Amongst the praise for King of the World came a perceptive comment from Toni Morrison. “By using the Clay-Liston battle as a pivot and placing Muhammad Ali in an accurate social context, Remnick constructs a narrative very much like Ali himself: astute, double-hearted, irresistible. He is so completely in charge of his craft that it becomes an art.”
Biographies are often shunned by criticism, regarded as a resort of easy virtue. There is undoubtedly craft to presenting one’s life in writing: accurate articulation of events and characters in the subjects’ life; understanding the subjects’ standing and importance in their profession. But it is rare for biographical writing to be considered ‘art’. So how does King of the World differ?