Muhammad Ali and the Making of American Icons
How did the most hated man in American become one of the nation’s most respected and beloved figures—and what can we all learn from Ali’s journey?
Muhammad Ali and Faith
Ali’s religious journey was an unusual one, from Baptist to Muslim, with a lot of bumps along the way, but in his exploration of faith he asked and answered many familiar questions: What does it mean to believe? How do you apply your religious beliefs in the secular world? And what does one do when the religious and secular world’s conflict? What moral lessons can we learn from Ali’s journey?
The Birth of the Pill
The invention of the world’s first oral contraceptive—pulled off by a band of renegades—not only changed the world but offers an example of how to fight attempts to restrict women’s access to contraception.
The Great American Lives
American history is perhaps best told by the stories of the individuals who shaped the nation. Those stories, however, are too often mythologized and simplified by Hollywood accounts. New York Times best-selling biographer (Muhammad Ali, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson) explores the lives of some of the figures who shaped the twentieth century. Eig makes the case that history is best understood when we treat our important figures as complex humans instead of two-dimensional heroes.
Ken Burns calls Jonathan Eig a "master storyteller." Eig is the author of five books, two of them New York Times best sellers. His new book, Ali: A Life, will be released October 3.
Eig was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, where he remains a contributing writer. Eig has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Slate.com, among others. Prior to The Wall Street Journal, he worked as a feature writer for Chicago magazine and as a news reporter for The Dallas Morning News and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Eig has taught writing at Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern. He has spoken to audiences at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, Harvard Medical School, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His first book, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, won the Casey Award for best baseball book of the year.
Eig has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and in two Ken Burns documentaries: Prohibition and Jackie Robinson. He is currently working with Burns and Florentine Films in making a documentary on Muhammad Ali. The Birth of the Pill is in development as a mini-series for National Geographic Channel. Eig lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.