Muhammad Ali: The Glory Years

Felix Dennis, Author, Don Atyeo, Author, Don Atyeo, Joint Author Miramax Books $45 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4013-5193-9
Though the subtitle of this photo-rich biography might suggest that it covers only a few years of Muhammad Ali's meteoric career, in fact authors Dennis and Atyeo deal with all of the heavyweight boxing champion's years in the ring: from his first bout at the age of 12 to his retirement at 38. Ali dominated the world of professional boxing for almost 20 years, but he was as famous for his political declarations and media-attracting antics as he was for his stunning innovations in technique. Dennis and Atyeo give a well-rounded portrait of the Kentucky fighter's many talents, drawing upon their own interviews with Ali as well as from interviews with his friends, family, opponents and trainers to create a swift, enjoyable read. They cover all of Ali's major fights--including those against Sonny Liston, George Foreman and Joe Frazier--as well as many less notable ones. Dennis and Atyeo are also careful not to pigeon-hole Ali into any one type, seeking, instead, to convey his many contradictions and transformations. The only aspect of his life that they appear to shy away from is the domestic, particularly his difficult and chauvinistic relationships with women. Though there are already many other competent biographies of Ali, this volume distinguishes itself from the mass with its easy, magazine-style prose (Dennis is the owner of Dennis Publishing, which is responsible for Blender and Maxim, among other magazines, and Atyeo is an Australian journalist), its clean design and its abundance of spectacular photographs.
Reviewed on: 10/20/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
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