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Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times Kindle Edition

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Length: 423 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Draft dodger, rebel, poet and Third World supporter, boxing champ Muhammad Ali symbolizes different things to different people. To many an icon of black pride and empowerment, the Kentucky-born heavyweight is viewed by others as a separatist who embraced the divisive Black Muslim religion, by still others as the victim of a brutalizing sport. Diverse opinions are represented in this hefty, generally admiring compendium that seems less like an authorized biography (though it is) than a forum where rivals, trainers, friends, enemies, ex-wives, sportswriters and associates air their views. The roster of interviewees includes Archie Moore, Howard Cosell, Floyd Patterson, A. J. Liebling, Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X's widow), Ted Kennedy, Dick Gregory, Arthur Ashe and dozens of others. A feast for fans, this composite portrait bristles with insights, jabs and tributes. Hauser's books include The Black Lights . Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A detailed, if hagiographic, account of Ali's public career and private life. Hauser (author of one of the best books ever on the fight game, 1985's Black Lights) is an obvious and uncritical fan of Ali's, whom he apotheosizes early on as ``the most recognizable person on earth.'' In aid of what might be called oral biography, Hauser draws on over 200 sources--acquaintances, associates, opponents, friends, enemies, blood relations, and celebrity observers of the sometime title-holder--to create a composite portrait that's longer on sympathetic assertions than reflective insight. The ranks of the commentators include the oddly coupled likes of: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. (Ali's dad); Joe Martin (the Louisville cop who taught Ali to box); Olympic teammates; Atallah Shabazz (the daughter of Malcolm X who helped convert Ali to the Nation of Islam); trainer Angelo Dundee; Jimmy Carter; Leon Spinks; George Plimpton; Sylvester Stallone; referee Arthur Mercantee; Chuck Wepner (a human punching bag widely known as ``The Bayonne Bleeder''); and Carl Walker (the black assistant attorney general who tried to make the federal case against Ali for draft evasion). Overall, Hauser does a good job of marshaling a wealth of facts into a cohesive whole and providing behind-the-scenes glimpses of a ring lion in the autumn, if not winter, of his years. Throughout, however, the author makes almost no attempt to conceal the genuine regard and admiration he feels for his subject. A walkover for Ali but a disappointment for those with even a passing interest in the sweet science's grittier realities. (Twenty-four pages of photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4112 KB
  • Print Length: 423 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (February 14, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 14, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WP9NEG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Donovan Christian ( on March 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Muhammad Ali has always played a large part in my life. He showed me that being black did not make me inferior at a time when almost everything and everyone said the opposite. This book gave me a fresh perspective on his achievements and his beliefs, thanks to contributions from sources as diverse as Joe Frazier and Cheryl Tiegs. The stories are wide-ranging and informative. Some were laugh out loud funny (very embarrassing when you're on a train). Some were depressing (stories surrounding Ali's entourage and the Holmes fight almost made me cry). There are even some from people who don't like Ali or see him as someone worthy of praise. All of them gave me a deeper, more rounded insight into a man that I viewed with awe and reverence. I started the book seeing Ali as some kind of distant super hero and ended it seeing him as a warm, caring human being with the same flaws and insecurities as anyone else. Along the way I laughed a lot and learned even more. The book is funny, engaging, and inspirational...just like the man himself.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Wells on September 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
MUHAMMAD ALI: HIS LIFE AND TIMES, through accounts of noteworthy admirers and close-associates, chronicles the life and times of a living legend. Long-time pugilistic journalist and award-winining author Thomas Hauser has painstakingly compiled a wealth of information to support what seems to be his thesis: that no matter how amazing Muhammad Ali was in the ring, his worth as a boxing champion is far exceeded by his worth as a citizen of this world. In 500 pages of text, we are able to follow Ali in his growth from a brash, boisterous heavyweight contender to a highly devoted man of God who brings happiness wherever he tarries. For fight fans, all of the classic bouts from Liston I to Manilla are covered; anecdotes to be especially savored are those leading up to the first Liston fight, where Ali was arguably out of his mind in the extent to which he went in taunting his opponent, as well as the unadvised beating Ali suffered at the hands of Larry Holmes in the twilight of his career. Most interesting were the sections of the book that dealt with Ali's relationship with Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam at the beginning of his first reign as heavyweightchampion and his conscientiously objecting to fighting in Vietnam. It is obvious that Hauser is captivated by his subject and looks upon Ali with great reverence. At times this can lead to the feeling that the author went to great lengths selecting interviews which sanitize and exagerate the legacy of Ali. Still, so many different people can't be distorting the truth; it is undeniable that Ali has a heart of gold and it brought a smile to my face everytime I read about him performing magic tricks for children, or meeting with fans, no matter what, to show his appreciation for their humanity. It is tragic and anger-provoking that Ali was taken advantage of by so many people that he loved and provided for, but it is a blessing that his spirit exists in this bio for future generations to learn of.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rex on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book did provide me information that I did not know about Ali. But the book was mostly a series of direct quotes from persons involved with Ali with limited narration by the author to tie the quotations together. It made for a long, slow read because many of the quotes had information that I found not relevant or were repititve information. I expect a biographer to sort out the duplicative material and provide a much better flow. Further it should be noted that the book was written 20+ years ago and was somewhat dated. There was about a page of postscript from the author regarding the time lapse but no update on Ali's current situation or status.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pugwash on March 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first really watched an Ali fight as a boy. Ali was fighting his second comeback fight against the Argentine brawler Oscar Bonavena. It was a gruelling 15 round fight. It was on ABC, and Howard Cosell made it sound much more dramatic than it actually was. It was competitive, but Ali was winning the fight when he dug deep, and dropped Bonavena three times in the final round for an automatic stoppage. This was not a feat to be taken lightly. Bonavena had fought Joe Frazier twice, Floyd Patterson, Jerry Quarry, Jimmy Ellis, and a host of others without being taken off his feet.

In any case, over the years, I had read so much about Ali, that when a friend passed this book to me, I was unexcited at the prospect of reading another Ali chronicle.

I was unexpectedly delighted at Hauser's coverage of this legend. He brings out what a transcendant figure Ali was (and remains).

He uses the same technique that made Terry Pluto's LOOSE BALLS a classic sports story, in that he lets people from Ali's past do the talking. Former opponents, wives, associates, friends, trainers all take their turns. Many are insightful.

Hauser is not beyond showing us Ali's warts. We see him as an unfaithful husband, as a cruel tormentor at times, as a foolhardy spendthrift (chump), and for once, as a confused and angry young man, as he transitions into his Muslim persona.

But he evolves as an incredibly special human being. As his skills begin to erode in the ring, his humane qualities flourish. He becomes a man of deep, contented faith. He performs acts for ordinary people that show him to be a worthy idol.

As his career ends, he confronts his diminishing health and vitality by once again looking to his faith.
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