Synopses & Reviews
The fights resonate still: The Fight of the Century, Down Goes Frazier!, The Rumble in the Jungle, The Thrilla in Manila. And the fighters, tooandmdash;MUHAMMAD ALI, JOE FRAZIER, GEORGE FOREMANandmdash;three complicated and competitive men who happened to be vying for sport's biggest prize when boxing was still a national reassurance and its champion a cultural resource. They fought five times for that title, from 1971 to 1975, ranging across the globe, and their struggles, triumphs, and defeats echo through the years as well.
At the time, however accidental their convergence, it was an irreproducible pandemonium. Three of them? At once? Those fights made for a roiling and convulsive tournament, all the more striking against a backdrop of national dysfunction. Their competitionandmdash;fighting each other in every possible combination, on nearly every possible continent, to nearly every possible outcomeandmdash;mattered as much for the country's confidence as it did for deciding the titles at stake. In fact, their heroic effortsandmdash;global spectacles that offered brief glimpses of clarity and confidenceandmdash;may have been the only thing that made sense back home during the social and political morass of the 1970s. This golden age of boxing reassured a shattered country that such fundamental, if sometimes elusive, qualities as courage and determination still mattered. And when it was all over, neither the contenders nor the rest of the word would ever be the same.
In Bouts of Mania, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Richard Hoffer evokes all the hopes and hoopla, the hype and hysteria of boxing's last and best "golden age."
Advance praise for Bouts of Mania
"I'm old enough to have lived through, and even covered part of, the raucous era defined by that immortal troika of Ali, Frazier, and Foreman. What could be better? Well, reliving it through the piercing prose of Hoffer, one of the few stylists able to capture this dark and dizzying decade of the '70s."—Jack McCallum, bestselling author of Dream Team
Boxingand#8217;s last and#147;golden ageand#8221;andmdash;when Ali, Frazier, and Foreman battled one another in five classic fights and America wallowed in self-doubt.
Bouts of Mania
describes the glorious era when Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman fought each other in every possible combination, on nearly every possible continent. In their most memorable bouts from 1971 to 1975, the three men created athletic set pieces that continue to resonate: the Fight of the Century, Down Goes Frazier!, the Rumble in the Jungle, and the Thrilla in Manila. Their fights for the heavyweight belt (when that title still meant something) made for a roiling and convulsive tournament, all the more striking against a backdrop of national dysfunction. In fact, their heroic efforts—global spectacles that offered brief glimpses of clarity and confidence—may have been the only thing that made sense back home during the social and political morass of the 1970s.
In Bouts of Mania, Richard Hoffer, a longtime writer for Sports Illustrated, evokes all the hopes and hoopla, the hype and hysteria of boxings last and best golden age.”
About the Author
has been an award-winning writer for Sports Illustrated
for more than twenty years and is the author of three previous books, including A Savage Business: The Comeback and Comedown of Mike Tyson
. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.