'Sound and Fury' is a sharp, funny, moving journey into the friendship between Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell -- two polar opposites who both became legends in the boxing world.
Though always about commerce, sports through the pre-TV age as late as the early 60s maintained and image of the game for the game's sake. That changed as television grew to dominate the culture. Sports with its inherent drama become a staple of the medium. But late in the 1960s all that changed. Television, sports and entertainment all morphed into a single show-business entity. Among the prime moves and beneficiaries of that change were Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell.
Ali and Cosell had profound differences: young and old; black and white, a Muslim and a Jew; one the great grandson of slaves; one a New Yorker born of Polish immigrants; one an extraordinary physical specimen and handsome; the other a Bela Lugosi look-alike; Ali barely literate, Cosell an editor of his law review; one a black separatist advocate and the other an integrationist; one's voice was New York nasal, the other's soft and Southern.
Separately interesting, together Ali and Cosell were mesmerising. They expressed controversial opinions -- Cosell publicly supported Ali's conversion to Islam and name change from Cassius Clay and he again backed Ali for refusing to be inducted into the US Army. They were show biz performers with a flair for drama and comedy.
The book, full of scenes and anecdotes, will trace these men's origins, their meeting in 1962 after the Liston-Patterson fight and their strange, unlikely alliance. With a strong narrative voice, it will tell of the forces that shaped their upward trajectories and the demons that brought them to tragedy. Along the way, Kindred will depict the brutality, if not outright barbarism, of boxing.
Both of these legends are often remembered, but thy have not been explored in the way that Kindred will. Both men suffered in their early days from discrimination and family dysfunction, both has outsized egos and enormous insecurities, both needed public acclaim and as a result stayed too long in the public eye. David Kindred, with first hand perspectives on these two giants and an ambitious roster of interviews, will tell their intertwined stories in this biography of friendship.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 05 / 2007