Book Review: ‘Ali on Ali’ by Hana Ali with Danny Peary

A page out of "Ali on Ali," Photo: Courtesy Workman
A page out of “Ali on Ali,” Photo: Courtesy Workman
The cover of "Ali on Ali," Photo: Courtesy Workman
The cover of “Ali on Ali,” Photo: Courtesy Workman

Heavyweight Champion of the World and sports icon Muhammad Ali was outspoken and brazen outside the ring. He was an athlete, an activist, a father and, as daughter Hana Ali states in the introduction of this book, “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” Ali on Ali: Why He Said What He Said When He Said It, by Hana Ali with Danny Peary, compiles Muhammad Ali’s best known quotations along with others that you may not have heard before.

There’s one from Ali when he was 12: “If I find the kid who stole my bike, I’ll whup him.” There are, of course, inspirational quotes, along with his famous tauntings of other fighters (some favorites involve Sonny Liston). Ali addresses racism, war, religion: nothing was off limits for this great man.

Comments by Hana Ali appear with Muhammad Ali’s words, about where the quote originated and what it signified to him. It’s clear by the way she speaks about her father that this book means a great deal to her, in honor of his memory. In addition to quotations, photographs are featured.

There’s one of Muhammad Ali with Martin Luther King Jr. that’s mesmerizing, and more humorous photos of Ali on talk shows and of him when he was quite young.

The book also includes quotes about Ali spoken by prominent figures such as Serena Williams, Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela. This book views Ali through a wide lens. He’s seen as the father, the political figure, the world-class athlete, but, most importantly, as a human being. There’s no second-guessing what impact Muhammad Ali left on our world after you’ve read this book.

A page out of "Ali on Ali," Photo: Courtesy Workman
A page out of “Ali on Ali,” Photo: Courtesy Workman

In Hana Ali’s acknowledgements, she thanks Danny Peary, who assisted in the writing. Peary is a noted sportswriter and film historian who lives in Sag Harbor and New York. His book series “Cult Movies” enjoys a large following, and he has co-authored and edited books such as Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero with Tom Clavin, and Baseball Immortal: Derek Jeter: A Career in Quotes. He also regularly contributes his “Danny Peary Talks To” celebrity interviews to


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