THE GREATEST: My Own Story by Muhammad & Richard Durham Ali


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Ali did it the hard way, and who can blame him for taking this opportunity to huzzah I-told-you-so's to the legions of smart-ass sportswriters and foreign war vets who so surely and continually (and mistakenly) predicted his imminent defeat--from Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and the U.S. government. But a mellowed (and aging) Ali dispenses with the hoopla and the hype as old feuds emerge badly tarnished from his PR factory; folks he called toadying Uncle Toms but a short while ago (Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson, Archie Moore) are here treated with respect and understanding. The book is sentimental rather than polemical on those old bugaboos--politics and religion--which no gentleman is supposed to discuss, and remarkably free of the facile mythologizing of Mailer and Sheed. In his own speak, Ali is less heroic, but of course more likable. Co-author Durham (former editor of Muhammad Speaks) treats the chapters dramatically, with a full complement of dialogue and stream-of-consciousness; also included are tape-recorded conversations between Ali and Frazier and Ali and his first wife. Intelligent, diligent, and ascetic (no sex--but wet dreams--for six weeks before the fight), Ali remains, of course, the media star who outshines all others--a great fighter and talker who was never afraid to put his body where his mouth was.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1975
Publisher: Random House