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.
©2016 Randy Roberts and John Matthew Smith (P)2016 Tantor
"A page-turning tale from the 1960s about politics and sports and two proud, extraordinary men whose legacies endure." (Kirkus)
Littered with little known facts, this story drags along to its ultimate end. The author seems to mix these truths with his biased opinions.
This work gives wonderful insight into the lives of Mohammed and Malcolm. It gives unique and strategic insight into how and why Mohamed Ali formed the bridge between the Christian, Black Muslim, and Muslim worlds. Well written, very well narrated, thoroughly researched, impartial and respectful presentation. Very many thanks.
This book provided some insight and facts about these men's daily lives. It also projects evil motives and suggests their thoughts. Muhammad Ali is presented as an ignorant but shrewd performer. Malcolm X is presented as a manipulative man hungry for power. I do not ascribe to either these views.
I can't understand how someone can stereotype with words like "disguise and dissemblance have been integral part of African American culture" to claim that Cassius Clay and Malcolm X were deceptive people and still earn praise for their book. While the book was filled with interesting little known facts, it was biased with opinions of the author assigning feelings and thoughts to the two men in addition to assigning characteristics to them because of their race.
There were things about lives of both Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X that I did not know about. I think if the author had approached the two men's character with the complexity that they embodied instead of stereotyping them for their race, I would have been more inclined to reccomend the book.
There are a lot of books, movies and other sources out there on these two men, but this is the story of five tumultuous years that they were at the center of. Definitely offers a new take - and, in part, a takedown - of their lives. Certainly an expose of rampant corruption and criminality within the NOI. The author accuses the NOI of orchestrating Malcolm X's murder and also hints at some complicity on the part of the FBI.
I thought that the narration was good overall, but with a couple major flaws that were annoying. This is a well-done production, the producers and narrator should make sure that they are pronouncing words correctly, including Accra (e-krah, emphasis on the second syllable) and reporter Dick Schaap's last name, rhymes with chap not chop. Finally, imitating Ali is always fraught with peril and the narrator has to attempt it on several occasions. As Ali's onetime fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco once said, "if you say it, you sound childish; if he says it's funny."
Other than those minor problems a worthwhile listen.
I have studied Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X individually for the prior 15 years. This book is a first that puts their relationship under the microscope and discovers/uncovers how each affected the other's life. Magnificent.
Overall this is a good book. I learned some things that I wasn't aware of. But, conclusions shouldn't be made from reading this book about either man because it does take a lot of assumptions into consideration. Nonetheless it's very informative should be read.
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