Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties

Front Cover
Verso, 2005 - History - 326 pages
1 Review
New edition. A new afterword considers Ali and his legacy in light of the war on terror and new connotations of Islam and the West. Is there a more characteristic figure of the 1960s than Muhammad Aliplayful and political, popular and non-conformist, defiant and triumphant? Mike Marqusee puts the great boxer back in his true historical context to explore a crucial moment at the crossroads of popular culture and mass resistance. He traces Ali's interaction with the evolving black liberation and anti-war movements, including his brief but fascinating liaison with Malcolm X, as well as his encounters with Martin Luther King, Jr. Marqusee's elegant and forceful narrative explores the origins and impact of Ali's dramatic public stands on race and the draft, and reinterprets the "Rumble in the Jungle," shedding new light on its triumph and tragedy. Above all, he imbues Ali's story with a long-neglected international dimension, revealing why Ali was embraced with such warmth by diverse peoples across the globe. This timely antidote to the apolitical celebration of Ali as "a great American" revisits the man and the period with a fresh eye, casting new light on both his courage and his confusions.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixities

User Review  - Goodreads

A complex book to discuss a complex man. It loses it's way when it meanders around Bob Dylan, but that might be my personal taste. The book returns to the earlier form for The Rumble in the Jungle. Overall presenting a portrait of a man in his time. Read full review

Review: Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixities

User Review  - Goodreads

Muhammad Ali is one of the most complex, divisive and challenging figures in recent US history, he is – icon, athlete, activist. Mike Marqusse shows us how Ali's life is about so much more than boxing ... Read full review


The Baby Figure of the Giant Mass
A Change Is Gonna Come
Bringing It All Back Home
Beyond the Confines of America
At the Rendezvous of Victory
Crowns and Garlands
Muhammad Ali and the War on Terror
Note on Sources

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Making Sense of Sports
Ernest Cashmore
No preview available - 2005
All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

Mike Marqusee's books include Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s, Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties, War Minus the Shooting, Anyone but England and If I Am Not for Myself. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian and writes a fortnightly column for the Indian newspaper The Hindu. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information