Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X

Blood Brothers The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X In 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

  • Title: Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X
  • Author: Randy Roberts Johnny Smith
  • ISBN: 9780465079704
  • Page: 203
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 messIn 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 In an impressively detailed account, they reveal how Malcolm molded Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, helping him become an international symbol of black pride and black independence Yet when Malcolm was barred from the Nation for criticizing the philandering of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm a choice that tragically contributed to the latter s assassination in February 1965.Malcolm s death marked the end of a critical phase of the civil rights movement, but the legacy of his friendship with Ali has endured We inhabit a new era where the roles of entertainer and activist, of sports and politics, are entwined than ever before Blood Brothers is the story of how Ali redefined what it means to be a black athlete in America after Malcolm first enlightened him An extraordinary narrative of love and deep affection, as well as deceit, betrayal, and violence, this story is a window into the public and private lives of two of our greatest national icons, and the tumultuous period in American history that they helped to shape.

    One thought on “Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X”

    1. I've never been a fan of boxing and I'm no expert on the Civil Rights era, but this was a very compelling read. Malcolm X was a minister for the Nation of Islam (NOI) and basically a black supremacist. Cassius Clay was a talented young boxer with a big mouth and a gift for self-promotion. Their unlikely friendship, however, had dangerous results for both of them.Malcolm X disagreed with the non-confrontational and patient "we shall overcome" approach of Martin Luther King, advocating instead for [...]

    2. Although I've read much about Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali hasn't really been on my radar. I've never been a summer Olympics fan, nor a boxing fan. I remembered Ali as a loud-mouth boaster, another thing I'm not found of. After reading Blood Brothers, I perhaps have a bit better insight into the minds of both men; I say a "bit" because I'm becoming more and more convinced of the inability of white Americans to write about the experiences of black Americans, no matter how much they have studied, or ho [...]

    3. This is a classic story about a revolution in American sports. It's about how young Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali and completely changed how America looked at black men and black athletes in particular. But this is more than just an important story about race. These two authors have created a literary work that approaches the level of tragedy. As I was reading about Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammed, and later about Malcolm and young Cassius Clay, I kept seeing parallels to classic literature. Th [...]

    4. Someone once said words to the effect of "Show me someone with heroes, and I'll show you someone in the third grade." That's a bit harsh, but there's more than a kernel of truth to the statement. For the last thirty years or so (since pugilistic dementia/Parkinson's had him in its grip), Muhammad Ali's handlers have been speaking for him. Randy Roberts and his co-author take us back to a time when Ali could speak for himself, and, more importantly, act for himself. Ali, like any other man saddle [...]

    5. well written and engaging it's a one-of-a-kind story, two fascinating people whose lives intersect at the definitive moment in telling of their encounter, instead of full-blown biographies of the two, the author creates a fast-paced and gripping moment in time well played

    6. You’d be hard pressed to write a dual biography of two more polarizing figures during their lives than Malcom X and Muhammad Ali. In Blood Brothers, Randy Roberts for the most part restricts himself to the short window of time where the two men became friends, religious brethren in the Nation of Islam, and later after a falling out, enemies. It’s a highly compelling narrative at the forces that brought them together and later drove an irreparable wedge between them. It’s also a story where [...]

    7. (2) Many years ago, I read the wonderful Alex Haley book, "the Autobiography of Malcolm X." This book recounts a great deal of that information but offers more as well. Some of the new insight into the career of Muhammad Ali and his involvement with the Black Muslim movement seems more pertinent due to his recent death. A political book, a sports book, a modern history book as well, this has its very interesting moments and some pretty slow ones as well. A nice trip back to my teens in the 60's. [...]

    8. Great book about two historic and mysterious guys. Didn't know much about them, about Nation of Islam and the life in sixties in the U.S. where black people were truely repressed. U.S. has gone a long way since then. It was a really interesting reading, kind of a history book in its own way.

    9. I picked this up in the wake of Ali's death; so many great writers spoke of the complexities of Ali's life likely to be glossed over in the deluge of encomiums which follow the death of someone so great. Such is the case with almost any person. This phenomenon is even more pronounced when the deceased is the often proclaimed Greatest of All Time.One of these complexities was Ali's relationship to Malcolm X. This book explores that relationship is tremendously compelling detail. Without revealing [...]

    10. [ARC courtesy Vine program]This book was breathtaking. Like something pressing on your chest, squeezing all the air out breathtaking. You don't have to be a boxer to read this book. (Heck, it's heresy, but you can gloss over the detailed, vivid description of matches if you like. This is much more than a recap of the development of Muhammad Ali's career.) Thorough and thoroughly footnoted. A lot to digest. There's history here beyond a significant chapter in the annals of boxing. I am left wond [...]

    11. A beautiful glimpse at one of the most iconic relationships in the civil rights movement. The only drawback might be that it's about the two men as individuals more than it is about them as a pairbut considering how few people remain that can testify to what one or the other said about the opposite, this shouldn't be surprising.Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn about Malcolm or Muhammed.

    12. Super engaging writing style, but the way it shifts back and forth between perspectives (Malcolm and Muhammad Ali) is REALLY confusing. 3.5 stars.

    13. Blood Brothers narrates the tragic real life story of a beautiful friendship blossomed and then cut short because of one sorry religious lie. Two icons of an era- one a leading and powerful voice in the civil rights movement of the late 50s and early 60s, the other the greatest sports figure and also a powerful voice for civil rights during the same time- saw their paths crossed, united and violently rent assunder under the powerful but shady banner of the Nation of Islam. The book plunges us in [...]

    14. An enthralling peek into the relationship of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. There are greater and fresher insights concerning Muhammad Ali then Malcolm X, and that is undoubtedly due to Malcolm being one of the most written about person in modern history. And although there are many books on Muhammad Ali, the information culled from those efforts all seemed similar, at least to this reader. So, we learn here that, the then Cassius Clay began flirting with the Nation of Islam much earlier than previ [...]

    15. It's an enjoyable read, though if you're already well-read on one or both of these men, you won't find much new information. But it flows nicely, and I would have appreciated the blow-by-blow (pun intended) descriptions of fights even more if I were actually a fan of boxing. It is a respectable timeline of events that led both men from obscurity to fame.But let's assume we're going into this knowing absolutely nothing about either Malcolm or Muhammad. The title purports that one or both of them [...]

    16. BLOOD BROTHERS: The fatal friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X – Johnny Smith and Randy Roberts.What hurts most about all of this is what could have become of Malcolm. I can understand the turmoil of the moment, the hatred towards him from his expulsion from the Nation but man, Malcolm really was on to something special…This book chronicles Ali’s rise, or should I say Cassius’, from his arrival in Miami to begin his professional career to his second victory over Sonny Liston. An [...]

    17. Need to read more into the lives of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (as well as the history of the Nation of Islam in American in the mid-20th century) before judging exactly what took place in this one. Great read, just needs to be tested for veracity.

    18. The authors present the premise that racial inequality formed a brotherhood bond between Ali aka Cassius Clay and Malcolm Little aka Malcolm X. While the narrative of book comes up short, the photos, especially the cover photo, provide for contemplation.

    19. This insightful book showed the fears of black Americans in the 50's and 60's who dared to stray from the status quo (Jim Crow) or powerful organizations that had once been their salvation.

    20. In high school I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X for a report and was captivated by the man. Malcolm X wasn't afraid to speak his mind, and spoke with strength and conviction. He gave the sense that you could turn your life around, and the love he had in the book for the Nation and later, his willingness to admit his mistakes it was rich.Muhammad Ali was a man I knew little about. I knew he was a legendary fighter. I remembered hearing Malcolm X had been at his title bout. But beyond that sh [...]

    21. Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X examines the friendship between arguably boxing's greatest fighter and activist of the 1960's. Both men welcomed controversy as their actions and words help set the tone of the 1960's while providing a contrast to the Joe Louises and Martin Luther King Jrs of the world. Their friendship had an enormous impact on the both of them.Blood Brothers itself as a book is an engrossing read for an afternoon that ultimately doesn't pr [...]

    22. At the outset, I'm not a boxing afficianado, or even a casual fan. I am however a big believer in the impact of sports on people's lives, and movements. Blood Brothers talks about exactly that, the simultaneous rise of Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, their relationships, their bond, and their impact on each other's lives which lasted well after one of them was killed. Set against the backdrop of the Civil Protests in America, the book is an expose on their lives, and the lives of those around who wi [...]

    23. Riveting, with its alternating episodes of Clay and Malcolm—their overlap, then separation—its astonishing level of detail putting you in the thick of the tension. Those who thought they knew Ali and his contradictions get a new perspective on an aspect of his young adulthood that usually gets short-changed. And, if like me, you come to this book undereducated on Malcolm, you are in for a pleasant surprise on his legacy. I wonder how Nation of Islam scholars view this research. This is my th [...]

    24. Wow I never knew the history of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Once close friends then bitter enemies as Malcolm had a falling out with Elijah Muhammad leading to Ali getting pulled closer and closer to Elijah's side as he filled the vacuum left my Malcolm's exit as the mouth piece for the leader's beliefs. Malcolm fell further and further into despair as he stepped up for what he believed was right and spoke words to power that lead to his inevitable murder to silence him. The authors painted a pi [...]

    25. A sobering account of the two iconic figures Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X, and of their friendship formed at the height of the civil rights movement in the 60s. However, once used by the wrong ideology, it couldn't withstand the weight of manipulations and control by Elijah Muhammad through the Nation of Islam. A great reminder of how fiercely smart and independent people can get used unknowingly by groups as propaganda tools (happens all too often in politics), and the dangers of group mentality. [...]

    26. I found this a fascinating book, in part because of my ignorance of boxing (interesting!) and of what exactly what went on when Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali. While I was alive at the time, I wasn't aware of what was going on (okay, I forgive me, as I was born in 1960), and I have neglected to fill in until now.Makes me want to read more about both men and more about boxing (believe it or not).

    27. This is an interesting fact filled story of two fascinating men and the volatile times in which they lived, the ups and downs of their relationship and the conspiracy against their friendship. I listened to the audio version and the narrator is awful. Im not sure if he is trying to sound like a ring announcer at a fight or what. Also, he mispronounces many words, mainly city names and nationalities in Ghana. If you can get past the bad narration, it is a good book.

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