Muhammad Ali: in trying to exalt Medenica’s medical prowess, Ali’s shambolic performance unintentionally weakened his testimony.  Photograph:  Andrew H. Walker/Getty

As he left the Geneva courtroom, Muhammad Ali was corralled by reporters. A mundane medical fraud trial suddenly elevated by the presence of the most (...)

 Henry Kissinger  poses with Fürth president Helmut Hack (left) and businessman  Peter M Endres before  the Bundesliga match between SpVgg Greuther Fürth and  Schalke 04 in September 2012. Photograph:  Getty Images

The scene was Zavidovo, the Politburo’s favourite retreat, on a May morning in 1973. A few weeks before Leonid Brezhnev was due to visit Washington, H(...)

Muhammad Ali, a few weeks shy of his 40th birthday, takes on Trevor Berbick in his last ever fight on  December 11th, 1981 in the Bahamas. Berbick won the fight in a ten-round unanimous decision. Photograph: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

A couple of years back, I asked a roomful of college freshmen and women to name the world’s most famous living Muslim. “Barack Obama! ” stage-whispere(...)