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Saturday, October 28 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Muhammad Ali: Conscience of a Fighter

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Muhammad Ali was the greatest. He was a sports icon who stood up for his beliefs at a time when being an outspoken black man was not acceptable. One can imagine that the athletes who have taken a knee this season have been inspired by Ali’s example. The authors of two new, groundbreaking books about Ali join us to examine the life of a courageous fighter. Jonathan Eig, bestselling author of books about Jackie Robinson and Lou Gehrig, used conversations with Ali’s former wives, new material gleaned from thousands of pages of FBI and Justice Department files, and hours of recently discovered audiotaped interviews to write Muhammad Ali: A Life. Eig is working with Ken Burns to turn his book into a documentary. Former Boston Globe columnist and senior writer at Sports Illustrated Leigh Montville focuses on Ali’s refusal to serve in the US military during the Vietnam War and the social and cultural implications of that decision in Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971, which Kirkus Reviews referred to as a “dramatic, pleasing tale of a sports iconoclast fighting for his rights." The inimitable Bill Littlefield, commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, host of Only a Game on WBUR, and author of Take Me Out, will moderate. 


Moderators
avatar for Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield is known to sports enthusiasts and NPR and WBUR listeners alike at the host of Only a Game, which brings Littlefield’s insightful storytelling to the world of sports. Littlefield has hosted the weekly, hour-long show since 1993, but has been on the air with WBUR and NPR since 1984. In addition to his lengthy radio career, Littlefield is the author of a handful of books and taught English at Curry College for thirty-nine years. Among his titles are Take Me Out (2014), Only a Game (2007), Circus in the Woods (2002), and Baseball Days (1993). He has edited and been featured in Houghton... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig is a writer who has spent his career covering the fascinating lives of famous figures, but in so doing has had a fascinating life of his own. Eig was a feature writer for Chicago magazine and a reporter for the Dallas Morning News and the New Orleans Times-Picayune before becoming a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal. His writing has been featured in a number of other magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, and the Washington Post. Eig has taught writing at Northwestern University and Columbia College Chicago, has traveled as a speaker, and appeared in documentaries and television. His book Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (2005) won a Casey Award for best baseball book. He is also the author of Opening Day; The Story of Jackie... Read More →
avatar for Leigh Montville

Leigh Montville

Leigh Montville knew he wanted to be a sports writer at the age of ten; decades later and in his seventies, Leigh Montville is a respected elder statesman of sports journalism and still living out his childhood dream. He began his career as a reporter for the New Haven Journal-Courier, and later beginning his twenty-one-year first stint as a columnist for the Boston Globe. He left the Globe for a position as a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, which he held for twelve years. He stopped writing for Sports Illustrated in the early 2000s and shifted his focus to writing books, although he rejoined the Boston Globe staff in 2013. Some of his titles are The Altar of Speed (2001), The Mysterious Montague (2008), Evel (2011), and The Big Bam (2006). His 2004 biography of the famous Red Sox player, Ted Williams, won the CASEY Award for best baseball book of the year. His latest is Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. The United States of America... Read More →


Saturday October 28, 2017 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Emmanuel Parish Hall 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA