Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig

Into the Wild

Ali: A Life Read Online Free - The definitive biography of an American icon, from a New York Times best-selling author with unique access to Ali’s inner circle

He was the wittiest, the prettiest, the strongest, the bravest, and, of course, the greatest (as he told us himself). Muhammad Ali was one of the twentieth century’s most fantastic figures and arguably the most famous man on the planet.

But until now, he has never been the subject of a complete, unauthorized biography. Jonathan Eig, hailed by Ken Burns as one of America’s master storytellers, radically reshapes our understanding of the complicated man who was Ali. Eig had access to all the key people in Ali’s life, including his three surviving wives and his managers. He conducted more than 500 interviews and uncovered thousands of pages of previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files, as well dozens of hours of newly discovered audiotaped interviews from the 1960s. Collectively, they tell Ali’s story like never before—the story of a man who was flawed and uncertain and brave beyond belief.

“I am America,” he once declared. “I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me—black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me.”

He was born Cassius Clay in racially segregated Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a sign painter and a housekeeper. He went on to become a heavyweight boxer with a dazzling mix of power and speed, a warrior for racial pride, a comedian, a preacher, a poet, a draft resister, an actor, and a lover. Millions hated him when he changed his religion, changed his name, and refused to fight in the Vietnam War. He fought his way back, winning hearts, but at great cost. Like so many boxers, he stayed too long.

Jonathan Eig’s Ali reveals Ali in the complexity he deserves, shedding important new light on his politics, religion, personal life, and neurological condition. Ali is a story about America, about race, about a brutal sport, and about a courageous man who shook up the world.  

Title : Ali: A Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0544435249
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 640 pages


Rebecca rated it ★★★★★

January 17, 2018

The first book I ever reviewed on my blog, nearly three years ago, happened to be Jonathan Eig’s The Birth of the Pill. It was the strength of the writing in that offbeat work of history, as well as rave reviews for this 2017 biography of Muhammad Ali (1942–2016), that led me to pick up a sport-t...

Lance rated it ★★★★★

September 09, 2017

Not much needs to be said about the impact Muhammad Ali made on the sport of boxing, civil rights in the United States or the Muslim faith. There have been many books and articles written about the man on all of these topics and more. Now there is one source for inside information on Ali the man,...

Michael rated it ★★★★★

October 20, 2017

This book is extraordinary for how well it conveys so many different things about 20th Century life in the United States; boxing, coming of age, race, Islam, marriage (and divorce and infidelity), social action, aging, and finally, the power of charisma and bravery. The writing is crisp and engag...

Barnabas rated it ★★★★☆

January 03, 2018

Complex. Fascinating. Scintillating. Charismatic. Despicable. Inspiring. All words that describe Ali. The book itself was good but not great - it bogged down with repetition at times. Over all, the character pulled it along into a captivating story.

Mitchell rated it ★★★★★

November 18, 2017

Wow, this was a great book. I have read one other biography about Ali, but this one is way more comprehensive (never dull). I am surprised that the number of ratings are so low - perhaps it is because it is fairly new. It is certainly underrated for how good it is. So much to unpack with this one...

Styron rated it ★★★★★

October 19, 2017

This Muhammad Ali book is the “GOAT”, of Ali books! This was my eight book on Muhammad Ali. Ali, remains the ONLY athlete, I personally consider my hero. The other seven books, very well discuss his life as a boxer, just as the Will Smith, movie did. Jonathan Eig, painted the picture of the perso...

Joel rated it ★★★★★

October 04, 2017

You can’t understand the U.S. in the 60’s and 70’s, unless you understand the role of Ali. And you can’t understand the role of Ali, unless you read this brilliantly written, immaculately-researched book. The book manages to be both action-packed and full of broad, important themes (race, how ath...

Jeffrey rated it ★★★★★

November 15, 2017

I don't even like boxing and I still could not stop reading this book. I've read all of Jonathan Eig's books, and while his reporting and writing are always top-notch, ALI: A LIFE is his crowning achievement. Part of that, of course, is due to the fact that Ali was a fascinating, infuriating, dyna...

John rated it ★★★★★

October 21, 2017

Muhammad Ali was, by far, the greatest sports figure of the 20th century. His is a personality that no one will ever be able to "figure out" entirely. He was simultaneously thrilling, charming, disappointing, and malicious. But he was the greatest pugilist of all time(s), and his accomplishments...

Kerry rated it ★★★★★

October 18, 2017

I started reading this book, and could not put it down. The author captured the enthusiast nature of Ali's personality and rise to fame, as well as the turbulence of the Civil Rights movement.

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