Muhammad Ali: Trickster in the Culture of Irony / Edition 1

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Muhammad Ali has a unique place in global history. One of the most extraordinary athletes of all times, Ali is also, as he always was, an inadvertent but powerful figure in world affairs. From the first announcement of his membership in the Nation of Islam, through his courageous refusal to fight in Vietnam, to his spiritual calm in the face of crippling disease, Muhammad Ali's steady values have inspired others the world over to rethink their racial, political, and spiritual attitudes. Ali's life over the years has put irony in a different light. When Muhammad Ali stood against those who criticized him for converting to the Nation of Islam, he told the world "I don't have to be what you want me to be." What first appeared as simple defiance was revealed over the years as rock solid conviction -- a conviction that allowed him to be and do what he believed in, while also embracing the world in his loving and laughing way. Charles Lemert writes with grace, perspective, and affection. Muhammad Ali is the first book to unravel the reasons for the enduring respect and reverence that Muhammad Ali commands long after the end of his athletic career. This text will appeal to those teaching and studying cultural studies, social theory, sports studies, and sociology, as well as to general readers interested in Muhammad Ali.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A brilliant meditation on celebrity and spectatorship and anastute cultural analysis of race and sport, Charles Lemert'sMuhammad Ali is also an affectionate biography of one of themost significant figures of our age." Barry Glassner, Universityof Southern California, author of The Culture of Fear

"Ali's fame was launched on the tide of his astonishing athleticprowess, but it was borne along by the spurting cross-currents ofculture, race and politics which boiled so fiercely during the1960s and 1970s. Lemert is excellent on Ali in relation to thesecross-currents, but he also dares to dive deeper, into the secretwaters of myth, totem and taboo which still underlie more of humanthought and feeling than we may like to admit … This is aremarkably interesting and re-readable essay." FinancialTimes

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745628707
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Series: Polity celebrities Series, #2
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Lemert is Professor of Sociology at WesleyanUniversity.

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Table of Contents

1 From the Beginnings: GG is Gonna Whip Everybody 1
2 Celebrity, Tricks, and Culture: Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee 26
3 Trickster Queers the World: I Don't Have to Be What You Want Me to Be 51
4 The Irony of Global Cultures: No Viet Cong Ever Called Me Nigger 86
5 Coming Home to the Heart of Darkness: When We Were Kings 120
6 Trickster Bodies and Cultural Death: You'll Die One Day ... So Better Get Ready 150
Ali and the World: A Chronology 177
Notes 188
Acknowledgments 207
Index 209
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