King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 326 pages
90 Reviews
"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." --The Wall Street Journal

"Best Nonfiction Book of the Year" --Time

"Penetrating . . . reveal[s] details that even close followers of [Ali] might not have known. . . . An amazing story." --The New York Times

On the night in 1964 that Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) stepped into the ring with Sonny Liston, he was widely regarded as an irritating freak who danced and talked way too much. Six rounds later Ali was not only the new world heavyweight boxing champion: He was "a new kind of black man" who would shortly transform America's racial politics, its popular culture, and its notions of heroism.
        
No one has captured Ali--and the era that he exhilarated and sometimes infuriated--with greater vibrancy, drama, and astuteness than David Remnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lenin's Tomb (and editor of The New Yorker). In charting Ali's rise from the gyms of Louisville, Kentucky, to his epochal fights against Liston and Floyd Patterson, Remnick creates a canvas of unparalleled richness. He gives us empathetic portraits of wisecracking sportswriters and bone-breaking mobsters; of the baleful Liston and the haunted Patterson; of an audacious Norman Mailer and an enigmatic Malcolm X. Most of all, King of the World does justice to the speed, grace, courage, humor, and ebullience of one of the greatest athletes and irresistibly dynamic personalities of our time.

"Nearly pulse-pounding narrative power . . . an important account of a period in American social history." --Chicago Tribune

"A pleasure . . . haunting . . . so vivid that one can imagine Ali saying, 'How'd you get inside my head, boy?'" --Wilfrid Sheed, Time
  

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Good writing and good research by the author. - Goodreads
A superb biography and history by a masterful writer. - Goodreads
The writing itself is very well done. - Goodreads

Review: King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero

User Review  - David Hollingsworth - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

Review: King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero

User Review  - Sam - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

Contents

ONE Underground Man
3
TWO Two Minutes Six Seconds 2 7
27
FIVE The Bicycle Thief
80
SIX TwentiethCentury Exuberance
99
NINE The Cross and the Crescent
163
TEN Bear Hunting
173
THIRTEEN Save Me Joe Louis 2 2 1
221
Old Men by the Fire
285
Notes on Sources and Acknowledgments
307
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

David Remnick was a reporter for The Washington Post
for ten years, including four in Moscow. He joined The
New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has been the magazine's
editor since 1998. Remnick served as an Olympic
Correspondent and Commentator for NBC
during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

Bibliographic information