Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226059433 Published May 2019
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The Rumble in the Jungle

Muhammad Ali and George Foreman on the Global Stage

Lewis A. Erenberg

The Rumble in the Jungle

Lewis A. Erenberg

336 pages | 30 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2019
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226059433 Published May 2019
E-book $10.00 to $40.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226059570 Published May 2019
The 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, staged in the young nation of Zaire and dubbed the Rumble in the Jungle, was arguably the biggest sporting event of the twentieth century. The bout between an ascendant undefeated champ and an outspoken master trying to reclaim the throne was a true multimedia spectacle. A three-day festival of international music—featuring James Brown, Miriam Makeba, and many others—preceded the fight itself, which was viewed by a record-breaking one billion people worldwide. Lewis A. Erenberg’s new book provides a global perspective on this singular match, not only detailing the titular fight but also locating it at the center of the cultural dramas of the day.

TheRumble in the Jungle orbits around Ali and Foreman, placing them at the convergence of the American Civil Rights movement and the Great Society, the rise of Islamic and African liberation efforts, and the ongoing quest to cast off the shackles of colonialism. With his far-reaching take on sports, music, marketing, and mass communications, Erenberg shows how one boxing match became nothing less than a turning point in 1970s culture.
Contents
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Chapter 1        A Real Freak in Boxing: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the 1960s
Chapter 2        1968: Fists and Flags
Chapter 3        The Roads to Kinshasa
Chapter 4        Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud: Zaire 74
Chapter 5        A Stitch in Time
Chapter 6        Rope-a-Dope
Chapter 7        Violent Coronation in Zaire
Chapter 8        On Top and Nowhere
Chapter 9        When We Were Kings

Notes
Index 
Review Quotes
Booklist (starred review)
“Erenberg delivers a remarkably balanced account of both fighters in and out of the ring, before and after the fight. With the advantage of 45 years of perspective on the event and its sociopolitical context, Erenberg brings new insight to the fight’s complex racial dimension, and he deftly handles the fighters’ different takes on the Vietnam War. He effectively captures the overwrought rhetoric surrounding the fight, and his position as something other than a boxing insider (he is a Professor Emeritus in History at Loyola University in Chicago) brings a notably fresh interpretation to Ali’s upset victory. . . . The fight is the thing, and when Erenberg gets back to it, he scores heavily. . . . In a crowded field, this is a strong and surprising entry, right up there with Norman Mailer's The Fight.”
Lary May, author of The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way
“An important and superbly written book. What makes The Rumble in the Jungle so convincing is Erenberg's extensive research, lively writing style, and detailed explorations of the biographies of Ali, Foreman, and the musicians, politicians, and business promoters encircling the fight. Although the fight between Ali and Foreman has received considerable commentary, Erenberg allows readers to understand its larger political significance for American and global history.”
Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life
“The Rumble in the Jungle has entered the realm of mythology, an event so fantastic it seems unreal. But in this smart, illuminating book, Erenberg reminds us that the Rumble really happened—and it was even more fantastic than we remembered. He fills in the gaps for boxing fans who know the story and provides essential history for those who do not.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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