The Gist

Muhammad Ali’s Biggest Fight

How the greatest knocked out the U.S. Justice Department.

Muhammed Ali in Berlin on Dec. 16, 2005.

Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images

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Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, but he didn’t spend his entire life in the ring. During the Vietnam War, he spent his time trying to avoid the draft as a conscientious objector. Journalist Leigh Montville says the struggle changed Ali’s life—and the country. Montville’s new book is Sting Like a Bee.

In the Spiel, a closer look at the CV of the most important soil-health civil servant in the news.

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