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Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2017
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Description
An insightful portrait of Muhammad Ali from the New York Times bestselling author of At the Altar of Speed and The Big Bam. It centers on the cultural and political implications of Ali's refusal of service in the military—and the key moments in a life that was as high profile and transformative as any in the twentieth century.
With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired—but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an era when few people were as outspoken. He renounced his name—Cassius Clay—as being his 'slave name,' and joined the Nation of Islam, renaming himself Muhammad Ali. And finally in 1966, after being drafted, he refused to join the military for religious and conscientious reasons, triggering a fight that was larger than any of his bouts in the ring. What followed was a period of legal battles, of cultural obsession, and in some ways of being the very embodiment of the civil rights movement located in the heart of one man. Muhammad Ali was the tip of the arrow, and Leigh Montville brilliantly assembles all the boxing, the charisma, the cultural and political shifting tides, and ultimately the enormous waft of entertainment that always surrounded Ali. Muhammed Ali vs. the United States of America is an important and incredibly engaging book.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/16/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385536066
ASIN:
B01LYMHIQB
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APA Citation (style guide)

Leigh Montville. (2017). Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Leigh Montville. 2017. Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali Vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Leigh Montville, Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali Vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Leigh Montville. Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali Vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: Three-time New York Times bestselling author LEIGH MONTVILLE is a former columnist at The Boston Globe and former senior writer at Sports Illustrated. He is the author of Evel, The Mysterious Montague, The Big Bam, Ted Williams, At the Altar of Speed, Manute, and Why Not Us? He lives in Boston.
      • name: Leigh Montville
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title
Sting Like a Bee
fullDescription
An insightful portrait of Muhammad Ali from the New York Times bestselling author of At the Altar of Speed and The Big Bam. It centers on the cultural and political implications of Ali's refusal of service in the military—and the key moments in a life that was as high profile and transformative as any in the twentieth century.
With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired—but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an era when few people were as outspoken. He renounced his name—Cassius Clay—as being his 'slave name,' and joined the Nation of Islam, renaming himself Muhammad Ali. And finally in 1966, after being drafted, he refused to join the military for religious and conscientious reasons, triggering a fight that was larger than any of his bouts in the ring. What followed was a period of legal battles, of cultural obsession, and in some ways of being the very embodiment of the civil rights movement located in the heart of one man. Muhammad Ali was the tip of the arrow, and Leigh Montville brilliantly assembles all the boxing, the charisma, the cultural and political shifting tides, and ultimately the enormous waft of entertainment that always surrounded Ali. Muhammed Ali vs. the United States of America is an important and incredibly engaging book.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus
      • content: "A fast-paced account of Muhammad Ali's struggle as a conscientious draft objector, a flashpoint for a tumultuous era. . . A dramatic, pleasing tale of a sports iconoclast fighting for his rights."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Revealing . . . With dry humor, Montville portrays the central figures of Ali's life--mostly hustlers and religious idealists--as well as the controversies surrounding an African-American who both condemned racial injustice and praised George Wallace . . . Montville shows how Ali earned the title he came up with for himself: 'The Greatest.'"
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 15, 2017
        In this revealing history, sports writer Montville (Ted Williams) portrays Muhammad Ali, one of the most celebrated athletes of the 20th century, during the tumultuous 1960s. The day after felling Sonny Liston to win the 1964 heavyweight championship, 22-year-old Muhammad Ali pledged allegiance to the Nation of Islam. The hysteria that followed grew ever louder as the fighter went on to reject his “slave” name and refuse draft induction, saying “I don’t have no personal quarrel with those Viet Congs.” After a series of court battles, Ali was convicted and given a five-year sentence for refusing to be drafted. Stripped of his passport and boxing titles, Ali scraped by on speaking gigs and performing as a lead for a Broadway musical, Buck White, as his lawyers fought to keep him out of prison. With dry humor, Montville portrays the central figures of Ali’s life—mostly hustlers and religious idealists—as well as the controversies surrounding an African-American who both condemned racial injustice and praised George Wallace. Montville only touches on the brutality of the NOI and the megalomania of Elijah Muhammad. Before his battle with the U.S. government, Ali was a unique talent; afterward, he was a pariah who became a hero. Montville shows how Ali earned the title he came up with for himself: “The Greatest.”

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2017
        Fast-paced account of Muhammad Ali's struggle as a conscientious draft objector, a flashpoint for a tumultuous era.Prolific sportswriter Montville (Evel: The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend, 2011, etc.) writes in a breezy, colloquial style, but his diligent research allows him to capture both the inimitable Ali and the larger social sweep of the mid-1960s as the heavyweight champion's stance against being drafted crystallized thorny political and racial issues. "He stumbled into his situation," writes the author, "said he didn't want to go to war because of his religion, put one foot in front of another, and came out the other end a hero." Montville proves that Ali's grueling odyssey to the Supreme Court, following the loss of his livelihood and nearly his freedom, mirrored mainstream America's slow embrace of tolerance and turn against the Vietnam War. The author goes beyond the expected celebrity cameos to capture the diverse supporting cast orbiting Ali, from the white Louisville businessmen who originally backed him to a black Philadelphia gangster who gave him a house, as well as the secretive subcultures of boxing and the Nation of Islam. He humanizes Ali by following him through his strange forced retirement, when he became a passionate speaker on college campuses and even starred in a radical theater production on Broadway, as the national mood grew darker. Montville adeptly synthesizes primary sources, from Ali's verbal jousts with Howard Cosell to his testimony before a segregationist judge, who actually concurred with Ali's argument on religious grounds but was overruled by the Justice Department. The narrative follows both Ali's intricate legal appeals and his belated return to competition following the 1970 restoration of his boxing license, culminating in a long-delayed, bitter bout against Joe Frazier: "Every newspaper in America would run a picture of [Ali's] knockdown." Ali remains a magnetic figure throughout, but Montville restores his fuller human complexity. A dramatic, pleasing tale of a sports iconoclast fighting for his rights during tumultuous times.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2017

        Who was heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali's toughest opponent? Was it Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, George Foreman, or Ken Norton? The foe who took Ali's title, forced him into a premature retirement, and tried to imprison him was the U.S. government which, during the volatile days of the Vietnam War, successfully prosecuted Ali for draft evasion. Montville, former senior editor at Sports Illustrated, details Ali's battle, which began in 1966 and ended with a unanimous 1971 decision by the Supreme Court in the ex-champ's favor. This story follows Ali's life in exile on the college lecture circuit, reminding us of nearly forgotten events such as Ali's suspension from the Nation of Islam, computer-generated "greatest of all time" battle with undefeated former champ Rocky Marciano, and short-lived career on Broadway. VERDICT While this is not the only book to focus on Ali's legal battles, Montville has given fans and boxing historians a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read.--Jim Burns, formerly with Jacksonville P.L., FL

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2017
        Veteran Sports Illustrated writer Montville adds to the voluminous shelf of books on Muhammad Ali, but he focuses specifically on the years of legal wrangling that followed the boxer's refusal to join the army after being drafted. After that action, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight championship by various boxing commissions and was thrust into an extended legal battle with the federal government. Montville recounts the blow-by-blow exchanged by lawyers over the years, but he also traces the fascinating backstory. During the period after he declared his adherence to the Nation of Islam (immediately following the first Sonny Liston bout, in which Ali surprisingly won the championship), Ali was both vilified and venerated by different segments of the American public. The refusal to join the army only added fuel to the fire. Montville goes into this period in Ali's lifea tumultuous time for the country, of course, in the midst of the Vietnam Warin greater detail than have the champion's other biographers, and the result is a book that belongs in the top tier of Ali literature.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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An insightful portrait of Muhammad Ali from the New York Times bestselling author of At the Altar of Speed and The Big Bam. It centers on the cultural and political implications of Ali's refusal of service in the military—and the key moments in a life that was as high profile and transformative as any in the twentieth century.
With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired—but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an...
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Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group