We Shook Up the World: The Spiritual Rebellion of Muhammad Ali and George Harrison

George Harrison met Muhammad Ali in 1964, when both men were on the cusp of worldwide fame. Ten years later, the two men simultaneously staged comebacks, demonstrating just how much they embodied the promises and perils of their era. In doing so, Tracy Daugherty suggests, they revealed the scope and the limits of political courage and commitment to faith in the modern world.

We Shook Up the World is the story of these two larger-than-life figures at a momentous time. A unique blend of biography and cultural history, this book goes to the very heart of the zeitgeist that each man inhabited and reinvented in profound and enduring ways.

In 1974, deep in the Pennsylvania woods, thirty-two-year-old Muhammad Ali was seeking renewal, training to regain his heavyweight boxing title in a fight with George Foreman, and exploring questions about his politics, his career, and his life. Meanwhile, George Harrison was thirty-one years old. With the Beatles disbanded, his marriage ending, and the loss of his mother still fresh, he traveled to India to revitalize his faith, energy, and musical spirit, seeking renewal at the Hindu holy city of Varanasi. In contemplating how these two complex figures managed to carry the cultural rebelliousness and spiritual yearning of the 1960s into a new era of cataclysmic political, economic, and social change, We Shook Up the World offers an intimate perspective on two outsize figures in the nation’s and the world’s cultural history, and a new understanding of their unique contributions to the consciousness of their time and ours.