The Tao of Muhammad Ali: A True Story

Davis Miller, Author
Davis Miller, Author Warner Books $22 (306p) ISBN 978-0-446-51946-5
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57042-444-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-609-80453-7
Paperback - 306 pages - 978-0-09-975341-4
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4481-3096-2
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-8041-5171-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-86513-6
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To Miller, a contributing editor to Sport magazine, it seems as if Muhammad Ali has always been a part of his life--even as far back as January 1964, when the author ""had just turned twelve and was the shortest and skinniest and sickliest kid in town."" It was then that Miller first saw Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, on TV, in connection with his fight against Sonny Liston. Ali was, as always, supremely confident: ""I'm young and handsome and fast and pretty and can't possibly be beat,"" Miller heard the boxer say. For Miller, ""the voice was cooking with the cosmic."" In this engaging blend of autobiography and portrait, Miller goes on to tell of meeting Ali in person, in 1975, at the boxer's training camp in Pennsylvania, where the writer sparred with the champ and took a punch that dazed him. Although Miller has met other boxing legends, Ali, he says, is in a class by himself--not only for his consummate skill and self-assurance but for other qualities as well, such as the quiet, sure, unmistakable way he befriends and enlivens others, seemingly relieving them at least in part of their troubles and worries. The author leaves no doubt that his admiration for and friendship with Ali has had a benevolent--perhaps salvational--effect on his own life. While the exact nature of Ali's effect on Miller remains unclear, the picture of Ali presented here offers many clues--the man Miller portrays so vividly is, though physically slowed by Parkinson's syndrome, full of charm, wit and religious fervor (""I've been everywhere in the world, seen everything, had everything a man can have. Don't none of it mean nothin'.... The only thing that matters is submitting to the will of God""). Told in clean, spare prose, Miller's warm celebration of Ali will have readers cheering for the man who calls himself ""The Greatest of all Times""--and for his Boswell too. Simultaneous Time Warner AudioBook.(Nov.)
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