The Greatest: Muhammad Ali
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2003
This is a perfect book for a kid 14 or 13 years old and younger - it's a fantastic introduction to Muhammad Ali - I just bought it for my friends son - he's 12 - not that familiar with Muhammad Ali - just a basic knowledge of the myth and legend - he knows "Float Like a Butterfly - Sting Like A Bee!"
This is a great way to show a youngster that in addition to being the Greatest Of All Time that he was (and is) one of the most influential, courages and important figure of the 1960's and up -
It gently shows and explains the race issues of the 60's without overwhelming a child or blasting it in their face - it's very difficult for a kid these days to understand that as little as 40 years ago (which is actually life times to a kid) that if you were black then you had to sit at the back of the bus - or couldn't drink from certain water fountains or had to "know you're place" and how Muhammad Ali shattered that mold - I'm hoping that this actually creates a dialogue with parent and child - anyway - it shows Muhammad as the Champ both in and out of the ring.
The book goes over some of the famous fights and rivalry's - from Liston to Frazier - once again I found myself excited about the blow by blows of these fights - no matter how many times I read it I'm just awe struck about the Rumble in the Jungle -
I highly recommend this for any child as a great introduction to The Greatest Of All Time - Muhammad Ali!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2003
The greatest muhammad ali was a really good book. I don't like reading but i couldn't but it down. It is about Muhammad Ali and his life. He got into boxing because of a kid that stole his bike. He wanted to beat the [stuff] out of the kid. As soon as they find the theif, Ali's trainer said he had good potentail. This book goes through Ali's life as a boxer and how he started. It talks about his family too. Walter Dean Myers wrote a lot of good books like Moster, and Fallen Angels which i also read. After reading those 2 books i wasen't disapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2004
This story is a portrayal of a young boy named Cassius Clay who grows into one of the greatest boxer's of all time. Walter Dean Myers presents the amazing story of Ali's life and his rise as a champion, his politics, and his battle against Parkinson's disease. It is a story of determination, energy, pride, and strength. From a daring young boxer with disease, Myers covers Ali's life with prowess and honesty. Ali's accomplishments, both in and out of the ring, present him as a man of principal, willing to take risks to achieve his goals.
Ali was a young man with a lot of boxing talent who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. Raised by his grandmother, Ali possessed a work ethic of none other. Although Ali was a great fighter, racism and disouragement made it hard for Ali to achieve his goals.
If tou choose to read The Greatest you will experience fast paced action, crisp writing, photographic events and personalities, and vivid fight scenes. Ali followed his heart and became a symbol respected by all races, religions, and ideologies. Ali was the world heavyweight champion four times and may be the greatest boxer ever to step foot in the ring.
Delving into the civil rights and the Nation of Islam, Concientios objector status during the Vietnam war, and the danger of boxing. Myers presents a man of courage and inspiration. The story gets in depth with Ali's fight against Parkinson's disease and how he fought in the ring. "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" was Ali's famous line. He was well known for his cocky attitude and he was also the center of attention.
Ali's story is a great one, thus, that is why he is the greatest. I would reccommend this story for anyone to read, it is really a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2001
Muhammed Ali may not have been the biggest, meanest boxer of all time, but he definitely has to be one of the most determined athletes ever to set foot in a ring. That is why Myers, like Ali himself, refers to the boxer as "the greatest." Through easy reading, Walter Dean Myers paints a picture of what life was life for working class blacks in the near South (Louisville, KY) in the 1950's. He describes the fighters who came before Ali (the heroes like Joe Louis and Archie Moore), and goes into detail in describing both the person and the boxing style of Ali's opponents--Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and others). Of course, Myers also details the mental strategies and physical competency of Ali. It is here that the reader realizes that much of Ali's game was fought outside the ring, with not only his next opponent, but with the press, the public, and the government. The subject of the war in Viet Nam, the military draft, the Nation of Islam, the skewing of the military to induct more minorities, and the subject of 'conscientious objection' are all handled in an introductory fashion, which will give young readers a sense of the social history of the period without the ho-hum of a history book. Walter Dean Myers' book, The Greatest, also dissects the boxing industry, where young talent is often beaten to a senseless pulp for the sake of audiences, public approval and a very few dollars. I have already recommended this book to several students who think a career in professional athletics could be within their grasp. Myers does an excellent job of conveying the fact that the young boxer from Louisville was the greatest in his determination to win, not because of his physical ability, but because of his mental agility. The one negative trait of Muhammed Ali which Myers noted was the way he insulted his opponents. His vicious slurring of his competitors, especially some of the black fighters, set the stage for the trash-talking which is now rampant in sports, professional and amateur, alike. He may have been first in a long list of other traits, but this one is nothing to be proud of. It was the beginning of a very negative type of competitive spirit which has now permeated sports, school, music, and the very fiber of today's society. This book will intrigue a variety of students in middle school. It is easy to read, with enough black and white photographs and large page margins to attract even reluctant readers. The book includes an Index (very small print); a list of Photo Credits; a Bibliography; and a Fight Chronology. It is a good introduction to what actually goes on in professional athletics, and appropriate for students, grade 5 and up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2002
Cassius Clay was born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky to parents Cassius Clay Sr. and Odessa Clay. Clay was a shy kid growing up. You wouldn't find him bulling anyone when he was a child. One day when Cassius was 12, he went to the Columbia Auditorium riding his new red and white bike in Louisville. He and a friend went to a Home Show, which was a black trade show. When it was time to go Cassius found his bike missing. Cassius was angry, and from that day on, he wanted to box. Clay was very skinny and he would get beat very easily many times, but the thing that made him good was he was a very dedicated boxer. In 1960, when Cassius was 18, he qualified for the Olympics in Rome as a light heavyweight, weighing in at 178 pounds. Ali ended up winning those Olumpics and he was in his prime. Clay then recieved a $10,000 signing bonus. Later in life, Cassius had a big fight against Sonnie Liston who was favored over Cassius by many. Cassius wanted to shock the world and that he did. In the 7th round the himiliated Liston did not come out, he forfeited. After the fight Muhammad Ali announced that he had become Muslim. That is basically what you will be seeing Muhammad Ali dominating the ring. I would recommend this book becasue Muhammad Ali is a good person to look up to. He does what he feels is right and he succeeds at the same time. This book shows you how to be a better person and how to succeed. Overall, this is a very interesting book and it teaches you a lot, so read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2005
Genre: Biography

Three Sentence Summary: This story was a bout an african american boy who got his bike solen and reported it to the sherif and the sherif like all kinds of kid every color and so he wanted to help him out and he over head the kid saying he is ganna beat up the kid who stole it so the sherif asked if knows how to fight and after that day he has been one of the Greatest boxers.

What I Like most about the book:When he tells about how things were in the 1800's and how racisms went on when he was a kid.

What I didn't like and why: I didn't like how he was treated because he was black and all the whites treated him bad.

My favorite charicter and why: Curtis is my favorite character because he wanted to start boxing and after how every one treated him he didn't quite i keep going and thats what i like to see people that don't give up.

the scene, line , or passage that meant something to me and why( page#): when the sherif gives him a boxing deal to keep him out of trouble.

What I would say about the this book to someone else: The book is a goog book and if your into sports even boxing you will like it.

One question i have after reading this book: has boxing changed from when boxing started to now.

My strongest reason for recommending this book: Its a good book and I think that i tell about his problems that he had in trying to make it out of the bad life that he started in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I'm afraid "The Greatest" is not the greatest book on Muhammad Ali. It is tedious in its construction and rather boring for the first couple of chapters. However, it does manage to pick up some steam in the middle chapters, granting the reader some excellent insight into the behind-the-scenes happenings of Ali's boxing life. The author delves into his days with the Nation of Islam, his early marriages and even the intimacies involved in the boxing world. The final chapters of the book are very good, as we are given an almost round-by-round account of some of Ali's greatest matches, against Joe Frazier and George Foreman. If you can endure the slow beginning of this book, the finale is well worth the wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2013
As a veteran, many terms and language referrals were not consistent. For instance, while I served in the United States Armed Forces, we used the term latrine, not bathroom. There is a specific language dialogue that military personnel use and a specific language dialogue that civilian personnel use in every day interactions with each other. Often the author used words to described Ali, that were blatantly biased. He called him brash, rather than confident. Those word choices told more about the author's views than Muhammad Ali. I resented the imposition of his views on the subject, as opposed to allowing me to look at what was happening and not happening without his skewed filter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2009
The Greatest Muhammad Ali
This book takes place in the 60's, 70's, and the 80's. This book tells you about all of the racial conflicts that he had to put aside during his career. The main events are where Muhammad Ali A.K.A Cassius clay has his big fights against big names like George Forman and Joe Frazer. There are also many other events that involve his social life and his beliefs. The book has a lot of really good content in it about his life his reasons why he started boxing. I would recommend this book to people who like boxing or who are curious to whom the greatest of all time is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2002
Muhammad Ali grew up as a young poor skinny kid. He had gotten a new bike for his birthday and it got stolen while he was at a trade show. From then on he wanted to box. He won an Olympic Gold Metal for Lightweight boxing and much more. This book takes you through all of Muhammad Ali's life in great detail.
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