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King of the World MP3 CD – Abridged, Audiobook, MP3 Audio


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Product Details

  • MP3 CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Abr edition (May 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455889776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455889778
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,390,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You'd think there wouldn't be much left to say about a living icon like Muhammad Ali, yet David Remnick imbues King of the World with all the freshness and vitality this legendary fighter displayed in his prime. Beginning with the pre-Ali days of boxing and its two archetypes, Floyd Patterson (the good black heavyweight) and Sonny Liston (the bad black heavyweight), Remnick deftly sets the stage for the emergence of a heavyweight champion the likes of which the world had never seen: a three-dimensional, Technicolor showman, fighter and minister of Islam, a man who talked almost as well as he fought. But mostly Remnick's portrait is of a man who could not be confined to any existing stereotypes, inside the ring or out.

In extraordinary detail, Remnick depicts Ali as a creation of his own imagination as we follow the willful and mercurial young Cassius Clay from his boyhood and watch him hone and shape himself to a figure who would eventually command center stage in one of the most volatile decades in our history. To Remnick it seems clear that Ali's greatest accomplishment is to prove beyond a doubt that not only is it possible to challenge the implacable forces of the establishment (the noir-ish, gangster-ridden fight game and the ethos of a whole country) but, with the right combination of conviction and talent, to triumph over these forces. --Fred Haefele --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong," Ali said in 1967 on refusing to be drafted. He was sentenced to five years in prison, and though the Supreme Court would overturn his conviction four years later, principle lost himAtemporarilyAhis title, big bucks, the support of many admirers and the best years of his fighting life. Vietnam postdates most of New Yorker editor Remnick's (Lenin's Tomb) coverage, as he writes little about Ali in the post-Sonny Liston era. At its best, the book recalls the boxing writings of A.J. Liebling, while Remnick's frequent use of Ali's hilarious "rapper" doggerel adds to the melancholy humor through which he describes the Louisville kid who beat gambling odds on the way to the heavyweight title but couldn't beat the medical odds. "The history of [prize] fighters," Remnick writes, "is the history of men who end up damaged." Only in his middle 50s, the once graceful Ali, last seen worldwide clutching the Atlanta Olympic torch in a trembling hand, is disabled by degenerative Parkinson's disease. To many, though, he was disabled even earlier by his conversion to Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam, which, whatever its controversial separatist image, "orders [Ali's] life and helps him cope with his illness," according to Remnick. The author smartly records Ali's defiant besting of adversaries in and out of the ring and shows him to be a champion human being. 16 pages of b&w photos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

David Remnick was a reporter for The Washington Post for ten years, including four in Moscow. He joined The New Yorker in 1992 and has been the magazine's editor since 1998. His book King of the World, a biography of Ali, was picked by Time Magazine as the top nonfiction book of 1998. Lenin's Tomb received the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1994.

Customer Reviews

"King of the World" by David Remnick is the story of the rise and fall of Muhammad Ali.
Randy
The author did a great job of providing the historical context in which Ali's persona was formed and how his fighting career developed over time.
Ilya Grigorik
This has been the best sports book I've read in years, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Marc E. Sterling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on October 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Remnick is smart enough not to contribute just another Ali biography to the shelves, and instead focuses his efforts on Ali 1960 - 1965...from his post-Olympic days through to the second fight with Liston. These are the years when Ali became Ali...the champ at the height of his powers.
But there's a special bonus in this book - a good portion of it deals with Sonny Liston. You talk about your seminal 20th Century characters. They don't get any more interesting than this guy: the abused son of a sharecropper, long stretches of imprisonment, a fight career directed by mob interests, a violent death. In short, a writer's dream. Remnick brings Liston together with Floyd Patterson (and you'll never find a greater constrast) and walks you through these two battles before turning his attention to Ali. Thus, you get a full portrait of Liston prior to encountering the force of nature that was then Cassius Clay.
The effect is a curious sympathy that you have for Liston as he enters the maelstrom developing around Ali. In most retellings, Liston is cast as the personification of evil. Remnick made me see him in a different light.
My advice for a great Ali study program:
1. Watch 'When We Were Kings' [Best documentary ever]
2. Read 'The Fight' by Norman Mailer
3. Read 'King of the World'
4. Buy any book featuring Howard Bingham's photography of Ali.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Smith on May 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
David Remnick delivers a terrific biography of Muhammad Ali with "King of the World," but this book should never be mistaken for a conventional sports biography. It is also social history and a compassionate yet realistic portrait of America's guiltiest pleasure: the seamy, yet somehow sometimes heroic world of professional boxing.
The first thing that struck me when I read the book is that its first section discusses Muhammad Ali (or Cassius Clay) very little. Instead, Remnick focuses on the two boxers who helped to gave shape to Ali's legend: Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston. The former was a reluctant champion from the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, and Remnick brings Patterson's reticence and self-doubt into full view. The latter was a street thug from an impoverished rural background, a vision of America's deepest fears about African-Americans.
Remnick details Liston's two devastating first-round demolitions of Patterson and illuminates the complicated relationship the public had with Liston. On the one hand, he was despised because of his criminal background and ties to the mob; on the other, Remnick makes clear, he was comforing because he confirmed stereotyped perceptions of black men. One of Remnick's great accompishments in the book is to humanize Liston without in the least diminishing his surly and even hateful demeanor.
With Liston the controversial heavyweight champ, the loud, abrasive, seemingly self-confident Cassius Clay, of Louisville, Kentucky, stepped into the national spotlight.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great writer that can be appreciated by the boxing fan and non fan alike. At times the narrative is a bit choppy. But in the end this style adds to the reader's enjoyment as the usual biographical methods become enhanced. The title and cover pic are a little misleading : while Ali is clearly the focus much space is given to (and much is learned about) Liston, Patterson and most interestingly, the whole boxing culture....Bottom line : A great book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm a big boxing fan, and am fascinated with both Muhammed Ali, how he evolved from Cassisus Clay, and Sonny Liston. There's a lot of great boxing writing, however, and I thought every angle of these two had already been covered, both in facts and in their roles as mythic figures. So it was with great pleasure (and surprise) I found David Remnick's book so terrific. Besides learning new facts that only a good investigative reporter could dig up 35 years after the fact, the book read like a great story. The prose really flowed, but not in a pretentious way that took away from the subjects, and I think even non-boxing fans would enjoy the tale of when these two tragic men (though Ali wouldn't become tragic for decades)met to fight for the heavyweight crown. I plan on buying a hardcover for my boxing book collection (a shelf I'm VERY discriminating about.)Thanks David Remnick!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William Hare on January 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
David Remnick's biography of Muhammad Ali covers not just the career of one extraordinary fighter, but the widely encompassing sweep of his historical time. The book begins by sharply examining heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson and the unique qualities he brought to the America of his day, a quiet, soft spoken man who carried himself with dignity. Remnick then traces the rocky road to the championship for Sonny Liston, which was achieved after a stop at a federal penitentiary. Liston longed for acclaim from the public, and hoped he would get it after dispatching Patterson in their 1962 title fight in Chicago. A restless, brooding man, Liston would move from St. Louis, to Philadephia, then west to Denver and ultimately Las Vegas.
Ali's brash behavior in demanding a shot at Liston's title was part calculated strategy, part show business, boosting his recognition level all the while, building on the name value he began achieving after winning a gold medal in the light heavyweight class at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Eventually his loud bravado would convince Liston that he was actually crazy.
When Ali won the title from Liston in 1964 in Miami Beach many boxing authorities and fans thought his win a fluke. He then defeated Liston in a controversial rematch in Lewiston, Maine, a one round knockout many believed resulted from Liston lying down on the job. Remnick disagrees, quoting Ali's trainer Angelo Dundee and others in accepting that Liston happened to walk into a well-placed blow that traveled a short distance, but was substantial enough to accomplish its objective. Remnick also points out that Liston bore the fate of reaching the title after his prime, and might well have achieved a longer, more far reaching destiny as champion had the fates been kinder.
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