A Library of the School of EducationDPIUW-Madison School Of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUW-Madison LibraryUW-Madison Catalog
Home
About the CCBC
Authors and Illustrators
Recommended Books for Children and Young Adults
CCBC Calendar and Events
CCBC-Net
CCBC Podcasts
CCBC Publications
Intellectual Freedom
Links

Support the CCBC
Support the CCBC
Are you a...K-12 TeacherLibrarianEarly Childhood Care ProviderUW Student / Faculty

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali

by Walter Dean Myers

Published by Scholastic, 2001
172 pages
ISBN: 0-590-54342-3

Ages 11 and older

Do most teenagers today know the name Muhammad Ali? If they do, they probably know of Ali the boxer, who once reigned supreme. It is Ali's career as a boxer that is the focus of this captivating biography that incorporates lively accounts of some of the key fights in his career. But in the course of describing the years when Ali was rising to the top of the boxing world and defending or trying to reclaim his status as heavyweight champion, author Walter Dean Myers also reveals a man who is worthy of admiration for so much more than his feats in the ring. Gaining recognition as boxer during the turbulent times of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, Ali was a public figure who refused to ignore the politics of the times in which he lived. He refused to compromise his personal convictions, even when his actions, such as filing as a conscientious objector and later refusing induction into the U.S. army, jeopardized his career. When Ali joined the Nation of Islam, many thought he was a pawn of its leaders, but Myers sees a man who was living by his beliefs–no one's pawn but a deeply religious individual and a fierce believer in Black independence and pride. Myers's own admiration for Ali clearly influences this biography but does not obstruct or obscure it; rather, it shines a light on the character behind all the bluster and boasting for which Ali was also known. Myers does not wholly ignore Ali's personal life–he makes clear there is much that could be written about, but he also provides an inspiring commentary on his reasons for focusing on the public man. "In his private life, [Muhammad] Ali is revealed to be a man of human faults and human weaknesses," author Walter Dean Myers writes in his introduction."I appreciate the ‘normal' Muhammad Ali, but I choose to write about The Greatest....the man who represented so many views, who personified the needs of so many Americans...I look upon him as an American, as a fighter, as a seeker of justice, as someone willing to stand up against the odds, no matter how daunting those odds, no matter how big his foe." CCBC categories: Biography and Autobiography; Historical People, Places, and Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


book cover
Book of the Week

ACCESSIBILITY POLICY:
In accordance with the UW-Madison Accessibility Policy, this site makes every effort to comply with the World Wide Web standards defined in the Federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508, specifically subsections 1194.22 and subsection 1194.31. If you need additional resources or have any questions or concerns about this site, please contact the site administrator for more information.
UW crest