He was the wittiest, the prettiest, the strongest, the bravest, and, of course, the greatest (as he told us over and over again). Muhammad Ali was one of the twentieth century's greatest radicals and most compelling figures. At his funeral in 2016, eulogists said Ali had transcended race and united the country, but they got it wrong. Race was the theme of Ali's life. He insisted that America come to grips with a black man who wasn't afraid to speak out or break the rules.
Ali went from being one of the most despised men in the country to one of the most beloved. In Ali: A Life, Jonathan Eig breaks new ground and radically reshapes our understanding of Muhammad Ali. Eig had access to all the key people in Ali's life, including his three surviving wives and his managers. He also had access to thousands of pages of new FBI and Justice Department files, as well as dozens of hours of newly discovered audiotaped interviews from the 1960s.
Revealing Ali in the complexity he deserves, shedding important new light on his politics and his neurological condition, Ali is a story about race, about a brutal sport, and about a fascinating man who shook up the world.
Jonathan Eig is the bestselling author of numerous books including Luckiest Man and Opening Day. He is a contributing writer to the Wall Street Journal.
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Recorded On: Thursday, October 26, 2017