Book Review: Sting Like a Bee

Sting Like a Bee is Muhammad Ali vs The USA.  Ali retired at 39 years old and was sick for 35 years.  From 1966-1971 he was discussed by pretty much everyone on the planet.  Once the miltary draft came around, Ali’s refusal to serve led to a legal battle.  Since Ali was now Muslim, that means that there was no war unless it was declared by Allah.  Ali was a conscientious objector and there was FBI involvement after his refusal.  The majority of the book talks about this aspect of Ali’s life, but there is some other stories about his life as well – like how he knocked out 2 of his mom’s teeth at 6 months old! There are also a lot of excerpts throughout from interviews and other legal documents.  I thought this was an interesting read because it was a different story that what you usually hear about Muhammad Ali and one that I did not know much about.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

An insightful portrait of Muhammed 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.

Category: Book Review
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