliefs, knowing full well that he was facing jail time He was eventually stripped of his world title and banned from the sport He was only twenty five years old at the time Wow, wow, wow , charisma think of another athlete who has sold a show like he did, poetry and all if you can name one, I bet they were inspired by Ali and aura, Muhammad Ali was indeed human.Thank goodness for Youtube because for me it served as a video to this biography I found myself pulling up and watching almost every single clip I could find of the legend I m not sure how many hours I spent watching and listening to him, and this is one of those rare occasions that I don t want that time back for me it was time well spent.Thomas Hauser tells us Muhammad Ali s story from the beginning His humble upbringing in Louisville, Kentucky His winning the Light Heavyweight Gold medal for the USA at the 1960 Olympics, when he was still called Cassius Clay, aged eighteen Claiming the World Heavyweight crown from Sonny Liston in an incredible upset four years later His entry into the Nation of Islam, the fear this caused the white establishment His immortal Rumble in the Jungle and Thriller in Manilla battles with the great Joe Frazier and George Foreman His multiple marriages, the way he was let down by his entourage, clingers on, and so called friends financial mismanagement, nobody looking out for his health The great man s stubbornness and refusal to know when it was time to retire, leading to his current state of health.I almost didn t review this book because I m so overcome with emotion after the journey it took me on I don t think I could write enough to do it justice Kudos to Thomas Hauser because it s clear that he must have had to embark on an obsessive amount of research to put this biography together And I doff my hat to Muhammad Ali for appearing to allow such access into in his life, and speaking so freely and honestly Here are some quotes of note that I feel illustrate why Ali is at the top of my tree of inspiration Bryant Gumble television journalist and sportscaster best known for co hosting NBC s The Today Show for 15 years It is very difficult to imagine being young and black in the sixties and not gravitating towards Ali He was a guy who was supremely talented, enormously confident, and seemed to care less about what the establishment thought of him than about the image he saw when he looked in the mirror And to people who were young and black and interested in tweaking the establishment, and in some cases shoving it up the tail of the establishment, you had to identify with somebody like that for all our passions of those years, we didn t have a lot of victories More often than not we were on the losing side, so the fact that Ali won was gravy He was a heroic figure, plain and simple Muhammad Ali this is after one of his victories years earlier Ali had been criticised by the press for being too brutal in his bout against Ernie Terrell, and toying with his opponent throughout the fight instead of ending it early like he could have at many stages Years later Ali was criticized for doing the opposite to Buster Matthis and taking too much pity on his opponent I don t care about all them people yelling kill him, kill him I see the man in front of me, his eyes all glassy and his head rolling around How do I know just how hard to hit him to knock him out and not hurt him I don t care about looking good to the fans, I got to look good to God I got to sleep good at night How am I going to sleep if I killed a man in front of his wife and son just to satisfy you writers Howard Bingham Ali s longtime friend and photographer Ali is aware of what colour people are, and at times he knows their religion But it doesn t affect how he feels about them A couple of weeks after he beat Joe Frazier in Manilla, we were in New York for a reception at the United Nations Ali was watching the news on the television, and a story came on about a Jewish community center that was closing because it didn t have enough money It was a place for old people They were handicapped and a lot of them had been persecuted by the Nazis in Germany The next morning December 2, 1975 , we went up to the building where the center was Ali looked around, talked to some of the people, and gave them a cheque for a hundred thousand dollars That s the way he is And when someone asked why he did it, all he said was he had a soft spot for old people Julian Bond a speaker on the college lecture circuit During his exile from boxing, public speaking was the only way Muhammad Ali could make money I look back at that time, and I feel very strongly that Ali is part of every American s heritage Every American should view him with pride and love I myself am not American but I certainly view Muhammad Ali with pride and love Who, or whatever created the universe, thank you for creating such an awe inspiring individual. 4.5 stars This is an incredible biography A lot of biographies and autobiographies I have read get mired in detail that just does not interest Not once did this happen in this book For me, anyway It is probably because of the structure where the author uses interviews which actually brings everything to life.It is a big book but at no point was I weary of reading it Always helps, I guess, when the subject matter is so darn interesting With the internet and YouTube I watched the whole of Ali on This is Your Life plus many of his bouts and interviews Marvellous stuff I must say though that This is your life was filmed in Christmas 1978 and you could hear the slurring of Ali s voice and his movements were much slower yet he went on to fight Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick In fact my first Ali fight I saw was the 1980 one against Holmes and I was asking my dad what all the fuss with Ali was about He was awful in that fight Just go back and look at some of his earlier fights Wow I heartily recommend this book to any boxing or Ali fans There may be enough here for those not into boxing but it does go over nearly every one of his 50 odd professional fights It does, of course, go over his joining of the Nation of Islam and the Vietnam War There is also a part about his entourage and those that stole from him or got him to sign lots of dodgy contracts Do yourself a favour and Ali shuffle over to your nearest bookshop and grab yourself a copy After all that, why not 5 stars Well, Ali was huge here in England and he was a guest on Michael Parkinson s show about 4 times and they were incredible interviews but not mentioned once in the book He did a lot in England but nothing mentioned.
Thomas Hauser b 1946 is the author of forty two books on subjects ranging from professional boxing to Beethoven His first work, Missing, was made into an Academy Award winning film Muhammad Ali His Life and Times earned numerous awards for its author, including the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat
- 544 pages
- Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times
- Thomas Hauser
- 18 November 2019 Thomas Hauser