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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2005
  • ISBN: 9780553816464
  • Imprint: Bantam
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $26.99

The Soul Of A Butterfly


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Reflections on a life's journey.

In this poignant, deeply moving book, Muhammad Ali shares the beliefs he has come to live by and which he has passed on to his children. Some of the wisdom is his own; some comes from the teachings of true Islam, from his spiritual studies, and from people he has met in the course of his extraordinary life.

Here, as he recalls his relatively impoverished early days as a young warrior in Louisville, Kentucky, and his meteoric rise to fame as Heavyweight Champion of the World, a title he won three times, he tells of the many battles he won and lost, both inside and outside the ring, his conversion to Islam in the 1960s and the many life lessons he learned along the way. Now, working tirelessly as a worldwide ambassador for peace, he talks of the damage caused when religion is used to tear people apart, the essential need for unity in this troubled world, and how his faith sustains him on this, the most important journey of his life – the journey to forgiveness and peace.

With the help of his daughter Hana, in this timely spiritual memoir (which includes a selection of exclusive photographs) Ali draws upon his rich reserve of notes, tapes and journals, and writes with true compassion, warmth and, of course, humour on how we can liberate mind, body and spirit when we pursue and embrace the one essential truth – love. As he says, ‘It is after I retired from boxing that my true work began. I have embarked on a journey to love.’

  • Pub date: 1 December 2005
  • ISBN: 9780553816464
  • Imprint: Bantam
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $26.99

About the Authors

Muhammad Ali

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942, began boxing at the age of twelve. By the age of eighteen he had won all amateur titles available and in 1960 he won the Light Heavyweight Gold Medal at the Rome Olympics. On his return to the States, the young boxer - who had caused a stir with his unorthodox style of boxing and brash behaviour - turned professional and began what was to become the most remarkable career in the history of sport. Indeed, 'floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee', punching, prophesying, and generally creating a storm of controversy wherever he appeared, he quite literally transformed his sport and became the world's most adored athlete. His conversion to Islam in the 1960s had a profound impact on his life and undoubtedly influences much of his search for peace and unity today. Despite suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Ali works tirelessly for a number of charitable organizations.


Praise for The Soul Of A Butterfly

“'It's not a book you meet every day...[It's] all about love. I was there in Atlanta when he lit the Olympic flame, and I felt the oceans of love washing towards him from America and the world...I have been at prize-fights where the very name Ali gets a bigger cheer than either contestant. Ali: the world's most beloved sportsman; perhaps the world's most beloved human...In his conversations with his daughter, he emerges as a person of almost Christlike nature: sweet, gently proud, remorseful. His apology to his greatest opponent, Joe Frazier, for past insults, is truly touching' Simon Barnes, The Times”

“'Besides Ali's love, readers will be struck by his remarkable faith...It's hard not to be moved by Ali's spirit'”

Publishers' Weekly

“'The emphasis is not on Ali the warrior. His triumphs are touched on, but it is a softer side of the man that shows through...This book affirms the essential decency we always saw in the man' ”

Library Journal

“'The noted boxer offers words of inspiration and reflection on his long career...There are insights here from Ali on his obstacles and heartbreaks, as well as his well-noted victories'”

Ebony

“ 'This is a motivational book in which Ali uses his life story to illustrate the importance of humanity, self-belief and love. It possesses humour and at times is also moving. Ali maintains an honesty, speaking for example about his regrets for turning his back on his friend Malcolm X in the 1960s, as well as his over-the-top verbal badgering of Joe Frazier' ”

Sunday Times (South Africa)


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