Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier

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by Mark Kram
     
 

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When Muhammad Ali met Joe Frazier in Manila for their third fight, their rivalry had spun out of control. The Ali-Frazier matchup had become a madness, inflamed by the media and the politics of race. When the "Thrilla in Manila" was over, one man was left with a ruin of a life; the other was battered to his soul.

Mark Kram covered that fight for Sports

Overview

When Muhammad Ali met Joe Frazier in Manila for their third fight, their rivalry had spun out of control. The Ali-Frazier matchup had become a madness, inflamed by the media and the politics of race. When the "Thrilla in Manila" was over, one man was left with a ruin of a life; the other was battered to his soul.

Mark Kram covered that fight for Sports Illustrated in an award-winning article. Now his riveting book reappraises the boxers -- who they are and who they were. And in a voice as powerful as a heavyweight punch, Kram explodes the myths surrounding each fighter, particularly Ali. A controversial, no-holds-barred account, Ghosts of Manila ranks with the finest boxing books ever written.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061956683
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/09/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
400,861
File size:
396 KB

Meet the Author

Mark Kram covered boxing for Sports Illustrated for eleven years and wrote more about Muhammad Ali than any other writer for the magazine. His articles on boxing have been widely anthologized, including The Best American Sports Writing of the Century, edited by David Halberstam, and The Fights, a collection of essays edited by Richard Ford.

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Ghosts of Manila: The Fateful Blood Feud Between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After Thomas Hauser's book about Ali, I felt there was little more to be told. However I thought that the fact that this book was written from a different angle may have resulted in an interesting novel. The main difference to me was that Kram's book was largely based upon his own recollections and was therefore subjective and opinionated. He was quite damning of Ali and I found myself questioning his credibility on a number of occassions. Hauser's book remains the piece de resistance and is so well researched that in my opinion nothing surpasses it. The Kram book depicts Ali almost as a fraud and implies that his decision not to go to Vietnam was more through cowardice than any political stand. I find it hard to believe that he treated Dundee with disdain and called all the shots in the gym. Frazier is treated more kindly but at times depicted as a hot head with thugish tendancies. The positives are the book reveals a lot about the infleunce of Islam on Ali and his relationships with Robertson and Moore are touched on from a fresh viewpoint. I found the book interesting but average. If you want a read about Ali that is not too intense then I suggest this book. If you want a comprehensive overview of his career then I recommend Thomas Hauser's book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly compelling and brutally honest about the myth of Ali as a great man of conscience as well as a deserved appreciation of Joe Frazier.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book puts the reader into the era of the fight. It's a very detailed account of Ali, but not so much Frazier. The book does delve very deeply into the history of other boxers of the era too. I came away having a greater appreciation of Joe Frazier.
gman60 More than 1 year ago
In depth account of how brutal this fight was and the long term affects it had on both fighters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Although Ghosts of Manilla is ostensibly focused on the 1975 'Thrilla in Manila' in which Muhammad Ali outlasted Joe Frazier in a brutal slugfest, the book really digs into who these men were before boxing, how boxing affected them, and how we should look upon them. Those looking for lots of boxing excitement will probably be disappointed. The fight descriptions are the least well done parts of the book. Those who are looking into what heavyweight boxing is really like will get more than they bargained for. The personal record on Muhammad Ali is dramatically revised downward, and you will again be reminded that boxing is a brutal sport. After the fight, 'one left with the ruin of a life, the other battered to his soul.' When offered a chance to watch the fight on videotape, Muhammad Ali declined. 'I don't wanna look at hell again.' The book's stylistic weakness is that the author is very opinionated, and often borders on sarcasm in conveying his views. Mr. Kram has been a boxing reporter for many years, and has had close access to most of the people he writes about in the book. As a result, he can portray his own discussions and observations from a first-hand perspective. He seems to have decided to 'tell it like it is' on events that many reporters probably observe but do not comment about in public. On the other hand, he does this telling as tastefully as possible while not pulling his punches. The book is much more about Mr. Ali than about Mr. Frazier. The key themes that are new about Mr. Ali are that he was controlled by the Black Muslims through fear of being killed, had an uncontrolled sexual appetite, did severe damage to the personalities of the black boxers he verbally humiliated, treated one of his daughters poorly, and was an unprincipled self-promoter. The book also covers familiar territory about whether or not he was a hero for resisting the draft, a good role model for young people, and the effect that boxing had on his developing Parkinson's Disease. I learned more about Mr. Frazier than I had known before. The man was an enigma to me at the time of the fight. Now, I think I understand him better. I was sorry to see how bitter he has become, due to his treatment by Mr. Ali and the public. To me, Mr. Ali's appeal lay mostly in his unorthodox fighting style and in his willingness to try new things. Although both attributes are mentioned in the book, I think they were overly downplayed. I never expect boxers to be role models for children. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book was the part that focused on what it meant to people how the heavyweight champion comported himself. That certainly says a lot about our society. After you finish this book, I suggest that you think about how you would have played the cards that were dealt to Mr. Ali and Mr. Frazier. What would you have done differently? What would you have liked to have done differently? Satisfy yourself by meeting your own high standards! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing piece of social/sports writing! Kram lands on Ali's butt especially often and stings his mythos as a Civil Rights hero/humanitarian. It is rare that a sport as old as boxing gets redefined, but Kram has done it. If you are interested in the 70s, race, or either of the contendahs here, go for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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