By Charles Lemert. "A brilliant meditation on celebrity and spectatorship and an astute cultural analysis of race and sport, Charles Lemert's Muhammad Ali is also an affectionate biography of one of the most significant figures of our age." Barry Glassner, University of Southern California, author of The Culture of Fear
"Ali's fame was launched on the tide of his astonishing athletic prowess, but it was borne along by the spurting cross-currents of culture, race and politics which boiled so fiercely during the 1960s and 1970s. Lemert is excellent on Ali in relation to these cross-currents, but he also dares to dive deeper, into the secret waters of myth, totem and taboo which still underlie more of human thought and feeling than we may like to admit Ö This is a remarkably interesting and re-readable essay." Financial Times
This absorbing book unravels the reasons for the enduring respect and reverence that Muhammad Ali commands long after the end of his athletic career. It will appeal to those teaching and studying cultural studies, social theory, sports studies, and sociology, as well as to general readers interested in Muhammad Ali. A probing account of Muhammad Aliís life, which also examines the manís celebrity and his importance in global history. The first book to unravel the reasons for the enduring respect and reverence that Muhammad Ali commands long after the end of his athletic career; traces the key controversies and significant events, from Ali's first announcement of his membership in the Nation of Islam, through his courageous refusal to fight in Vietnam, to his spiritual calm in the face of crippling disease; Offers an original and compelling theory of the celebrity in postmodern society. Polity (2003), English, Paperback: 224 pages.