A new biography of Muhammad Ali


Ali: A life.authorBy Jonathan Eig.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 630 pages; $30. Simon & Schuster;. Buy from Amazon.co.uk (ISBN=unknown)

HE OFTEN claimed to be the greatest of all time, and he was right. Only a handful of athletes reach the pinnacle of their discipline. A couple of those have done so with a swagger that made them their sport’s chief entertainer, too. Just one has thrown all of that away to do what was unpopular but principled.

When Muhammad Ali died on June 3rd last year he was remembered not only as boxing’s most decorated and enthralling heavyweight, but also for his refusal to serve in the Vietnam war as a rebellion against white supremacy. Today, black athletes protest against the government in unison. Ali was alone. After his death Barack Obama, who kept a pair of his gloves in the White House, compared him to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

Jonathan Eig’s book is the first major…Continue reading

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