Search for your sports books:

MoneyMap

Read Review
<back to archive

Bouts of Mania: Ali, Frazier and Foreman and an America on the Ropes By Richard Hoffer

Release date: 06th August, 2015
Publisher: Aurum Press

List Price: 9.99
Our Price: 8.99
You Save: 1 (10%)
Buy Now

Conceptually, the idea of setting the monumental heavyweight contested between Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman against a backdrop of a 1970s United States experiencing social and political upheaval and a distant war for which its leaders ultimately had little appetite, is an compelling one.

A period that delivered US citizens a mix of Watergate, Vietnam, stagflation, the oil crisis, a Cold War with Russia, détente with China and a burgeoning civil rights movement began with National Guardsmen gunning down four unarmed students on a university campus following a demonstration. There’s enough here to fill several volumes even before we consider what three heavyweight boxers were up to.

According to Richard Hoffer, however, Ali, Frazier and Foreman gave America “a glimpse of better times to come”, although perhaps wisely, he touches upon politics and social upheaval only in passing, for this is a sports book, not a serious analysis of America’s rapidly changing social attitudes and values.

Unfortunately, much of this book’s content has already been covered – several times – and there’s little that Hoffer can add. Indeed, readers who have seen the When We Were Kings documentary may feel that much of the material aired in the film has been reheated and served in print format here.

There are better written accounts of the Rumble in the Jungle, the Ali v Foreman bout contested in Zaire, for which both men received $5 million, when Ali adopted his ‘rope-a-dope’ tactic, knocking his opponent out in the eighth round. Norman Mailer’s The Fight, an account of this over-hyped clash, has become a modern classic. David Remmick’s King of the World, an account of Ali’s rise to superstardom, is another text worthy of note.

Hoffer, an accomplished boxing writer, is very good describing the brutality of the meetings between Ali and Frazier, firstly in New York in 1971 and secondly, the Thriller in Manila several years later when Frazier’s corner threw the towel in after their man was blinded by Ali’s jabs. Readers expecting the author to somehow position bouts in Africa and the Philippines in a historic timeline of 1970’s America will, however, be disappointed.


<back to archive


MoneyMapp


SBOTM Current Top 10

Get It On: How the ?70s Rocked Football By Jon Spurling
Biteback
Read Review Buy Now
Time on Rock By Anna Fleming
Canongate
Read Review Buy Now
41-Love: A Memoir By Scarlett Thomas
Counterpoint
Read Review Buy Now
Anatomy of a Football Scout by Jon Cotterill
Camara Brasileira
Read Review Buy Now
Sweat: A History of Physical Exercise By Bill Hayes
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
52 Ways to Walk By Annabel Streets
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
Fit And Proper People By Martin Calladine & James Cave
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
God is Dead The Rise & Fall of Frank Vandenbrouke By Andy McGrath
Bantam Books
Read Review Buy Now
Butler to the World How Britain Became the Servant of Oligarchs, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals By Oliver Bullough
Profile Books
Read Review Buy Now
A Delicate Game Brain Injury, Sport and Sacrifice By Hana Walker-Brown
Hodder
Read Review Buy Now

© 2004-2022 Sharks Media Limited.