King of the World Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero There were mythic sports figures before him Jack Johnson Babe Ruth Joe Louis Joe DiMaggio but when Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene from his native Louisville in the s he broke the mol

  • Title: King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
  • Author: David Remnick
  • ISBN: 9780330371896
  • Page: 173
  • Format: Paperback
  • There were mythic sports figures before him Jack Johnson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio but when Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene from his native Louisville in the 1950s, he broke the mold He changed the world of sports and went on to change the world itself As Muhammad Ali, he would become the most recognized face on the planet Ali was a transcendent athThere were mythic sports figures before him Jack Johnson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio but when Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene from his native Louisville in the 1950s, he broke the mold He changed the world of sports and went on to change the world itself As Muhammad Ali, he would become the most recognized face on the planet Ali was a transcendent athlete and entertainer, a heavyweight Fred Astaire, a rapper before rap was born He was a mirror of his era, a dynamic figure in the racial and cultural battles of his time This unforgettable story of his rise and self creation, told by a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, places Ali in a heritage of great American originals.Cassius Clay grew up in the Jim Crow South and came of athletic age when boxers were at the mercy of the mob From the start, Clay rebelled against everything and everyone who would keep him and his people down He refused the old stereotypes and refused the glad hand of the mob And, to the confusion and fury of white sportswriters, who were far comfortable with the self effacing Joe Louis, Clay came forward as a rebel, insistent on his political views, on his new religion, and, eventually, on a new name His rebellion nearly cost him the chance to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world.King of the World features some of the pivotal figures of the 1960s Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, John F Kennedy and its pivotal events the civil rights movement, political assassinations, the war in Vietnam Muhammad Ali is a great hero and a beloved figure in American life 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.

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    About "David Remnick"

    1. David Remnick

      David Remnick born October 29, 1958 is an American journalist, writer, and magazine editor He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin s Tomb The Last Days of the Soviet Empire Remnick has been editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1998 He was named Editor of the Year by Advertising Age in 2000 Before joining The New Yorker, Remnick was a reporter and the Moscow correspondent for The Washington Post He has also served on the New York Public Library s board of trustees In 2010 he published his sixth book, The Bridge The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.Remnick was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of a dentist, Edward C Remnick, and an art teacher, Barbara Seigel He was raised in Hillsdale, New Jersey, in a secular Jewish home with, he has said, a lot of books around He is also childhood friends with comedian Bill Maher He graduated from Princeton University in 1981 with an A.B in comparative literature there, he met writer John McPhee and helped found The Nassau Weekly Remnick has implied that after college he wanted to write novels, but due to his parents illnesses, he needed a paying job there was no trust fund to rely on Remnick wanted to be a writer, so he chose a career in journalism, taking a job at The Washington Post He is married to reporter Esther Fein of The New York Times and has three children, Alex, Noah, and Natasha He enjoys jazz music and classic cinema and is fluent in Russian.He began his reporting career at The Washington Post in 1982 shortly after his graduation from Princeton His first assignment was to cover the United States Football League After six years, in 1988, he became the newspaper s Moscow correspondent, which provided him with the material for Lenin s Tomb He also received the George Polk Award for excellence in journalism.Remnick became a staff writer at The New Yorker in September, 1992, after ten years at The Washington Post.Remnick s 1997 New Yorker article Kid Dynamite Blows Up, about boxer Mike Tyson, was nominated for a National Magazine Award In 1998 he became editor, succeeding Tina Brown Remnick promoted Hendrik Hertzberg, a former Jimmy Carter speechwriter and former editor of The New Republic, to write the lead pieces in Talk of the Town, the magazine s opening section In 2005 Remnick earned 1 million for his work as the magazine s editor.In 2003 he wrote an editorial supporting the Iraq war in the days when it started In 2004, for the first time in its 80 year history, The New Yorker endorsed a presidential candidate, John Kerry.In May 2009, Remnick was featured in a long form Twitter account of Dan Baum s career as a New Yorker staff writer The tweets, written over the course of a week, described the difficult relationship between Baum and Remnick, his editor.Remnick s biography of President Barack Obama, The Bridge, was released on April 6, 2010 It features hundreds of interviews with friends, colleagues, and other witnesses to Obama s rise to the presidency of the United States The book has been widely reviewed in journals.In 2010 Remnick lent his support to the campaign urging the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of ordering the murder of her husband by her lover and adultery.In 2013 Remnick 81 was the guest speaker at Princeton University Class Day.Remnick provided guest commentary and contributed to NBC coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia including the opening ceremony and commentary for NBC News.

    273 thoughts on “King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero”

    1. "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."-- Muhammad AliPre-Review Smack Talk:I will review this sucker tomorrow. David Remnick better quake. I'm coming for this book. I read it from cover to cover. I know the words better than Remnick could hope to ever know it. Of course he wrote it, because the words ran from him. I know Remick's words better than his mamma knows him. Tomorrow. Yes. I'll give this book till tomorrow. And then I'm coming. I'm coming wit [...]


    2. My S.F. Chronicle review from 1998:David Remnick deserves a nod of thanks for, among other things, helping us associate the words ``King of the World'' with something other than a pop movie director so awash in Oscar-night self-congratulation that he seemed intent on drawing sniper fire. Remnick, who is editor of the New Yorker, is a writer to watch, and he and the greatest sports figure of the century are an excellent match. Some will complain that this compact study of Cassius Clay's evolution [...]


    3. This is my first David Remnick book and it certainly won't be my last. He writes with such fluidity and clear vision that every page is a delight to read.This isn't really a pure biography on Muhammad Ali, rather, it is an insight into his early years leading to his championship fight (and rematch) with Sonny Liston, his conversion to Islam, his match against Floyd Patterson and his views on the Vietnam war and eventual refusal to be drafted by the Army. Amongst all of this is also a fantastic h [...]


    4. majority of this book deals with the timeframe between Cassuis Clay's first heavyweight title fight against Sonny Liston, and the rematch between Liston and (now) Muhammad Ali. an instructive window into a time before Ali was an internationally-known sports icon, and before his refusal to be inducted into the US Army.well-written, and an interesting window into a time BEFORE Ali was the most polarizing figure in sports. the evolution from being just a talented black boxer to racial lightening ro [...]


    5. David Remnick's King of the World, tells the story of Cassius Clay, a boxing legend also known as Muhammad Ali, who faces America's segregated society and boxing politics while trying his best to become the greatest boxing champion of all time. The book is set in the U.S. during the mid and late 20th century, where the colored stand separated from the whites and boxing is a very popular source of entertainment. Surrounded by many problems, Muhammad Ali continued his path to be the greatest boxer [...]


    6. Oh man did I love this book!This book is the story of the rivalry between Ali and Sonny Liston. Yeah, yeah, everyone says it is about Ali because everyone idolizes Ali; but Liston gets equal treatment here.So here's the deal. Today everyone talks as if they have always loved Ali, but back in the sixties, his Muslim beliefs scared people and his outspoken ways led many to hate him.Then there was Sonny Liston, cold, menacing, the man with the largest hands of any heavyweight champion. Liston had k [...]



    7. David Remnick is perhaps best known for his award-winning work on Russia since the collapse of Communism (Lenin's Tomb and Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia). His most recent book deals with Cassius Clay and his transformation into Mohammed Ali. "Boxing in America was born of slavery." Southern plantation owners would often pit their strongest slaves against each other, sometimes to near death. Frederick Douglass objected to the sport because he believed it "muffled the spirit of insur [...]


    8. A superb biography and history by a masterful writer. This book has been described as a biography of Muhammad Ali, but it's really much more than that. Actually, it's a story about how three men (Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, and Cassius Clay who renamed himself Muhammad Ali) all responded in different ways to the identity choices African Americans faced as a result of the simultaneous civil rights and the black nationalist movements in the early 1960's. At times this book reads more like an ad [...]


    9. Wow, this has to be one of my favorite all-time sports biographies. The prose is pure butter: elegant, but also smooth and riveting. One does not need to be knowledgeable about the sport of boxing, nor a particular fan of boxing, to find this book entertaining and enlightening.This book covers Ali's childhood through his Patterson/Liston fights. The book starts out by describing Patterson's and Liston's tough childhoods, and their rise to fame in the chaotic boxing world. Both of these opponents [...]


    10. While Muhammad Ali is the main focus, this lively book is in effect a triple biography of the three dominant heavyweight boxers of the first half of the 1960s: Ali, Floyd Patterson, and Sonny Liston, each of whom fought the other two once or twice between 1961 and 1965. The first quarter of the book focuses on Patterson and Liston, their backgrounds, key events in their lives, and detailed accounts of their two matches, in 1962 and 1963. Then Ali arrives on the scene, and the narrative really pi [...]


    11. This book tells Ali's story mostly from his middle-class childhood in Louisville through his refusal to fight for the US in Vietnam, and also brushes briefly over what happened later in his life, and the physical and mental toll his boxing took on him. It gives a complex picture, repeating and examining the legends and also recalling some of Ali's troubling beliefs. "A black man should be killed if he's messing with a white woman," he once said, according to this book. Remnick's writing is clean [...]


    12. I'm not a fan of boxing. But I guess I got sick of being in the pub and listening to men go on and on about about Muhammad Bloody Ali for hours. I mean all he did was biff people right? Err no. I was probably lucky in picking up this book. There are probably a dozen biographies about Ali but this one is fabulous, I could hardly put it down. Did I mention that I wasn't a fan of boxing. I'm still not. But I'm now definitely a fan of Muhammad Ali. He is beautiful, he is a legend and he has helped s [...]


    13. Entertaining, engrossing and refreshingly grounded in the humanity of not just Ali, but also Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston. So much has been written about Ali, there's a lot of ground that simply does not need to be covered again. By focusing his book on a specific moment in a blossoming myth, Remnick, with simple, elegant prose, paints a picture of a time and a hero and makes it clear that both would be very different without the other.


    14. I am not really into sports but this book is really about one of America's most important historical figures. Ali was a testament to determination and self-preservation. Loved it.


    15. its not what you did its the way you did it. like the way he writes, intwinned with my way of thinking. whatever that says.


    16. *No Spoilers* Character(s): Cassius Clay/Mohammad Ali=5. Remnick does an excellent job describing Mohammad's character in every little detail."He was beautiful again. He was fast,sleek,and twenty-two"(Remnick 20) this exemplify's Mohammad's image during his first fight and how he was at his prime. Mohammad Ali is one of my greatest role models so of course his character is the best. He stays true to himself all throughout his life; he never once doubts himself and believes from day one that he w [...]


    17. Follows Ali's early career up through the Liston and Patterson fights, stopping with Vietnam and the draft. Along the way we're treated to first-rate capsule biographies of Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston. It is really a shame that we don't get book-length Remnick any more - the guy is a professional.I'm not really sure how a book-length treatment of Ali ends up leaving out all the Frazier fights (the Fight of the Century? Thrilla in Manilla?) and the Foreman fight (Rumble in the Jungle? - I me [...]


    18. Remnick is a wonderful storyteller. This book is about the early years of Cassius Clay and his transition to Muhammed Ali. It tells the story of boxing prior to Ali and his early impact. Prior to Ali, organized crime had quite a grip on boxing. The story ends at Ali refusing to be drafted. This tale is also about racial inequality and one talented, handsome young athlete who found himself in a unique position to successfully rattle the status quo in boxing and in America. Too young to "know his [...]


    19. One of the best books I've read on boxing and on one of my personal heroes, Muhammad Ali. Oddly, although written rather recently, the book covers a very short time frame in Ali's career - namely the time between his winning the gold medal at the Olympics and his being stripped of the heavyweight title for refusing to serve in the Army. If you don't know the story of Cassius Clay and his rise to fame as the black Muslim Muhammad Ali (and too many people don't), then this book is an awesome place [...]


    20. This book isn't a normal biography. It gives you the story of Muhammad Ali, but also gives you the story of the two previous heavyweight champions before him and puts them into the historical, cultural, and sociological context of their time and place in boxing history. It reads like a case study almost as much as it does a narrative.The writing itself is very well done. Remnick has a talent for balancing personal drama, social dynamics, and historical narratives to create a book that is as enga [...]


    21. Unfortunately, there isn't very much information here that you haven't already read in Thomas Hauser's Ali biography or (even better) Nick Tosches' The Devil and Sonny Liston. Remnick's mastery of post-journalese narrative does make the book a decent, quick read. But I grimaced every time Remnick deliberately tried to take Ali down a peg or two (ha ha ha Cassius Clay buying a parachute on the plane trip to Rome; for shame, Ali was a total womanizer). Not that I think Ali is beyond criticism: it' [...]


    22. Really well researched book by David Remnick on Muhammad Ali and his rise to fame as Cassius Clay and his first fight against Sonny Liston. This book, unlike what I thought, does not focus on Ali's entire life, but instead just a period from 1960 to around 1966. The main focus is Ali's two fights with Liston (one as Clay) including the second fight that features possibly the best photograph of the last century in sports (trust me, you've seen it). My problem with the book is it takes a little to [...]


    23. Remnick opens the story on February 25, 1964, when Muhammad Ali was twenty-two and about to face the fierce heavyweight champion Sonny Liston: "for the first and last time in his life, [Ali] was afraid." It's a shrewd distillation of a historic moment. Not many expected Ali to win--just as not many expected him to become arguably the dominant personality of late twentieth-century America.In his youth, Ali [then Cassius Clay] wasn't out to show the world "a new kind of black man," but Remnick pow [...]


    24. a good, quick read. remnick's writing style has changed since he wrote this in '98 -- it feels like a more novelistic at parts than the stuff in the bridge and his more recent stuff in the new yorker, but that worked just for fine me point of interest for others who have read the book: remnick insists that ali wrote much of his trademark doggerel by himself, including a 32-liner called "song of myself". this seemed unlikely to me (the whitman reference was a pretty good tip-off), and some quick [...]


    25. I recently read Ali one of the best boxers that ever lived. This book was a really good book because it talks about Ali’s whole life, how he started fighting and how he goes through hard times. Ali was one of the best boxers that ever lived that’s one of the reasons why I life this book. Its hard to believe that he won all those fights in his whole career he only lost 3 fights out of like fifty or more fight and most of them were all ko’s. It incredible how much money he won over his it ti [...]


    26. Most of you know I love sports. I was never into boxing but always curious. There are a ton of Ali bios out there but I chose this one for two reasons:First, David Remnick is a fabulous writer--hence the Pulitzer. But secondly, his talent with this book really lies within the way he approaches the athlete. You'd be surprised that the first couple chapters are not about Ali at all. In fact, he is hardly mentioned in the entire first section. Instead, the chapters are devoted to other key boxers d [...]


    27. Focusses around the two fights Ali fought against Sonny Liston but the scope of this book is wide enough that all the other issues of the time are tackled too. Remnick does a good job of placing the reader in the time and place when boxing and historic events intertwined and the resulting narrative is informative, intelligent and entertaining.(Blah, blah that sounds too serious.) If you know nothing about boxing or Ali this is a probably a good place to start as it exposes the racism, hatred, co [...]


    28. I liked this more for the picture it paints of the boxing world and african american history than out of any admiration for muhammad ali. Remnick starts by telling the stories of Floyd Patterson and Sonny Liston, and how the press depicted them as good negro/bad negroing the scene for the explosive appearance of Ali. The discussion of civil rights, african american history, the role of the sports press and Ali's embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood are all fascinating. Oh, and the mob's control of [...]


    29. I've never watched a boxing match but as a child I knew who Muhammad Ali was. Having read The Autobiography of Malcolm X last year King of the World by David Remnick seemed like a logical follow-up.King of the World chronicles the first few years of Cassius Clay's boxing career, his conversion to Islam, his rocky marriage (and divorce) to Sonji Roi. Remnick divides his time among describing the boxing matches, Clay's personal life, the political atmosphere and his friendship with Malcolm X.Boxin [...]


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