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Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties

A classic book that traces Muhammad Ali’s political development in the sixties
When Muhammad Ali died, many mourned the life of the greatest sportsman the world had ever seen. In Redemption Song, Mike Marqusee argues that Ali was not only a boxer but a remarkable political figure in a decade of tumultuous change. Playful, popular, always confrontational, Ali refashioned the role of a political activist and was central, alongside figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, to the black liberation and the anti-war movements. Marqusee shows that sport and politics were always intertwined, and this is the reason why Ali remained an international beacon of hope, long after he had left the ring.

Reviews

  • “A beautiful book.”
  • “One of the most important—and influential—pieces of sportswriting in the last thirty years. There is no better example of how to use sports as a radical lens to understand politics.”
  • “Fascinating, well-written, entertaining and significant. Redemption Song provides rare and important insights into Muhammad Ali and his immense global impact on a turbulent and ground-breaking era.”
  • “A thrilling book about a true and enduring hero … Mike Marqusee has done him, and us, proud.”
  • “Among the slew of recent Ali books, here’s one that returns the political sting to ‘The Greatest’ … As Marqusee portrays him, Ali is still the righteous outlaw, as badass as ever and still in the eye of a global storm.”
  • “Excellent … Reminds us just how explosive and divisive a figure Ali was.”
  • “As Marqusee charts how Ali helped create a global consciousness, he succeeds in knocking Ali off the respectable pedestal on which American culture had placed him, resurrecting him as the radical figure he truly was … a vibrant historical essay.”

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Other books by Mike Marqusee Foreword by Dave Zirin

Other books of interest