King of the World

4.25 based on 2216 ratings & 186 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 10.12.1999
ISBN: 9780330371896
Number of pages: 352

Synopsis

This unforgettable account of Muhammad Ali's rise and self-creation, told by a Pullitzer Prize-winning writer, places Ali in a heritage of great American originals.

David Remnick concentrates on Ali's early career, when he was still fighting as Cassius Clay. The book begins in September 1962 with the fight between Floyd Patteson and Sonny Liston, providing a remarkable sociological backdrop to Ali's entrance on the boxing scene. Remnick then describes Clay's 1964 fight with Liston, which even his own people thought Clay couldn't win, and takes us through to 1967 when Ali refused the military draft to Vietnam. This is much more than a sports book. It is a study of the rise of the black voice in the American consciousness and a look at how the media creates its heroes - Cassius Clay began as a 'light-hitting loudmouth' before becoming gradually canonized by the American press and public as Muhammad Ali.

KING OF THE WORLD takes us back to the days when his life was a series of battles, inside the ring and out. A master

storyteller at the height of his powers, David Remnick has written a book worthy of America's most dynamic modern hero.

In the media

A pleasure . . . haunting . . . so vivid that one can imagine Ali saying, "How'd you get inside my head, boy?"
Time
Succeeds more than any previous book in bringing Ali into focus . . . as a starburst of energy, ego and ability whose like will never be seen again
Wall Street Journal
Nearly pulse-pounding narrative power . . . an important account of a period in American social history
Chicago Tribune