Muhammad Ali G.O.A.T.

April 20, 2012 by staff 

Muhammad Ali G.O.A.T., Muhammad Ali is one of the most remarkable personalities of our time and the greatest sportsman ever to walk the earth. To honor this living legend, TASCHEN has created a work that is epic in scale and as unique and vibrant as the man himself. A worthy tribute to his life should reflect the scale of his achievements, and GOAT – GREATEST OF ALL TIME is fully up to that task.

Four years in the making, and the most comprehensive study of Ali to date, GOAT tips the scales at 34 kgs (75 lbs) and is 50 cm x 50 cm (20″ x 20″) in size. Nearly 800 pages of archival and original photographs, graphic artwork, articles and essays – many of them previously unpublished – chronicle six decades of his life in stunning detail. To cap it all, the project takes place with the participation of Ali himself and those members of his inner circle who have been closest to him over the years: from managers and key cornermen to friends, family and children; from spiritual and other advisers to broadcasters, essayists and journalists.

Motivating this endeavor is the conviction that Ali is not just a figure from the past, but one whose influence even today pervades everyday popular culture. The merest glance at the world of sports and music, for example, reveals his psychic DNA on everything from the lyrics and style of rap music to the way sports figures represent themselves. More significantly, his actions outside of the boxing ring still speak even louder than the verbal outrageousness of his pre-fight spectacles. He is a man who stood by his convictions, and took a highly unpopular stance at the peak of his career in a country not yet ready for radical change. He risked everything – his title, his livelihood, and his status – and in the process emerged as a man of principle and indeed, a hero for all time. No stone has been left unturned in telling this remarkable story: the book features written contributions from hundreds of writers and photographers, as well as over 3,000 photographs of Ali’s dazzling life. Plus Ali’s own insights, writings and drawings, and reproductions of fight posters and classic memorabilia.

After the enormous success of Helmut Newton’s megabook, SUMO, publisher Benedikt Taschen felt that his next challenge lay not only in creating a work that had multiple sources and extraordinary photography, but one where the emphasis on the written word, narrative and research would be on par with that of the most comprehensive literary biographies. In short, matching meticulously crafted prose with incredible color and black-and-white photography. In addition, new work – commissioned from artist Jeff Koons – gives the Ali mythology a 21st-century edge and an entirely contemporary context.

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