Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X

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9780465079704: Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X
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In 1962, boxing writers and fans considered Cassius Clay an obnoxious self-promoter, and few believed that he would become the heavyweight champion of the world. But Malcolm X, the most famous minister in the Nation of Islam-a sect many white Americans deemed a hate cult-saw the potential in Clay, not just for boxing greatness, but as a means of spreading the Nation's message. The two became fast friends, keeping their interactions secret from the press for fear of jeopardizing Clay's career. Clay began living a double life-a patriotic "good Negro" in public, and a radical reformer behind the scenes. Soon, however, their friendship would sour, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences.

Based on previously untapped sources, from Malcolm's personal papers to FBI records, Blood Brothers is the first book to offer an in-depth portrait of this complex bond. Acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith reconstruct the worlds that shaped Malcolm and Clay, from the boxing arenas and mosques, to postwar New York and civil rights-era Miami. In an impressively detailed account, they reveal how Malcolm molded Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, helping him become an international symbol of black pride and black independence. Yet when Malcolm was barred from the Nation for criticizing the philandering of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm-a choice that tragically contributed to the latter's assassination in February 1965.

Malcolm's death marked the end of a critical phase of the civil rights movement, but the legacy of his friendship with Ali has endured. We inhabit a new era where the roles of entertainer and activist, of sports and politics, are more entwined than ever before. Blood Brothers is the story of how Ali redefined what it means to be a black athlete in America-after Malcolm first enlightened him. An extraordinary narrative of love and deep affection, as well as deceit, betrayal, and violence, this story is a window into the public and private lives of two of our greatest national icons, and the tumultuous period in American history that they helped to shape.

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About the Author:

Randy Roberts is a distinguished professor of history at Purdue University. An award-winning author, he has written biographies of iconic athletes and celebrities, including Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Bear Bryant, and John Wayne. Roberts lives in Lafayette, Indiana. Johnny Smith is an assistant professor of American history at Georgia Tech. He is the author of The Sons of Westwood: John Wooden, UCLA, and the Dynasty that Changed College Basketball. Smith lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Review:

Winner of the 2017 North American Society for Sport History Book Award

Wall Street Journal, David Margolick:
"[An] absorbing and provocative new book... An engrossing and important book."

New York Times Book Review:
"A rigorously researched book that gracefully pivots between the world of the ring and the racial politics of the early '60s."
Washington Post:
"Earnest and...smartly constructed."
National Review, James Rosen:
"Exhaustively researched and tautly written, Blood Brothers marks a milestone in the biographical literature of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, an invaluable addition to our understanding of America in the 1960s. In all it touches the far-flung but interconnected worlds of race, religion, politics, sports, cities, organized crime, and the news media...this sober and detailed book, a dual biography that alternates between protagonists like a suspense novel, renders profound service. The authors unearth reams of new evidence, shine light on long-overlooked episodes, and hack away at the barnacles of mythology, thereby giving us the finest portrait yet of the doomed relationship that transformed Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali."

Economist:
"Though their individual lives have been explored through previous books and movies, Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X delves into the close kinship these men shared, and the reasons it ultimately fell apart."

Library Journal:
"This book offers a significant contribution to serious studies of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and the Nation of Islam."
New York Post:
The authors give us a thorough examination of the relationship between the two icons in the context of the black experience and the turbulent 1960s. White America blamed Malcolm for Cassius Clay's transformation to Muhammad Ali, but the truth is more complicated, involving the split between Malcolm and the Nation of Islam. We're brought back to the champ's early boxing days and see how the brash Ali whom America came to know developed."

City Journal:
"The broad outlines of the Ali/Malcolm drama are well known, but Roberts and Smith emphasize how crucial each was to the other's destiny: Ali's as a global figure of black pride and Malcolm's as a martyred black visionary. They provide more exhaustive detail than previously available, aided by newly released FBI files and personal papers. And they infuse the tale with sharp insights and an impending sense of tragedy...Blood Brothers reminds us of a time when an heroic image of Ali would have seemed as unlikely as the idea that Cassius Clay could beat Sonny Liston, or that a big-budget Hollywood film would someday venerate the life of Malcolm X."
Publishers Weekly:
[A] provocative history...Roberts and Smith map the relationship between the troubled icons in painstaking detail and debunk long-held assumptions about their break...Roberts and Smith bring a fresh perspective to the story in the civil rights movement, and capture the ferment of the broader era."

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In 1962, boxing writers and fans considered Cassius Clay an obnoxious self-promoter, and few believed that he would become the heavyweight champion of the world. But Malcolm X, the most famous minister in the Nation of Islam,a sect many white Americans deemed a hate cult,saw the potential in Clay, not just for boxing greatness, but as a means of spreading the Nation's message. The two became fast friends, keeping their interactions secret from the press for fear of jeopardizing Clay's career. Clay began living a double life,a patriotic good Negro" in public, and a radical reformer behind the scenes. Soon, however, their friendship would sour, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences.Based on previously untapped sources, from Malcolm's personal papers to FBI records, Blood Brothers is the first book to offer an in-depth portrait of this complex bond. Acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith reconstruct the worlds that shaped Malcolm and Clay, from the boxing arenas and mosques, to postwar New York and civil rights-era Miami. In an impressively detailed account, they reveal how Malcolm moulded Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, helping him become an international symbol of black pride and black independence. Yet when Malcolm was barred from the Nation for criticizing the philandering of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm,a choice that tragically contributed to the latter's assassination in February 1965.Malcolm's death marked the end of a critical phase of the civil rights movement, but the legacy of his friendship with Ali has endured. We inhabit a new era where the roles of entertainer and activist, of sports and politics, are more entwined than ever before. Blood Brothers is the story of how Ali redefined what it means to be a black athlete in America,after Malcolm first enlightened him. An extraordinary narrative of love and deep affection, as well as deceit, betrayal, and violence, this story is a window into the public and private lives of two of our greatest national icons, and the tumultuous period in American history that they helped to shape. Seller Inventory # POW9780465079704

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