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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 September 2015
It would be very difficult to improve on something like this, so if you're interested in knowing more about him, this is the book. Hard to know what to focus on as there are so many strands weaved throughout the story - his rise, fall then rise again, his objection to the Vietnam War, his religious affiliations, his accessibility, his mind games, his values, his entourage, his health. Was he The Greatest? All things considered, it sounds to me like he probably was.
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on 21 August 2011
Ali offended, annoyed and irritated many people throughout his career and would have been worse for it had it not been for his talent within the ring and his generous acts outside it. One of the iconic heroes of both 1970s USA and African-Americans, his is a story that deserves a great storyteller, and Thomas Hauser is exactly that. He tells the story in an unusual manner; he lays monologue upon monologue of the vast array of actors involved in his life and this style allows the story to fold in an interesting manner, but most importantly, and key to this book's position as the definitive Ali review is in allowing conflicting parties and opinions to flourish. He doesn't shortchange you buy painting a picture of Ali as some form of infallible demigod but also not as a mere athlete who had controversial views on race, religion and gender; and in this, it paints a fuller picture and you feel like you understand the man a little better. But perhaps the book's greatest ally is in maintaining a confusing romanticism around Ali in which Ali seemed destined to do all he did. So, well worth buying for anyone, its not just a sports journal but an insight into a man who near the end of the book tells Hauser that the message his life should send should be one of fallibility and being loyal to one's convictions; and his life does certainly seem the epitome of this message.
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on 24 October 2008
The best book i have read on boxing and certainly the best (and definitive) Ali biography.
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on 26 October 2000
A uniquely written portrait of Ali forming a verbal tapestry through conversations and opinions from his entourage, old adversaries, promoters, hangers-on, family etc. Contains information on his health situation which a lot of people seem to misunderstand. I got this book as a student in Leeds in 1992 when Ali was 50 and touring the UK. When I got to the bookshop there were 700 people queued outside and builders perched up on scaffolding opposite trying to look and catch a glimpse of the man. This is still the best book on the man I think
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on 11 May 2001
Of all the Ali autobiographies Thomas Hausers effort must rank as the best, no in fact it is the best! I've read all the other efforts on the living legend which is Ali and no other book takes such an in depth look at his life. I was particulary impressed with the information given on and by many of Ali's close associates, many of whom are unkown to the public. If you enjoy a good read or like me love Ali its a fabulous book.
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on 29 May 2014
A simply fabulous read about a truly marvellous individual. Made me wish I was born twenty years earlier, to have the chance to see his fights (in the ring, and outside).
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on 16 July 2003
Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times offers a completely unbias, eye opening account into the life of the sports personality of the century. What makes this book so unbias is the way the stories are told by the people closest to him...... the people he fought, the people who trained him, the people he dedicated his life to and the women he married. Some of the quotes will open up a side to Muhammad not captured by any previous documentary or archieved clip. From reading this book you will understand as i did that Cassuis Clay, behind the attention seeking, headline grabbing exterior lies one of the most sincere, honest and generous people and not to mention the most naturally gifted athlete ever to walk the globe. He has done unmeasureable things for the black community and stood up for what he truely believed despite any consequences he may be subjected to. I firmly believe he is worthy of his title 'Sports Personality of The Century'------- Dan Talbot, bored student whos just read his first book!
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on 23 March 1999
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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on 9 January 2012
If you like biography and are looking for a great read on Ali then this is the one! An exceptional account written with eyewitness accounts and some great quotes from those that were close to him. You won't regret buying this book.
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on 22 July 1999
Many reviews of Ali's life fall short of giving any real insight into the man who was "The Greatest" by spending far too much energy paying hero-worship. Hauser's contribution, however, gives a more rounded version and for the most part avoids looking back through rose coloured spectacles at a man who, like any man, had his flaws.
By managing to secure the opinions of family, friends, ex-opponents, cornermen, hangers-on and doctors alike which are offered without any obvious interested third party tampering it is possible to build up a picture of Ali which other biographies tend not to allow.
While there are some parts to the jigsaw missing through a reluctance of some key figures to contribute this remains for me a "must read" for Ali fans.
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