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Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times Paperback – June 15, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671779710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671779719
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hauser compiles opinions from a wide-ranging roster of interviewees to create a portrait of the controversial boxing champ that bristles with insights, jabs and tributes. Photos.
Copyright 1992 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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Muhammad Ali fan's , this book gives details of his life and career.
Doc on Loc
Anyone seriously interested in getting a feel for Ali, the person and the athlete, should be totally satisfied after reading this book.
Haslyn Parris
It was on ABC, and Howard Cosell made it sound much more dramatic than it actually was.
Pugwash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Donovan Christian (donovanc@globalnet.co.uk) 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on January 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
from the first time i got the book and read it i was so happy.this man was a genius in the ring and a human force outside of it.this book showcases all the many sides of the greatest.very compelling and full of insight.it showcases the myths&mystic of the man.one of the greatest bios that i've ever read.
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2 of 2 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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you are a Muhammad Ali fan then you definitely need to have this book.It gives details of his life and career. These details are not only told by him but by other people who he had an influence on. You get a chance to hear from his opponents and also his entourage. This is a good buy.
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