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Sound and Fury: Two Powerful Lives, One Fateful Friendship Hardcover – February 28, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran sportswriter Kindred seeks to "recover Muhammad Ali from mythology and Howard Cosell from caricature" with interlocking portraits that trace the rising careers of the boxer and the sportscaster to their first meeting in the early 1960s and then through the creation of one of television's most popular bantering couples. Their on-air playfulness didn't necessarily translate into full friendship. Kindred carefully notes that while Cosell supported the heavyweight champion's right to refuse induction into the army during Vietnam, he never expressed support for Ali's actual position. Likewise, Ali knew exactly how the relationship benefited them, once telling Cosell, "You know you need me more than I need you." Kindred's close relationships with both men inform the story without overwhelming it, and he depicts the moments at which he was not present—Cosell's early battles with anti-Semitism in the broadcast industry, Ali's fear that the Nation of Islam would kill him the way they did Malcolm X—with the same immediacy he brings to his eyewitness perspective. There are already many books on Ali, but few independent considerations of Cosell, and none that show so effectively how each man helped create the legend surrounding the other. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Their differences are glaring: Muslim and Jew, black and white, pretty and ugly. But look deeper, and their odd friendship makes sense: Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali shared loud mouths, humble beginnings, relentless ambition, and healthy egos. Although Ali's life has been biographied to death, his relationship with Cosell has never received its due until now. Kindred, who knew both Ali and Cosell well, has written a book that is at once well researched, pleasantly anecdotal, and remarkably insightful. For example, rarely before has Ali's struggle over whether to serve in the army been portrayed so well. And Cosell's life story is absolutely gripping, particularly his remarkable midlife career move from lawyer to broadcaster. But the best thing about the book is the friendship itself. Cosell, who knew nothing about boxing until he was nearly 40, quickly recognized Ali's brilliance inside and outside of the ring. And Ali teased Cosell but respected him in a way that most of Cosell's ridiculers didn't. Even if the shelves are sagging with books about Ali, room should be made for this approachable, touching, and altogether fascinating buddy comedy. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743262115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743262118
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, The Sound and Fury is a wondrous re-telling of the period through the lives of two unlikely partners, Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali. It is not a boxing book. It is a work of social history, responsibly reported and told. Dave Kindred's superior writing and interviewing have made a book that should last for many years. The tales of Cosell's and Ali's lives, each up-from-bootstraps, and their accidental friendship, will impress even the most jaded sports fans and grownups.

I could not stop reading this once I began.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan's song, Forever Young, serves as one of Dave Kindred's melodic themes in his wonderful book, "Sound and Fury". Sound and Fury is a biography of Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell, and the relationship between them.

Sound and Fury carries the reader along as Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay, and Howard Cosell, born Howard William Cohen, burst like stars upon the public's imagination in the 1960s and takes them through their respective heydays and then to their inevitable fading away.

Kindred, a sportswriter for close to forty years, began his newspaper career at The Louisville Courier in Muhammad Ali's hometown. He covered Ali since his earliest days, his glory days. It also seems he was one of the few print reporters that Howard Cosell respected and liked. They stayed in close touch with each other until Cosell's death. But, although it is quite clear that Kindred admires and respects both men, and with feelings toward Ali that are powerfully affectionate, even loving, Sound and Fury is no hagiography.

The book takes us quickly through Ali and Cosell's early days. As Kindred alternates between Ali and Cosell's struggle for success in their respective fields one can see the similarities between the two, particularly a single-minded determination to achieve their goals.
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Format: Audio CD
Sound and Fury (14 hours, 11 cds, unabridged, Blackstone Audio) is a duel biography of Howard Cosell and Mohammed Ali.

Sport writer Dave Kindred knew both men, he has written a bio that transcends his knowledge of both men. His text is an honest, no hold barred , warts and all biography. When a third person (like Kindred) writes a biography, he tends to put his personal touches with his own bias, this book is NOT that.The book showed an unlikely partnership created by media hype.

In the audio narrative hands of Dick Hill, this audio project seems more like a docudrama in its scope. Hill's narrative voice takes on verbal personas of Cosell and Ali, without mocking them. His talent has grown from the days at Brilliance Audio.

Sound and Fury is an amazing production . . . you won't forget it audio, long after you heard it

Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Kindred is a wonderful storyteller in this very readable dual biography of two controversial men: Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell. Like "Beyond Glory" -2005- by David Margolick (which tells another story of a white man and a black man linked by history in the 1930's), "Sound and Fury" is a history of a later era, the chaotic 1960's, and a history of two outsiders. Mr. Margolick makes clear that their relationship was less of a friendship and more of a partnership -- the two of them never hung out socially but each saw the other as a genius in their domain who could further their respective careers. This book is a wonderful introduction to their lives for any reader who was born after the time when Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell had already come and gone, and as a reminder to those of us who were there.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Where else but in American sports can an old, white, Jewish veteran befriend a young Black Muslim draft dodger? They may not have been friends who loved each other, but it was convenient for both of them. If you can't take advantage of a friend, then he's not. They had things in common. Both were driven. Both had over inflated egos. They were the greatest. If you don't believe it just ask them. Well, Howard Cosell is dead & Ali doesn't talk any more. Their early life & struggles are covered well so that you understand where they came from. Cosell was a World War II vet. He earned a law degree then decided he wanted to do sports on television. He was brash, obnoxious & smart. His relationship with Ali & Monday Night Football made him a nationally recognized sports journalist. Ali, originally Cassuius Clay had a fairly normal upbringing. Then he won Golden Gloves Championship & Olympic gold metal in 1960, that propelled him into his pro career. Before he was finished he had became & is the most recognizable man on earth. He was the world Heavyweight Champion, that most singular of all championships, three times.
Ali was despised for his faith, his refusal to serve in the military & of course his race. Eventually, he overcame all these obstacles. The U.S. government pursued him, denying his draft deferment status. As a result he was also denied the right to box for several of what would have been his most productive years. He lost millions of $$$ & was stripped of his championship. Eventually, he was aquitted. Cosell covered him all along his journey. The author, Dave Kindred spends quite a bit of time on Ali's three fights with Joe Fraizer & rightly so. Ali's life has become an inspiration to kids on all continents but especially the impoverished millions in Africa.
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