Books: Celebrating The Greatest

A winning biography recalls Ali in his prime

Although some politicians still find it worth their while to campaign against the 1960s, there's a sad silence now from the other end of the line. John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman, Janis, Jimi...where is everybody? Even the sassiest of them all has fallen publicly silent, which makes it a pleasure to pick up his voice again, or at least its echo, in David Remnick's haunting new book, King of the World: The Rise of Muhammad Ali (Random House; 336 pages: $25).

Since those giddy days, Muhammad Ali, ne Cassius Clay, has done two things nobody thought possible: he has finally stopped talking,...

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