The Fight takes the number one position:
Centered around one of the biggest boxing matches of all time, this 1975 book details the story of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s “Rumble in the Jungle” the year prior. Mailer is able to offer one of the more nuanced depictions of Ali was to date. We get to see Ali’s crowd-pleasing trash talk in direct comparison to Foreman’s stoic and cunning silence, who at this point in his career had never lost a fight.
It is a short read, but one that really captures the sense of scale to this clash between two great minds and unfaltering egos. For a fan of boxing, this is a must-read.
Buy the Book
Mailer’s grasp of the titanic battle’s feints and stratagems—and his sensitivity to their deeper symbolism—makes this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport.