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Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell were must-see TV long before that phrase became ubiquitous. Individually interesting, together they were mesmerizing. They were profoundly different -- young and old, black and white, a Muslim and a Jew, Ali barely literate and Cosell an editor of his university's law review. Yet they had in common forces that made them unforgettable: Both were, above all, performers who covered up their deep personal insecurities by demanding -- loudly and often -- public acclaim. Theirs was an extraordinary alliance that produced drama, comedy, controversy, and a mutual respect that helped shape both men's lives.

Dave Kindred -- uniquely equipped to tell the Ali-Cosell story after a decades-long intimate working relationship with both men -- re-creates their unlikely connection in ways never before attempted. From their first meeting in 1962 through Ali's controversial conversion to Islam and refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army (the right for him to do both was publicly defended by Cosell), Kindred explores both the heroics that created the men's upward trajectories and the demons that brought them to sadness in their later lives. Kindred draws on his experiences with Ali and Cosell, fresh reporting, and interviews with scores of key personalities -- including the families of both. In the process, Kindred breaks new ground in our understanding of these two unique men. The book presents Ali not as a mythological character but as a man in whole, and it shows Cosell not in caricature but in faithful scale. With vivid scenes, poignant dialogue, and new interpretations of historical events, this is a biography that is novelistically engrossing -- a richly evocative portrait of the friendship that shaped two giants and changed sports and television forever.
Published: Free Press on Mar 10, 2006
ISBN: 9780743289238
List price: $15.99
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Dave Kindred has done lovers of sports and history a favor with Sound and Fury.Using two cultural giants – Mohammad Ali and Howard Cosell – he has produced a fresh and readable social history of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Let me be clear. The Pointed Pundit loves Ali. Kindred refers to him as the most influential sports figure of the last century. In my mind, he understates the case; Ali is the most influential person of the last century.Cosell, on the other hand, may have hesitated to tell you he was. He was not. Trained as a lawyer and gifted with the ability to articulate complexity, he brought a thinking man’s view to radio and television sports journalism. Individually, they were interesting. Together, they were hypnotizing. They produced controversy, drama and comedy almost every time they appeared together.Dave Kindred tells the story of this alliance from a unique perspective. As a newspaper and magazine sports columnist with nearly 40 years experience, he covered Ali’s early fight days as a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before moving on to the The Atlanta Journal- Courier and The Washington Post. He draws upon his experiences to re-create the Ali-Cosell story in ways I have never seen attempted. The result is a fascinating portrait of two outsized figures – their heroics and their demons. Drawing on personal observations, fresh reporting and interviews, Kindred writes a page-turning treatment of two lives that together changed sports, television and the Pointed Pundit would argue, the world, forever.Penned by the Pointed PunditSeptember 27, 200610:36:50 AMread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Dave Kindred has done lovers of sports and history a favor with Sound and Fury.Using two cultural giants – Mohammad Ali and Howard Cosell – he has produced a fresh and readable social history of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Let me be clear. The Pointed Pundit loves Ali. Kindred refers to him as the most influential sports figure of the last century. In my mind, he understates the case; Ali is the most influential person of the last century.Cosell, on the other hand, may have hesitated to tell you he was. He was not. Trained as a lawyer and gifted with the ability to articulate complexity, he brought a thinking man’s view to radio and television sports journalism. Individually, they were interesting. Together, they were hypnotizing. They produced controversy, drama and comedy almost every time they appeared together.Dave Kindred tells the story of this alliance from a unique perspective. As a newspaper and magazine sports columnist with nearly 40 years experience, he covered Ali’s early fight days as a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before moving on to the The Atlanta Journal- Courier and The Washington Post. He draws upon his experiences to re-create the Ali-Cosell story in ways I have never seen attempted. The result is a fascinating portrait of two outsized figures – their heroics and their demons. Drawing on personal observations, fresh reporting and interviews, Kindred writes a page-turning treatment of two lives that together changed sports, television and the Pointed Pundit would argue, the world, forever.Penned by the Pointed PunditSeptember 27, 200610:36:50 AMread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a "triple" biography of Ali, Cossell and of their friendship. Parts are interesting. The writer has no sympathy for Ali's politics & thinks his opposition to the Vietnam war was some combination of Ali blindly following Elijah Muhammad & Ali not wanted to go to war. He makes Ali out to be a monster but a sometimes lovable one. That may be true, but the author doesn't seem able to put Ali in context.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Dave Kindred has done lovers of sports and history a favor with Sound and Fury.Using two cultural giants – Mohammad Ali and Howard Cosell – he has produced a fresh and readable social history of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Let me be clear. The Pointed Pundit loves Ali. Kindred refers to him as the most influential sports figure of the last century. In my mind, he understates the case; Ali is the most influential person of the last century.Cosell, on the other hand, may have hesitated to tell you he was. He was not. Trained as a lawyer and gifted with the ability to articulate complexity, he brought a thinking man’s view to radio and television sports journalism. Individually, they were interesting. Together, they were hypnotizing. They produced controversy, drama and comedy almost every time they appeared together.Dave Kindred tells the story of this alliance from a unique perspective. As a newspaper and magazine sports columnist with nearly 40 years experience, he covered Ali’s early fight days as a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before moving on to the The Atlanta Journal- Courier and The Washington Post. He draws upon his experiences to re-create the Ali-Cosell story in ways I have never seen attempted. The result is a fascinating portrait of two outsized figures – their heroics and their demons. Drawing on personal observations, fresh reporting and interviews, Kindred writes a page-turning treatment of two lives that together changed sports, television and the Pointed Pundit would argue, the world, forever.Penned by the Pointed PunditSeptember 27, 200610:36:50 AM
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Dave Kindred has done lovers of sports and history a favor with Sound and Fury.Using two cultural giants – Mohammad Ali and Howard Cosell – he has produced a fresh and readable social history of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Let me be clear. The Pointed Pundit loves Ali. Kindred refers to him as the most influential sports figure of the last century. In my mind, he understates the case; Ali is the most influential person of the last century.Cosell, on the other hand, may have hesitated to tell you he was. He was not. Trained as a lawyer and gifted with the ability to articulate complexity, he brought a thinking man’s view to radio and television sports journalism. Individually, they were interesting. Together, they were hypnotizing. They produced controversy, drama and comedy almost every time they appeared together.Dave Kindred tells the story of this alliance from a unique perspective. As a newspaper and magazine sports columnist with nearly 40 years experience, he covered Ali’s early fight days as a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before moving on to the The Atlanta Journal- Courier and The Washington Post. He draws upon his experiences to re-create the Ali-Cosell story in ways I have never seen attempted. The result is a fascinating portrait of two outsized figures – their heroics and their demons. Drawing on personal observations, fresh reporting and interviews, Kindred writes a page-turning treatment of two lives that together changed sports, television and the Pointed Pundit would argue, the world, forever.Penned by the Pointed PunditSeptember 27, 200610:36:50 AM
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a "triple" biography of Ali, Cossell and of their friendship. Parts are interesting. The writer has no sympathy for Ali's politics & thinks his opposition to the Vietnam war was some combination of Ali blindly following Elijah Muhammad & Ali not wanted to go to war. He makes Ali out to be a monster but a sometimes lovable one. That may be true, but the author doesn't seem able to put Ali in context.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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