GOAT - A Tribute to Muhammad Ali

"... the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed in the history of civilization."
- Der Spiegel, Hamburg.

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Muhammad Ali is one of the most remarkable personalities of our time and the greatest sportsman ever to walk the earth. To honor this living legend, TASCHEN has created a work that is epic in scale and as unique and vibrant as the man himself. A worthy tribute to his life should reflect the scale of his achievements, and GOAT - GREATEST OF ALL TIME is fully up to that task.

Four years in the making, and the most comprehensive study of Ali to date, GOAT tips the scales at 34 kgs (75 lbs) and is 50 cm x 50 cm (20" x 20") in size. Nearly 800 pages of archival and original photographs, graphic artwork, articles and essays - many of them previously unpublished - chronicle six decades of his life in stunning detail. To cap it all, the project takes place with the participation of Ali himself and those members of his inner circle who have been closest to him over the years: from managers and key cornermen to friends, family and children; from spiritual and other advisers to broadcasters, essayists and journalists.

Motivating this endeavor is the conviction that Ali is not just a figure from the past, but one whose influence even today pervades everyday popular culture. The merest glance at the world of sports and music, for example, reveals his psychic DNA on everything from the lyrics and style of rap music to the way sports figures represent themselves. More significantly, his actions outside of the boxing ring still speak even louder than the verbal outrageousness of his pre-fight spectacles. He is a man who stood by his convictions, and took a highly unpopular stance at the peak of his career in a country not yet ready for radical change. He risked everything - his title, his livelihood, and his status - and in the process emerged as a man of principle and indeed, a hero for all time. No stone has been left unturned in telling this remarkable story: the book features written contributions from hundreds of writers and photographers, as well as over 3,000 photographs of Ali's dazzling life. Plus Ali's own insights, writings and drawings, and reproductions of fight posters and classic memorabilia.

After the enormous success of Helmut Newton's megabook, SUMO, publisher Benedikt Taschen felt that his next challenge lay not only in creating a work that had multiple sources and extraordinary photography, but one where the emphasis on the written word, narrative and research would be on par with that of the most comprehensive literary biographies. In short, matching meticulously crafted prose with incredible color and black-and-white photography. In addition, new work - commissioned from artist Jeff Koons - gives the Ali mythology a 21st-century edge and an entirely contemporary context.

GOAT comes in two versions. The "Champ's Edition", limited to the first 1,000 copies, has a white silk cover with pink lettering. Included are four gallery-quality silver gelatin prints in the size 50 x 50 cm (20" x 20") signed by photographer Howard L. Bingham and Muhammad Ali. Every "Champ's Edition" comes with the sculpture "Radial Champs" by Jeff Koons (size 175 x 170 cm, 69" x 67", comprising of 2 inflatables and a stool). The remaining 9,000 copies, the "Collector's Edition", shows Ali's torso with pink lettering. Every "Collector's Edition comes with the photo-litho "Radial Champs" by Jeff Koons in the size 50 x 50 cm (20" x 16"). All 10,000 copies are individually signed by Muhammad Ali and Jeff Koons.
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Hardcover in clamshell box with print, 19.7 x 19.7 in., 792 pages, $ 6,000
Ali visiting the TASCHEN offices on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California in September 2003. Photo (c) Howard L. Bingham
Both the &quot;Champ's Edition&quot; and the &quot;Collector's Edition&quot; of GOAT come in a silk-covered box. The iconic 1966 photo &quot;Ali vs Williams&quot; by Neil Leifer was recently awarded the title &quot;Greatest Sporting Image of All Time&quot; by <em>The Observer magazine</em>, London.
Both the "Champ's Edition" and the "Collector's Edition" of GOAT come in a silk-covered box. The iconic 1966 photo "Ali vs Williams" by Neil Leifer was recently awarded the title "Greatest Sporting Image of All Time" by The Observer magazine, London.