by Sukey HowardJanuary, 1999
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Remnick has given The Greatest the knockout biography and winning audio he deserves. In King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero (6 hours), read by Dick Hall, Remnick shows us how a gangly kid from Kentucky became not just a brilliant boxer, but one of the most electrifying personalities of the our time, a man who remains a living symbol of faith, conviction, skill, wit, and racial pride. As Cassius Clay, he entered boxing in an age when a black fighter was expected to behave, to defer to white sensibilities. Clay broke that mold, changed his name and religion, and refused to go to Vietnam. At the pinnacle of his career, he took his fight out of the boxing arena and into the politics of the day, costing him his heavyweight title and millions of dollars. Though this bio goes only to mid-career, Remnick spent time with Ali and includes the Champ today, remembering himself when he could float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.