A Legend in the Making
Cassius X is a delightful ride in a cherry-red Cadillac, with soul music on the radio and a steady hand at the wheel. A thoroughly enjoyable journey
Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life
Crisply written, fast-paced, and original, this book surges with the kind of effervescence we have long associated with a young Cassius Clay ... Filled with colourful details, with a learned eye toward the music of the era, Cassius X hits all the right notes'
Michael Ezra, author of Muhammad Ali: The Making of an Icon
An exciting trip through the urban worlds of boxing, soul music, and crime, as Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam, becomes Muhammad Ali, and ascends the ranks of boxing to become World Heavyweight Champion during the early 1960s
Lewis Erenberg, author of The Rumble in the Jungle
There are many books about Muhammad Ali, but none like Stuart Cosgrove's Cassius X ... The book is a deeply personal look at one of 'The Greatest' public figures of the last one hundred years and is a model of how biographies of African Americans should be written
Ray Winbush, author of Belinda’s Petition: A Concise History of Reparations for the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Fascinating ... a different take on its subject, like a wayward B-side of a highly familiar tune
A vivid, knowing close-up of a crucial year in the life of boxing’s most iconic figure
Stuart Cosgrove's deep research and very human storytelling highlights how black music lit up the Sixties against a backdrop of political turmoil - and how Cassius Clay began his remarkable transformation into Muhammad Ali winning the world heavyweight title from scratch three times in the process
You can almost smell the liniment and sweat and hear the classic songs of Tamla Motown when you start reading Mr Cosgrove’s work Cassius X... a compelling reminder of why he [Muhammad Ali] made such an impression
An engrossing and revelatory read.. and a great playlist. You do not have to be a fan of boxing or soul music to love this book
Val McDermid at Edinburgh International Book Festival
A benediction of a book about the early years of the sporting deity. Cassius X is a unique take – no easy feat when faced with an athlete who has been embalmed in books over the decades
Equivalent to a biopic which portrays the fast-moving 1960s social, political and cultural scene and gives a fascinating insight into a lesser-known part of the legendary champion's life
A riveting profile of one of the world’s greatest sportsmen and the world he moved in
No ordinary tale of the life of The Greatest. Tells the story of the many social forces that shaped the life of the former world champion
Press & Journal
A terrifically fresh insight into sport’s greatest superstar
The Scotsman, Best Sports Books of 2020
About the Book
Miami, 1963. A young boy from Louisville, Kentucky, is on the path to becoming the greatest sportsman of all time. Cassius Clay is training in the 5th Street Gym for his heavyweight title clash against the formidable Sonny Liston. He is beginning to embrace the ideas and attitudes of Black Power, and firebrand preacher Malcolm X will soon become his spiritual adviser. Thus Cassius Clay will become ‘Cassius X’ as he awaits his induction into the Nation of Islam.
Cassius also befriends the legendary soul singer Sam Cooke, falls in love with soul singer Dee Dee Sharp and becomes a remarkable witness to the first days of soul music. As with his award-winning soul trilogy, Stuart Cosgrove’s intensive research and sweeping storytelling shines a new light on how black music lit up the sixties against a backdrop of social and political turmoil – and how Cassius Clay made his remarkable transformation into Muhammad Ali.
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